It’s not a revolution if nobody loses. – Clay Shirky
I just finished reading Clay Shirky’s masterpiece, Here Comes Everybody, and feel compelled to recommend that you read it. It’s thoughtful, insightful, and well-written. It also a “business” book that is so rich in detail and far-reaching in implication that you can’t easily reduce it’s thesis to a powerpointable sound-bite.
Although ostensibly about technology – “social media,” broadly speaking – the book’s focus falls less on the geeky details of wikis, blogs, and tweeting, than on the way these technologies facilitate the organization and actions of groups in an historically unprecedented, even revolutionary, manner. In the words of His Shirky-ness, “[W]e are living in the middle of a remarkable increase in our ability to share, to cooperate with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutions and organizations.”
If you feel like you or your business could benefit from greater participation in the social media revolution, or if you feel that these new, powerful, group-forming-and-coordinating tools pose an existential threat to your business or occupation (as the rise of the printing press did to medieval scribes), then you can’t afford not to read this highly readable book.