Clay Shirky vs. Malcolm Gladwell

What concepts and ideas does Shirky Introduce in Chapter 5 and Chapter 7?

In chapter 5, Shirky introduces the concept of self blogging online. He uses Wikipedia as an example of amateur bloggers feeding the website information based on what they know, their opinions or their social view on any relative topic. Although many people sees social media as a form of entertainment, Shirky believes that this new technology can be used to coordinate political views to attract the attention of society. By using all the social networks that are popular today as a campaign for voluntary work, foundations, or simply networking can make it easier for us to convey to a drastic social change. Amateurs are given vast opportunities to voice out their opinions due to the availability of social media. The isn’t a huge corporation behind Wikipedia constantly monitoring the website trying to edit all entries to their own desire; it is ran by those who have connections and access into the site. Even wordpress can have many authors in one page, having a bulletin like blog with many people posting their assignments. The “non-professionals have applied [their] capabilities in order to create and distribute content” upon many websites today.

In chapter 7 however gives the dynamics of how well and fast people can mash together upon a similar ground. Social media grabs the attention of people, making them aware of what is going on around them, voicing them out to many more to create a group that follows the topic. It was easy for Ivanna to retrieve her phone because Evan had created a website about it. His strong opinion and story about Sasha (the new owner of the phone) attracted many people and followed his story, with each new follower giving him many information they accumulated on their own for his benefit. Networking through other people made it easy to find the phone, who has it, how it was being used and also search up information about its new owner.

How do these chapters support his overall main ideas? Name a specific story Shirky uses to support his argument.

Shirky proposes that social media works well because their is no “hierarchy” dictating what can be used or posted. Social media is a form of the opinion of society, merely because it’s within our freedom to freely post what we want. Shirky’s Wikipedia example is the perfect way to expose the many ways social media can be manipulated into creating change. If we knew how to use social media to voice us out, there are many political parties that can hear us and we can make a greater impact upon our government.

What is Gladwell’s overall argument? What concepts and ideas does he present? Name a specific story or example Gladwell uses to support his argument? Where do Shirky and Gladwell agree and disagree?

Gladwell and Shirky had the same thoughts about social networking. Although Gladwell uses social networking in a different era where the latest trend was to be rumored around by flocking “little birds’ rather than twitter, it still had the same concept of spreading the news around. Whether its fighting for equality, asking for bone marrow donations, or finding a phone, all was successful through grabbing large groups’ attentions. Shirky and Gladwell would both agree because social networking gave them the same outcome and change that they were searching.



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