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Book Review, Here Comes Everybody.

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Jun. 20th, 2008 | 09:13 pm

Just finished "Here Comes Everybody, the power of organizing without organizations."

Clay Shirkly, goes through and describes why society after the take off of the Internet is a new kind of society than before the Internet.

First off for a technology to really impact social behavior it has to be sufficiently distributed that you can reasonably expect that everyone has access to it.

Prior to the our discovery of social tools, coordinating a group of people to do something was complicated and expensive and required a formal structure. Unfortunately large organizations have large costs associated with all that management... implying that there are many things that just don't get done.

Now that we can reasonably expect our friends to have internet access, flickr accounts, social networking accounts, etc, we can have "ridiculously easy group formation".

One of the big fall-outs of that though is that most groups will fail, but that doesn't really matter because the cost of experimentation has fallen to basically zero. But vastly more experimentation means that some ideas, ideas that were too risky to be explored in the past are much more likely to be found now.

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adrienne

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from: sapience
date: Jun. 21st, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
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I just read a fascinating post on the author's blog that has me wanting to read the book, too.

Somehow all these social tools don't seem to make me any better at being social, though! Although I suppose this comment should count for something. :)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 21st, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
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I am also well familiar with social tools not helping me be any less of a recluse.

So back in 2000 there was this book "Bowling Alone" which discussed the decline of "social capital" in the US. Basically there are a variety of forces making it much harder for people to form relationships. The switch to a car-centric, suburbian society means that most people are vastly more likely to meet other co-workers than their neighbors.

Relative to "Here Comes Everybody", one person who read that book, decided the solution was to found meetup.com. Though the list of groups on meetup arent

Reflecting on my own life, I know that the increasing travel times guilt over carbon makes me not want to travel very far from my home. I also have seen that in order for me to crawl out of my shell I really do need to go somewhere where I'll see roughly the same group of people over and over.

For a while I was going to a friends monthly board gaming, but that didn't seem frequent enough, and I started to get lazy about leaving my apartment, which only reinforced my hermitness.

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pouched fox

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from: pouchedfox
date: Jun. 21st, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
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it also means its easier for marketers and politicians to seed ideas...

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 21st, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure I agree.

We've replaced having a few media sources with millions of media sources, since any particular person can only pay attention to a finite amount of stuff, it's getting more difficult to push a single message to everyone.

The marketing types are trying to switch to viral marketing as that's the form that looks most able to reach those who are ignoring traditional media. But to go viral it has to provide something of value to the person--before they ever bother to buy into the product.

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