HERE COMES EVERYBODY CLAY SHIRKY PDF

Next When Clay Shirky was a young boy he thought that the main technologies for the 21st century would be the atomic energy and the spaceships to travel throughout the milky way. Fast forward to when he is a grown up in the late 20th century, he discovers that the main technologies are the transistors and the abortion pill. The first has allowed the advent of many electronic devices, the second has entitled women to control birth. Both are used at individual level companies and citizen respectively and are not controlled by the state. As Shirky puts it : they changed the world because no one was in control of how the technology was used. These have allowed for groups to gather in the cheapest and easiest way ever, with spectacular results on the society as a whole.

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For readers of Ars Technica, technologies like online forums, blogs, mailing lists, Meetup, and Wikipedia are old hat. But Shirky contends that the really big impacts are still to come, as these technologies spread to our less geeky relatives, friends, and neighbors.

As the Internet radically reduces the costs of collective action for everyone, it will transform the relationship between ordinary individuals and the large, hierarchical institutions that were a dominant force in 20th-century societies. Newspapers and magazines, book and music publishers, and Hollywood studios are all feeling squeezed as the printing and distribution services they provide become less and less valuable.

Shirky points out that this turmoil is not new; indeed, the printing press itself unleashed similar turmoil when it was first introduced to Europe in the 15th century. Shirky tells the amusing story of an Abbot named Johannes Trithemius.

But Trithemius had a problem: he wanted his book to reach a broad audience, and that would have been impossible if he had relied on his fellow scribes to reproduce the book by hand.

So he had the book printed. Last fall, Shirky critiqued a professional literary critic named Sven Birkerts, who wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe lamenting the fact that too many people were writing book reviews for one another instead of reading book reviews written by himself and his friends. Just as the technological limitations of pen and ink gave scriveners a privileged place in medieval society, so the limitations of 20th-century media technologies conferred a privileged position on the relatively small circle of journalists, critics, musicians, actors, directors, and authors fortunate enough to have access to them.

And just as the printing press democratized access to the written word, the Internet is democratizing publishing. These changes will not lead to a perfectly egalitarian media world or the end of professional content creation. What will be different, though, is that there will no longer be a sharp distinction between a small number of professional producers and a large number of passive consumers. Every content consumer is a potential producer, with the entire wired world as a potential audience.

No longer does publication require the purchase of expensive printing presses, broadcast stations, or 35mm cameras. With these economic barriers removed, publishing is limited only by time and ability. The media marketplace will contain everything anyone cares enough to create, not just the few things that the limitations of 20th-century media technologies made profitable to distribute.

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For readers of Ars Technica, technologies like online forums, blogs, mailing lists, Meetup, and Wikipedia are old hat. But Shirky contends that the really big impacts are still to come, as these technologies spread to our less geeky relatives, friends, and neighbors. As the Internet radically reduces the costs of collective action for everyone, it will transform the relationship between ordinary individuals and the large, hierarchical institutions that were a dominant force in 20th-century societies. Newspapers and magazines, book and music publishers, and Hollywood studios are all feeling squeezed as the printing and distribution services they provide become less and less valuable. Shirky points out that this turmoil is not new; indeed, the printing press itself unleashed similar turmoil when it was first introduced to Europe in the 15th century. Shirky tells the amusing story of an Abbot named Johannes Trithemius. But Trithemius had a problem: he wanted his book to reach a broad audience, and that would have been impossible if he had relied on his fellow scribes to reproduce the book by hand.

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Hacked off

Wikipedia, Second Life, Craigslist, MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Flickr point the way to the lovely future where sharing caring groups of amateurs can connect in ways that will be experientially satisfying, community-boosting and, fingers crossed, democratically revivifying. So argues new media and social networking theorist Clay Shirky in his terrifically clever, though to my mind harrowing, book. He draws a parallel with scribes who laboriously handcopied the wisdom of the ages from fragile and decaying manuscripts. In , the Abbot of Sponheim wrote a tract called In Defence of Scribes urging that the scribal tradition be maintained because the very act of handcopying sacred texts brought spiritual enlightenment.

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Summary and Commentary of Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody

Synopsis[ edit ] In the book, Shirky recounts how social tools, such as blogging software like WordPress and Twitter , file sharing platforms like Flickr , and online collaboration platforms like Wikipedia, support group conversation and group action in a way that could previously only be achieved through institutions. Shirky argues that with the advent of online social tools, groups can form without previous restrictions of time and cost, in the same way the printing press increased individual expression, and the telephone increased communications between individuals. Shirky observes that: "[Every] institution lives in a kind of contradiction: it exists to take advantage of group effort, but some of its resources are drained away by directing that effort. Call this the institutional dilemma--because an institution expends resources to manage resources, there is a gap between what those institutions are capable of in theory and in practice, and the larger the institution, the greater those costs. Shirky also discusses the possibility of mass amateurization that the internet allows. This creates a mass amateurization of journalism and photography, requiring a new definition of what credentials make someone a journalist, photographer, or news reporter. This mass amateurization threatens to change the way news is spread throughout different media outlets.

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Ars Book Review: “Here Comes Everybody” by Clay Shirky

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