Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Feb 28, 2008 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
51 Reviews
Read Clay Shirky's posts on the Penguin Blog.

A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects-for good and for ill
A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement in kite design in decades. A midwestern professor of Middle Eastern history starts a blog after 9/11 that becomes essential reading for journalists covering the Iraq war. Activists use the Internet and e-mail to bring offensive comments made by Trent Lott and Don Imus to a wide public and hound them from their positions. A few people find that a world-class online encyclopedia created entirely by volunteers and open for editing by anyone, a wiki, is not an impractical idea. Jihadi groups trade inspiration and instruction and showcase terrorist atrocities to the world, entirely online. A wide group of unrelated people swarms to a Web site about the theft of a cell phone and ultimately goads the New York City police to take action, leading to the culprit's arrest.

With accelerating velocity, our age's new technologies of social networking are evolving, and evolving us, into new groups doing new things in new ways, and old and new groups alike doing the old things better and more easily. You don't have to have a MySpace page to know that the times they are a changin'. Hierarchical structures that exist to manage the work of groups are seeing their raisons d'tre swiftly eroded by the rising technological tide. Business models are being destroyed, transformed, born at dizzying speeds, and the larger social impact is profound.

One of the culture's wisest observers of the transformational power of the new forms of tech-enabled social interaction is Clay Shirky, and Here Comes Everybody is his marvelous reckoning with the ramifications of all this on what we do and who we are. Like Lawrence Lessig on the effect of new technology on regimes of cultural creation, Shirky's assessment of the impact of new technology on the nature and use of groups is marvelously broad minded, lucid, and penetrating; it integrates the views of a number of other thinkers across a broad range of disciplines with his own pioneering work to provide a holistic framework for understanding the opportunities and the threats to the existing order that these new, spontaneous networks of social interaction represent. Wikinomics, yes, but also wikigovernment, wikiculture, wikievery imaginable interest group, including the far from savory. A revolution in social organization has commenced, and Clay Shirky is its brilliant chronicler.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

User Review  - Gianni - Goodreads

Good book, helpful for those of us who are used to working in large impersonal companies, with strict hierarchy and centralized power management. Read full review

Review: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

User Review  - Elizabeth Licata - Goodreads

I realized about a third of the way through this book that I made a mistake in reading it after Cognitive Surplus. Since Shirky wrote this book first, many of his concepts are refined more in his ... Read full review


Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world
New Leverage for Old Behaviors
The Tectonic Shift
How Did All Those Pictures Get There?
Making the Trains Run on Time
PostManagerial Organization
From Sharing to Cooperation to Collective Action
Weblogs and Mass Amateurization
Ordinary Tools Extraordinary Effects
Flash Mobs
Replacing Planning with Coordination
Angry Passengers Faster Action
Banal Tools in Remarkable Contexts
New Tools to Create Social Capital
Stay at Home Moms and the Politics of Exclusion
SelfHelp We Dont Approve Of

In Praise of Scribes
Mass Amateurization Breaks Professional Categories
Fame Happens
Filtering as a Tool for Communities of Practice
Revolution and Coevolution
Wikipedias Content
Unmanaged Division of Labor
A Predictable Imbalance
Why Would Anyone Bother?
Social Prosthetics
Love as a Renewable Building Material
Why 2002? What Changed?
New Forms of Sharing Take Hold
Rapid and Simple Group Formation
Removing Obstacles to Collective Action
Three Kinds of Loss
Bridging Capital 247
Its Not How Many People You Know Its How Many Kinds
The Global Talent Pool
Lowering the Cost of Failure
Cooperation as Infrastructure
Do the People Who Like It Take Care of Each Other?
Complex Interactions
All Groups Have Social Dilemmas
Technologies that Matter
A Possible Future for Collective Action
Taking Change for Granted

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Clay Shirky teaches at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, where he researches the interrelated effects of our social and technological networks. He has consulted with a variety of Fortune 500 companies working on network design, including Nokia, Lego, the BBC, Newscorp, Microsoft, as well as the Library of Congress, the U.S. Navy, and the Libyan government. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, Harvard Business Review, Business 2.0, and Wired, and he is a regular keynote speaker at tech conferences. Mr. Shirky lives in Brooklyn.

Bibliographic information