Friday, July 25, 2008

Clay Shirky on collaboration via the internet

I bought Clay Shirky's book 'Here comes everybody' to read during my holidays. I hesitated because not everyone was positive, it might not have so many new insights. But I decided I would read it after all.

Yesterday, I found this video from the tedtalks with Clay Shirky talking about collaboration via the internet versus institutions. Interesting to watch (20 minutes). He points to the fact that coordination costs have come down tremendously so that collaboration is possible on a scale and at a speed that can't be reached by institutions. Institutions are the slow ones with relatively high coordination costs. Smarter collaborations are coming up. Planning is no longer necessary as it used to be, like the mobile phone made us lazy in planning our meetings carefully. An example of this collaboration he mentions is the pro-ana movement. (which I also blogged about). The infrastructure offered by the internet is generic, accessible to anybody. I liked his statement that the question of whether bloggers are journalists is a wrong question. Journalist used to be a solution to the problem of public information. Now the whole field has changed. (like when the book- press was invented leading to 200 years of chaos). He predicts 50 years of chaos to come.

At times I think, like electrons, we start spinning at increasingly higher speeds.
I hope that his book will address some of the questions around power and leadership. Probably without some visionary Ana's there wouldn't be the pro-ana movement.

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