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on 19 January 2011
Amazing how quickly the wizzo new thing dates, isn't it? Does anyone refer to weblogs any more? Copyrighted 2008, so this book was probably pitched to the publisher in say 2006/7. Hollywood style: It's The Tippng Point, with added internet! And so a book was created in the time honoured fashion: publicist, publisher, stuff on paper.

Not so new either is Shirkey's central insight. Knowledge is power, more knowledge is more power or at least more democracy. He pads this out with a lot of anecdotes, some you'll have heard before and others that are just boring.

By now (2011) we can see what Shirley missed: the spammers, trolls, single-issue fanatics, conspiracy theorists, scammers, fraudsters, phishers and above all the tendency (surprise, surprise) to make exclusive communities on the net. Just because information travels faster doesn't make it better.

I think I'm going to "defriend" any other books on the sociology of the web in future.
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on 26 March 2013
Shirky is very much the techno optimist in the digital media debate. I used this book for PR and Activism essay and found it useful. If your talking about digital media you have to reference Shirky. The book is very fun to read though lots of relevant interesting case studies.
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on 23 March 2009
How is accessible, affordable, and now ubiquitous, information technology changing the way we communicate with each other? I thought I new, this book made me realise there's far more to how we are changing how we relate to each other. There's no high tech or high brow stuff in here, a simple, readable, lay-mans introduction with some suggestions of why and how things like email and chat rooms are changing the world. At first I saw a threat, but now I see opportunity. Are we in at the beginning of a far reaching and unstoppable paradigm shift?
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on 5 January 2011
Some interesting case studies of how technology / connectivity is changing the world. There are no great insights, but lots of observations tied together into a coherent book. And a suspenseful narrative style that is annoying if you remember the case study from contemporary reports. I feel he could have covered all his ideas in half as many words.

Like many original works, it might have been ground breaking when first released, but releasing its central idea into the public domain killed its own originality. The paperback was 2 years old when I read it, and the Internet moves so fast that it might be approaching its shelf-life already.

Still, a good light read for anyone interested in dotcoms.
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on 2 March 2009
This book begins with a brilliant little story which goes on to illustate the books contents perfectly. If you like what technological communications can presently can do, in a beautifully written hand, then quickly buy this book.
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on 28 June 2010
Excellent book, the world is changing and this gives a flavour of the potential we can all jointly fulfill!

Chapter about stolen phone a bit slow but good for moral compass! The rest excellent and a really enjpoyable read!

I started my first wiki after reading this and now follow the auther on twitter to see what's new!

Very good highly recommend!
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on 22 December 2009
For me, Clay Shirky delivers some great case studies to prove his points and backs up with useful references. I keep thinking...bell curve v long tail v power law distribution - and of course the Mermaid Parades. Change hits us all - read this and see for yourself.
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on 12 July 2015
...on just about everything worth giving brain space. I don't like the term 'thought leader' but i guess it applies in spades.
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on 19 April 2010
This is a really great book for anyone trying to understand exactly what social technology is doing to the world and how to become a part of it. It goes beyond hype and buzzwords and really describes the social effects of how the web is being used. The description of how significant lowering in transaction costs has re-defined what is possible was a key learning for me. By the end of this book you are likely to have your own informed opinion and you should be well placed to critique the opinions of others.
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on 3 January 2015
Not as good as the book review I read
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