Sunday, April 3, 2011

07 Faster and Faster

The power of collective action lies within the organization and coordination of groups. With the introduction of technology as a social tool, groups have been able to assemble more quickly, contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of the desired outcome.

These social tools have allowed weak groups to organize quickly and quietly against strong groups, doing so for very little cost. Social tools allow people to fight back against political repression by limiting the power of the government to stop them, by spreading the word quickly to all relevant people, and by showing the rest of the world what’s going on.

Prior to the internet, consumers had little opportunity to affect change in corporations that mistreated them. Now, the internet has enabled the formation of large movements of people, which, as a collective, can affect real change.

Communications over sites such as Facebook have decreased the obstacles to participation in demonstrations/reform efforts/protests, etc.Communication between and coordination of (politically) active people has become less obstructed due to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

(From Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, Chapter 7: Faster and Faster)

Here are some comments that were discussed in class:

Due to the frequency of social tools being used for collective action, the government is starting to figure out the power of the forms of communication, and are subsequently experimenting with solutions in order to maintain control (as Zeke said in the comment below, an example would be when Egypt shut down the internet, blocking communications).

Other examples of crackdowns on online reactions that were discussed in class were: an artist in China that was kidnapped and abducted by the government and the filtering of words such as 'protest' (if the word protest was mentioned a number of times via telephone, the calls would drop).

Also, just to show the influence that facebook has, (in combination with recent events in Egypt):

A couple names their baby............FACEBOOK

Thanks for the comments, and keep checking back =)


  1. This chapter discusses a lot of political regimes, and is highly relevant to the recent issues in Egypt. People were able to easily, cheaply, quickly, and efficiently communicate with many others, including other countries, allowing the people to stay one step ahead of the police. The government engaged in a "gross overreaction" by shutting down the internet, but people still found a few ways to communicate.

  2. I think Facebook has been a great way to help people too, I just saw something for a guy I grew up with that started a page to get help finding a kidney because he is in need of one. I have also noticed people joining groups for prayers for people who have been through hard times, or someone who has cancer or something. It is also great for bands or another type of artist to get their names out. I think Facebook can be a bad, but also a good thing. It was originally started for college students, and has grown into something huge. I still think that they need to try and get kids off of it so parents can say that it's all Facebook's fault for something happening to their kids. Parents should keep tabs on what kind of pictures and what kind of conversations that their kids are having.

  3. I think the internet is a great tool. Especially in the case of trying to get one group of people to band together for something they believe in. I think that the internet is as very accessible to many people. The fact that it is available on cell phones as a feature makes a big impact on communication.

  4. The usage of social networking or any other internet based communication enabler has greatly changed how people as a whole operate. Take for example when japan went thru the first stage of the earthquake crisis facebook/twitter were used to connect loved ones together... thats a good thing! Going back to a previous poster the egypt issue were the internet got shut down... that was a headline on many news stations. like what are they gonna do?? no way to communicate no facebook... thats the bad aspect of social networking.

    these tools (facebook,twitter,skype,etc) which in point are vices for some are designed to connect and network PERIOD! not live on. but at some point they inadvertently embedded themselves in american culture to were retailers ask you to leave a comment on there facebook page or join 106&park on twitter during the show and see if your tweet is on tv.

    I just wanna know whats next? are we gonna live in a world were you no longer have to go to the library or your local school district to cast your vote? will it be on your facebook page? will you have to tweet your senator to have a faster response from him? is the presidential approval rating based off the likes and dislikes he has from a status update lol

  5. What an awesome article focusing on social media. I agree with Zeke's statement, "the government is starting to figure out the power of the forms of communication, and are subsequently experimenting with solutions in order to maintain control."
    Social media is not developed so people can make friends, develop their businesses, or save gas; it is in fact developed to track the minds and actions of consumers. The government embraces social medias like facebook, twitter, myspace and so on because this gives them a more enhanced tracking system.
    It is important that people realize that what you put on the internet is never safe or private despite what settings you choose. Consider fingerprinting; everyday you log on, update your status, chat with your friends, or whatever you do online leaves a fingerprint. Be careful to use facebook and other media platforms wisely.

  6. Cynthia, I never thought of it that way, but I guess you're right. The government is always looking for ways to see into our lives. Just like the "Big Brother" thing. People do need to be aware that you shouldn't put too much information on your pages.

  7. My friend Bailee couldn't comment on this because she doesn't have an account with any of the profiles available so I'm going to post this for her.

    I think that ultimatly, social networking sites such as facebook ruins social interaction and relaionships. People aren't as social and outgoing as they once were, due to the convenience of hiding behind your computer screen. People literally have no idea how to interact face to face anymore, and I really dont like the statistics that facebook is now the cause of 1 out of every 5 divorces. I think it causes a lack of trust and respect for marriage, it gives a new medium for infidelity and a third party to intrude on personal relationships. Don't get me wrong, it can be a useful tool, especially when it comes to politics and news, but it's being abused for personal gain by most people, in my opinion.

  8. I dont see this as a "is facebook good or bad" issue. The 1st sentence gives u the issue: collective action is what changes the world we live in. And social networking tools definitely have increased speed spreading the word, increased support bases and given "the little guy" a better chance against financial/political/social power n pressure. They've made it easier to fight social injustice, political oppression/corruption, etc.

  9. This is for my friend Kimara

    I love a topic with depth. As for social media , it in itself is a way to reach large quantities of people with less effort and less money spent to fund advertisement to reach consumers.It is a lazy way to make a point and we as a lazy peole endorse it by buyig into the programs, the products and the technology. In time, i agree with the government comment, that we will have contact with the government to make changes via facebook or some other new form of social media that will be invented. Think, back in the day a company or a group of people wanted to know a large quantity of peoples insight they would form a poll, ballot, survey etc. Now its a like button and boom the change happens.s

    We have learned to adapt to new technologies since the earlier 1800's and will continue to do so. Ever since the earlier inventions we have become lazier and lazier, as even more convenient tools become available people will eventually stop becoming social by means of personal interaction and it will all be virtual or just through someones webcam. These days you can do almost anything and not leave the house. While its a blessing for some its a crutch for others. Everything in moderation as I say. I do not have cable but i do have internet which gives me access to the same shows you might watch but I dont pay a penny. Its all about what your willing to spend and the time available. I think the root of this topic is time. Who really has the time to do this errand and pay this all after work hours. The smart companies realize this and appeal to that part of our lives that say "hey this is beneficial to me", this is where I believe we are going to have to combat serious complacency in alot of aspects in our everyday lives in the future. The larger the interest the harder it be to keep social media from growing. Think, back in the day there were ballots,polls,petitions, theres twitter and facebook to get a large quantity of information shared, positive or negative. We're just a people who go with the flow as long as the flows going our way.=)

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