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Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations [Paperback]

Clay Shirky
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Feb 2009
A woman loses her phone, and recruits an army of volunteers to get it back. A dissatisfied airline passenger spawns a movement with her weblog. Citizens with camera-phones are more effective than photojournalists at documenting the London Transport bombings. The world's largest encyclopaedia is created by unmanaged participants. A handful of kids in Belarus create a political protest the state is powerless to stop. Everywhere you look, groups of people are coming together to share with one another, work together, or take some kind of public action.For the first time in history, we have tools that truly allow for this. In the same way the printing press amplified the individual mind and the telephone amplified two-way conversation, now a host of new tools, from instant messages and mobile phones to weblogs and wikis, amplify group communication. And because we are natively good at working in groups, this amplification of group effort will change more than business models: it will change society.

Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (24 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143114948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143114949
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 850,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Clay has long been one of my favorite thinkers on all things Internet – not only is he smart and articulate, but he's one of those people who is able to crystallize the half-formed ideas that I've been trying to piece together into glittering, brilliant insights that make me think, yes, of course, that's how it all works (Cory Doctorow, Co-Editor Of Boing Boing And Author Of Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present )

In story after story, Clay masterfully makes the connections as to why business, society and our lives continue to be transformed by a world of net-enabled social tools. His pattern-matching skills are second to none (Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Software Architect ) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Avi Shlaim is Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford. His previous books include COLLUSION ACROSS THE JORDAN (1988) and WAR AND PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (1995).

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First Sentence
On an afternoon in late May 2006 a woman named Ivanna left her phone in the backseat of a New York City cab. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling and completely human 5 Mar 2008
Clay Shirky explains the social importance of new technology using a very old-fashioned technique... that of story-telling! I found Here Comes Everybody fascinating to read, not only because it's enjoyable and surprising, but because I had to re-think many of my attitudes and assumptions about the effects of the internet, mobile phones and other technologies. From explaining new forms of political protest - including how Flash Mobs changed purpose from New York to Minsk - to telling me how I should think about and understand Wikipedia once and for all, this is a profound and original book on how our world is changing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody should read it 9 April 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Unless you've been living under a rock over the past few years, you would have noticed an explosion in ways that people interact, collaborate and exchange information online. We are probably undergoing the greatest technological shift since the advent of e-mail, and it'd probably hard to grasp all the ramifications that profound new change is heralding. Every year now, or sometimes every month, several new information terms and products enter our collective consciousness, terms like blog, Twitter, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, collaborative filtering, crowdsourcing, online social networking, and many, many others. It becomes harder and harder to keep track of what each one of them means, little less of how to use it or whether to use it at all. Many of them may just be passing fads, but it is hard to deny that put together they are part of some larger trend. However, it may not be so obvious what this trend is all about and one often can't see the forest from all the trees. From that point, Clay Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody" can be best understood as a field guide that will take you on a guided tour of this new forest and explain its immediate implications for how we live our lives, work or play. It is a very well written book, written in an easy-going journalistic style. It brings forth many real-life stories and case analyses that help with explaining these recent trends. The book is informative without being bogged down in technical jargon. It is also a very gripping read, and once one starts reading it is hard to put down. I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in getting a big picture of where we are headed in terms of collaborative technologies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here comes everybody? 11 Aug 2008
By Mr. G. Carroll VINE VOICE
Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky is the book of the moment. The 2008 version of The Tipping Point. Shirky writes a book about the way that productive, collaborative groups form-groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time: the places where our social networks and technological networks overlap.

Shirky's prose provides some great case studies that I am likely to turn into slides when I present and provide important food for thought particularly for those involved in reputation management and crisis communications programmes. Shirky writes in an accessible easy-to-read way that moves his book beyond an audience of web-centric wonks like me to the `everybody' of the book title.

What the book lacks is quantitative data to support the qualitative anecdotal research that Shirky pulled together. My other concern is that people will think that social media is excessively easy to do. It isn't; for every successful campaign there are countless numbers of campaigns that don't get the attention they deserve - the Boycott Strada and Cafe Rouge Facebook group being a case in point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like spending time with a clever uncle 31 July 2008
By Chris W
What an inspiring and wonderful read this is. Clay Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody gives hope to anyone who has been trapped in a bureaucracy and said to himself "There has to be a better way than this!"

According to Shirky, there's some good news: There is.

While traditional structures in say the workplace reflect the intended aims of the organisation, other, "heatmappy" ways of looking at the most productive areas reveal that the business may be working quite differently to how the Personnel Department might think!

And just as this is true for formal organisations, Shirky shows that it can apply among strangers, in politics and many more examples besides.

At times, the reader wonders whether the "Everybody" of the title that technology is allowing to come together are really as likely to use their new potentials for good, and Shirky gives examples such as oppressive churches where the end effect of technology can be to limit benefits.

With that objection, though, this is like listening to your well informed clever uncle tell you tales of the past - except these ones are tales of the future!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dissertation that never was... 24 April 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a Computer Science student, but originally I studied Communication. When I started my communication degree I knew I would write my dissertation on how the internet has affected communication, but I changed degree and instead built a facebook application. This book has taken my two big passions in life and combined them in a way that I continually attempt to, and in a much more eloquent style than I could ever achieve.
Clay continually uses examples that for anyone who uses web resources on a daily basis can relate to. He takes these examples and highlights not only the positives that they have generated, but their limitations too. His insight into what we previously believed to be technological implications shows us that indeed they are not technological, but human social limitations. Coupled with the depth of compassion towards humans, Clay continually reminds me that humans are essentially good but require the tools to be able to put that goodness into practice.
My favourite part is his comparison of the internet and web to the printing press pushing aside the scribes. I truly believe that we're watching the birth of a new cultural revolution, Clay sees it and the examples I have taken away from his writing allow me to show the changes to my friends and family that otherwise lay blind to it.
If you are even slightly interested in the web, communication, or modern culture then you must read this book. Thanks Clay for writing such an insightful and positive guide to this culture's birth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This Kindle edition is unreadable
I'm sure the book is great, but this Kindle edition has been so badly formatted to make it a very frustrating read. Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2012 by Bartholomew McGraw
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, book, DON'T BUY THIS COPY, BUY THE OTHER ONE
IMPORTANT: This is a review on "this particular Kindle edition", not on the book itself.
The book is fantastic. Read more
Published on 12 Nov 2011 by Daniel Magliola
3.0 out of 5 stars its a good book
This book tries to explains the state of the art in the new web society
Published on 17 Feb 2010 by N. Magalhaes
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful look at how electronic and social media are transforming...
Author Clay Shirky tackles a daunting task: He sets out to explain how new electronic media are transforming society. Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2009 by Rolf Dobelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Sadly, not as good a book as I was hoping for - it has all the breathless, unthinking enthusiasm of Wikinomics with none of the careful consideration in WeThink, marking it firmly... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2008 by Dr. Michael Heron
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting review of the effect of the internet
but doesn't dwell on the dark side..

Clay Shirky is primarily interested in the sociological effects of the internet and other networking tools (mobile phones etc. Read more
Published on 2 July 2008 by A. I. Mackenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Antidote to Cult of the Amateur
This is one of the best books I have read recently (counting books fact and fiction), it is extremely well written and obvious care was taken to make it flow from beginning to end. Read more
Published on 18 May 2008 by Shirley
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