Chap. 5 and 7 Shirky

I think Shirky brings the idea that social media can bring a lot of help which makes Wikipedia or other organizations non profitable. The more people you have contributing the more efficiently things turn out to be. Chapters 5 supports his ideas by explaining how Wikipedia was created. He explained the steps and the whole process needed to make Wikipedia successful. He says, “A Wikipedia article is a process, not a product, and as a result, it is never finished.”(pg.119). After reading the story of Wikipedia i understood that practically anyone could go and edit an article. Shirky, the creators of Wikipedia, and everyone else rely on the good edits that “outweigh the bad ones.” (pg119). On chapter 7 he also gives the story of the delayed flight and how social contact helped passengers (A specific one, Kate Hanni) get justice on something that needed attention in order to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. Kate Hanni formed a group and proposed an Airline Passengers Bill of Rights.

               Gladwel’s overall argument was basically the opposite of Shirky. He said organizations were “once defined by their causes now defined by their tools”. Gladwel seems to think that social media allows people stand up for themselves virtually rather than publicly. An example he brings up a few times is the story of the four college students in Greensboro. They knew each other very well and together they planned what they were going to do. The freshman students were friends not acquaintances. Gladwel also says that in social media people think the have “friends on facebook, twitter, etc. In reality most of them are only acquaintances, maybe even less.

         While Shirky replaces planning with coordination, Gladwel tries to stick with the planning. Gladwel said the “social media cannot provide the discipline and strategy needed” but Shirky seems to think social media can provide just that.


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