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Readings 3

May 25, 2011

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody is really well written and fun to read. The book has a wealth of interesting case studies and examples engagingly illustrating how the Internet has affected people’s social interactions.

Shirky begins the book with an interesting example that how people collaborate online to trace back a lost phone in New York City to illustrate how social communities form and actually work and why they can be so powerful if used effectively. Then he covers Flickr, Wikipedia, Meetup and the like to discuss the natures of these sites and tools and the key factors that lead to their success.

One of the key takeaways from the book is the bulk of work can be done by a small fraction of highly-active participants in an online community. Shirky uses Wikipedia’s example that the majority of effort comes from a relatively small and more active group to argue his point. The power of social media is they can connect like-minded people to communicate in an effective way and make a difference that’s not even possible or too hard to achieve before the Internet age.

All in all, Here comes everybody is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about today’s dynamic Web technologies in a non-technical way. Shirky addresses all the key points that how and why the current Internet tools work and the way they affect our life.

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