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

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  6,890 ratings  ·  488 reviews
In "Here Comes Everbody, the author writes about the current social revolution where groups of people are coming together to share with one another, work together or take some kind of public action. The wirter gives his anaysis on what the social impact will be. ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 28th 2008 by Penguin Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  6,890 ratings  ·  488 reviews

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Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Why did you log in to GoodReads today? What is behind the explosion of Internet-based social networking in all its forms, from e-mail, to listservs, to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter? And more important: what does this new wave of truly participatory media bode for the future?

Clay Shirky takes on these big questions in Here Comes Everybody, and the result is an engaging, eye-opening book that draws upon social change theory, economics, and psychology. Shirky contends that the Internet, cell phones
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: united-states, 2009
If you're someone who wonders what those kids are up to these days, and you've heard of facebook but don't know what it does, and someone mentioned twitter to you once, but that pretty much escapes you - this is the book for you.

Needles to say, it was not the book for me.

Much of this book is spent describing various social networking / new media sites, and exploring their function as part of an altered vision of social organizing. The internet, runs Shirky's argument, allows users to cut out the
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, just-for-fun
This should be required reading for all librarians, if for nothing else than Chapter 3, in which he mentions how the people inside the institutions have the hardest time seeing how the institution is becoming obsolete. (yikes! but true!) AND Chapter 5 in which he explains how Wikipedia works. I also loved the later chapters on the importance of failures, and how institutions often have a hard time letting things go because they've already paid for them.

This "failure"concept first occurred to me
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading Morozov, I just can't take this seriously. Shirky sounds super enthusiastic about group forming, power of groups, yeey..
First anecdote with the lost phone makes a great point and then the book goes downhill.
Shirky is cyber-utopianism galore. I can't--
Josh Braun
May 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reprinted from my website:

Clay Shirky's new book, Here Comes Everybody is at once highly readable and a massive undertaking. He sets out to explain, as many recent authors have done, how new communication technologies and the people who use them are changing the world we live in. This is a task so large that, to my mind, no one's really done it successfully. But watching people try is always enlightening. In effect, reading through books on Internet and society is like watching a multitude of
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book starts with a story on how some guy retrieved his friend's stolen phone through the power of social media. A few pages later, Shirky speaks about "weblogs". And I thought I knew where this was going, and I was already pre-planning my "well, what do you expect from a book from 2008" review.
I was wrong. Move past the somewhat clickbaity beginning and you'll discover a thorough, well argumented, and accessible commentary of why social media isn't like traditional media, and a balanced, non
Jul 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This may be one of the best ethnographies of our time. Clay Shirky explores the ways in which technology has altered news consumption, social work, networking, self expression, and more. He argues that new media technologies are as revolutionary as the printing press and movable type once were.

Shirky takes examples from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Digg. Those tools are still the leaders in social media but he could just as easily have written this five years ago using Friendster, Yahoo Group
Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: english, non-fiction
This book unfolds and explains an interesting theory about the internet and how it changed modern communication, our day-to-day life and our thinking. I liked his description of the steps from the medieval scribers to Gutenberg's printing technique, from the telephone and the radio/TV to the first years of the Internet and then the generation of Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. It opened my eyes how much this revolution arose from economic (and time sparing) facts and rules and how professional wri ...more
Kimberly Lightle
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book really hit home in terms of the amazing changes that are occurring because of the read/write web and the digital tools that are available to everybody. Amazing cultural and social shifts are occurring. One of my favorite quotes from the book (and there are many) is - We're not dealing with information overload, that's been happening since the 1500s with the invention of the printing press, we're dealing with filter failure. ...more
Mike W
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Clay Shirky's book is enjoyable and worth reading, though the main point--that technological change has lowered communications costs tremendously, thereby also encouraging group formation--is obvious. The book is really a collection of anecdotes illustrating this central point. These anecdotes cover a wide range--from the creation of Wikipedia to a fashion obsessed blogger undermining a military coup to an online chat group for anorexics--and are generally interesting. ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I really ought to write a fairer review. Alas, time constraints mean that I never get around to it. I end up snarking or kvelling way more than a book deserves, and never correct my initial impressions with a systematic review. So, I'll be lazy again and simply paste a few things I wrote to my friend, Dwayne Monroe:

Breaking: Clay Shirky discovers the sun. News at 11!

Clay Shirky needs to stop drinking kool-aid laced sterno. In his book, Here Comes Everybody, he concludes with this amazing news!

Judyta Szaciłło
If you have spent the last 20 years of your life in blissful ignorance of what was happening around you, it may as well turn out to be a fascinating book for you. However, if you are capable of watching the world around you and making your own conclusions, I wouldn't bother in your place, and I feel sorry that I did. It was a waste of time as I have not learnt anything new. The narrative flows nicely enough, but there are far too many repetitions, too many occurrences of only slightly rephrased ...more
Patrick Brown
A life-changing book, comparable to The Omnivore's Dilemma in how it reshaped my thinking on a subject. Highly recommended for anyone interested in how the web is impacting social interaction. While Shirky can drift into techno-utopianism from time to time, he seems to always look at the world with fresh eyes. Unlike other writers on the subject, Shirky's prose is clear, and his examples are quite convincing. ...more
The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolution cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the existing society. p107

The tech revolution that CS documents here continues to disrupt not only the way business is done but the way we think about business. This includes not only our business relations but extends insidiously to all our relationships, including our intimate ones. CS seems to believe that this is the cutting edge of exciting developments foreshadowing a time w
Bernard O'Leary
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book that describes the exciting new text-messaging service called Twitter can only be described as quaint, but I see how it would have been revolutionary at the time of publication. Shirky understood the significance of online collaboration back then, at a time when everyone else thought MySpace was an amusing toy.

He also comes close to guessing, at various points, that these changes won't all necessarily be positive. For the most part, he sticks with the tech-utopian populist vision of a wo
Hezekiah Brown
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, rhetoric
This is a very good book to inform people about the way that the internet changes how people interact. It talks about how groups form, and the way that people have to interact differently thanks to the invention of social media.
Diego Leal
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some interesting stories but did not impress me much.
Jul 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: marketing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Here Comes Everybody opens with a story of the everyday: someone loses a phone. But it is not just a someone and it is not just an everyday. This person happens to have a friend who is a savvy programmer and the day is now, where millions of people are connected through various online networks. The phone is found and returned, but Clay Shirky’s point is made: communities are growing so you need to understand them and how they change things.

Each chapter of the book covers a different way online c
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This probably should not have been a book. It probably should have been an essay, in Wired magazine or maybe in The Atlantic. Shirky is a good writer, he writes clearly and entertainingly, but there just isn't enough substance in here to justify an almost 400 page book. There are a few [maybe two or 3] central ideas that are then expanded upon, examples are given, then more examples are given, and then finally padding is added.

I got the same kind of feeling reading this book as I do reading Mal
Jami Kumar
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I learned about a new application called dodgeball ( but it looks like the site is being shut down. Basically, the service allowed you to subscribe and then if you were out on the town and you posted your location, it would notify everyone affiliated with your account and any of your friends accounts if you were in the same vicinity. It included a pic of the person in the phone so you could essentially meet a friend of a friend out without being previously introduced. C ...more
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: nonfiction
Fantastic stuff. I'm already finding ways to use this (or at least have seen it) in so many places in my life. Those who are technological immigrants (Baby boomers, and early Gen-Xers) should read this to keep up on what is happening, and technological natives should read this to make sense of why the old way will be the ruin of some businesses (and non-profits, and political campaigns, and clubs, and...).

Of particular fascination to me was the way he talked about explicit and implicit promises
Tasha Christensen
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody" is an anecdote-rich look into the changing world of social media and digital collaboration. He uses examples as varied as one man's quest to bring a phone thief to justice to Thai censorship during a military coup.

Perhaps one of the most important things that I garnered from this book is the switch we are undergoing from a vertical hierarchy to something much more spread out and amorphous. Almost monthly a new website becomes popular that enables users to upl
John Gentry
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to read this book for one of my classes, Anthropology of Media and Culture. Perhaps this is what created my dislike of this book. The whole time reading I felt like it was all old news. I understand that Shirky is one of the foremost authorities when it comes to new types of media but I think his effort in creating this book was in vain. The events he references, the websites he talks about, etc. are all yesterdays news. This led the book to be dry and boring to me. I felt like the author ...more
Alexander Smith
Jun 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book argues through stories what people thought technology was going to do back in 2010, but it never exactly did. It utilizes a lot of really useful theories, but it takes a lot of liberties in interpreting them into a heuristic for how people use technology (or don't) often using anecdotal evidence in a really formulaic pattern:

(1) anecdote to support a future claim -> (2) social theory -> (3) unpacking of social theory in context of the anecdote, usually with extreme liberties -> (4) se
Mar 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Clay and Yochai Benkler have been the best recent chroniclers of how business is being changed by the new self-organizing capabilities of the Net.

Where Yochai's writing is pretty academic (sorry, Yochai), Clay's is crisp, accessible and full of nuggety goodness.

Clay's a great storyteller, and chooses his stories wisely to drive home the points of how much things have changed in a decade.
Kressel Housman
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this immediately after What Would Google Do?, and I liked it much better. With its stories about organizing class action suits over the Internet and the example of Wikipedia, a collaborative labor of love, the book was much more human and much more like the Internet I use. Also, this book introduced me to the "tragedy of the commons." Why didn't someone explain it so simply when I was hanging around the communists? (Oh, well. At sixteen, would I have listened?) ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it
This book's all about the rise of social tools (think twitter, facebook, meetup, etc) and how the lowered costs of social interactions have changed group dynamics. It's a great overview of the various movements and episodes they've inspired (who thought I'd look upon Twitter with such respect?) and of the role of technology in our lives. I thought it was well-written and a quick read, and it made me feel kinda cool again. You digg? ...more
This book is a nice counterwork to Andrew Keen's (rather infantile) "The Cult of the Amateur." I first saw Shirky speak in a TED video, only to discover he'd taken many of the ideas I'd worked with in my college thesis on Wikipedia and brought them to a more well composed fruition. A recommended work for anyone with optimism for the future of the internet as it pertains to knowledge and learning. ...more
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Watch Clay Shirky Speak on this book (42 min) 2 28 May 14, 2012 12:36PM  

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Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Current clients include Nokia, GBN, th ...more

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