Monthly Archives: October 2012

Clay Shirky-Chapter 8

In my day to day life, I use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to update my friends and family on my every boring detail of life, or to post pictures of cute cats and funny comics.

In this instance, the community I am apart of influences the kind of tools that I use. I am obligated to update my Facebook so my aunts and uncles and other family members who haven’t seen me in years can know what I’m up to in school, where I went on vacation, etc. As well, Facebook fosters friendships that otherwise could have been lost or left by the wayside because of physical distance.

I don’t know for certain if I would describe myself as belonging to an online community. I, of course, have some unusual or odd interests and could probably find people in cyberspace who share my fascination or excitement for such a subject, if I so chose. However, I don’t know if I’ve actively sought out these online communities. I think the closest example would be that I follow a Doctor Who Tumblr. Or perhaps, because I subscribe to r/doctorwho or r/gameofthrones on Reddit. The more I think about it, the more I realize I probably am a huge nerd that does belong to an internet-based fan club.

However, I’ve never taken the online groups I belong to into my physical, personal, “real world” life. Therefore, I don’t think that the tools I use on the internet really affect the kind of communities I belong to. I have friends in the “real world” that also like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, so my participation in the fandom isn’t just online. 

Although, if I were into an even more obscure pastime or interest, I’m sure the internet would be the first place I would look to find people with similar tastes. The success of Meetup.com is a testament to the fact that humans crave social interaction, especially with others who enjoy the same things as them. And the more obscure or unusual the interest is, the more likely that people will bond over it. Meetup.com was founded so that groups that aren’t internally organized , or don’t know how or where to meet up with each other because they are less populous, can find each other through the power of the world wide web. 

So no, I wouldn’t say that the tools I use affect my social circles or communities I belong to. But they certainly have the capacity to. 

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Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” Chapter Six- by Amy Besser, Jessica Garcia, & Ciara Stone

In the sixth chapter of Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky describes the revolution in human behavior as related to the modern advantages of sharing information, creating like-minded groups, and achieving tasks that manage to fulfill the objectives of not just a “difference of degree” of accomplishment, but a “difference in kind”. Our group discovered a relevant practice of this revolution found in the way humans can now share written articles and academic sources.  Before the current movement of internet based sharing tools, in order to share something like newspaper clippings, the sender had to go through some involved lengths to share the  clipping with a number of people. Further, in order to create a mass awareness, those people had to go through the same involved lengths to send their content to another group of people to extend their audience. One of the first improvements of this process of sharing was through the emergence of e-mail. With email, articles can be sent nearly effortlessly and recipients can become senders with next-to-no effort.

In our group, our notes and works don’t have to be shared physically in person, with several different copies made for each group member; comments and edits don’t have to be scribbled down in paper notebooks. Instead, a collective, collaborative document made through a program, such as, Google Drive, can be viewed and even worked on by every team member, simultaneously.

As well, the cost of sharing or “aggregating information” as Shirky puts it has greatly diminished with these new tools available through the internet. Team Awesome-er’s entire project can be produced and completed online, if we so choose. We can create, edit, and revise our work without the use of paper, ink, or staples.
Another form of sharing is the forwarding of attachments in emails. One member can create a document, an image, a chart, a contact, an mp3, a video, a calendar and attach it to an email, in which this one email can be sent to numerous of people, allowing them to open the attachments. The recipients also have the power to send the email that they received with the attachment to numerous other people as well.
Another advancement in group sharing is the use of websites. Websites, such as, Wikipedia, can be created and detailed with information about one or several topics, linked to other websites, and made public for any internet user to view. Wikipedia also allows any internet user to make changes to the information, if necessary. The use of comments are very popular on websites. Any internet user or any internet user with a membership with the website can comment on the information provided, making suggestions and giving remarks.
Shirky’s chapter six, as well as other chapters, like chapters two and five, directly apply to our group project. We, as a group, share information through the utilization of google docs, chat sessions, and minutes.io. We also utilize e-mail as a form of backup, in case our information is jeopardized in any way.

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