Saturday, March 17, 2012

Assignment 2 - Parts 1 & 2

Clay Shirky on New Book “Here Comes Everybody” – Youtube video file
(Link to tags on Delicious -
(Link to Assignment Two Stack on Delicious -

Clay Shirky is a social media theorist and an associate teacher with Tisch School of the Arts in the Interactive Telecommunications Program. In this Youtube video, entitled “Clay Shirky on New Book “Here Comes Everybody” Shirky speaks about his newly released book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization. The presentation was hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School on February 28, 2008 

Shirky begins with the focus of his book, ‘multiple audiences’ setting the tone of the presentation and video. He discusses in depth the affects of the internet on society in relation to the forming of groups and group action; discussing the four patterns contributing towards group creation and action; sharing conversation, collaboration and collective action. Technology and the internet providing a set of tools that engages and enables individuals to create groups; communication within these groups becomes easier and more widespread as a direct result of the technology. Unlike Howard Rheingold in the video file, “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution” who focuses on how technology allows more free writing and “every desk top being a printing press”. (Rheingold, 2002, np) Shirky discusses the influence the internet has had on forming groups and how group action can than influence real-time reaction by coordinating what has now become known as flash or smart mobs. “Media becomes a place where groups can come together and achieve some sort of shared goal rather than just a source of information is ... observable now and is going to become widespread.” (Shirky, 2008, np) 

Another concept mentioned by Shirky and echoed by Rheingold is the power of the people when they speak about ‘technology and how technology has influenced free writing and group action. Shirky discusses the power of the people and how people / groups can alter how the market is looked at when they are brought together for a common goal whether it access to Anime or passing a bill of rights for air travellers. 
In 2008 smart mobs may have been in their infancy but Shirky was very astute when he predicted they would become widespread due to online technology and the ease of creating groups for collective action. 

Clay Shirky on New Book “Here Comes Everybody”. [Video file]. Retrieved from 

Rheingold, Howard. (2002). “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.” MIT World. [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies by Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold is a “writer, artist and designer, theorist and community builder” who specializes on virtual communities and the implications of modern communication mediums i.e. the internet. (TED, n.d.) This essay Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies is one of nine essays written by communication theorists for a book compiled by Joi Ito. (Link

Rheingold begins this essay by discussing the impact the web has had on human sociality by amplifying human connections with online social networks creating virtual communities, virtual communities with like-minded people from around the world. Introducing cyberculture studies as an academic discipline within a variety of fields like “sociologists, anthropologists, historians, psychologists, economists, programmers and political scientists.” (Rheingold, 2011, paragraph 4) As online usage increases patterns emerge, these patterns are studied and eventually influence software design.  “One particularly useful affordance of online sociality is that a great deal of public behavior is recorded and structured in a way that makes it suitable for systematic study.” (Rheingold, 2011, paragraph 5)

In Rheingold’s words the internet makes it possible for individuals to act together in new ways with people from around the world. As these individuals create and/or join virtual communities they influence the world around them with their collective actions. Rheingold also discusses the phenomena of online volunteering where individuals willingly answer each other’s questions, design software; participate online with blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, file sharing, and social networks without fiscal reward. The internet has made it easier for individuals to contribute, “While the old story[9] is that people are highly unlikely to cooperate with strangers to voluntarily create public goods, the new story seems to be that people will indeed create significant common value voluntarily”. (Rheingold, 2011, paragraph 7)

Participatory media has made it easier for people to contribute online as individuals or as a collective. Participatory media gains power from the value associated with the usage. In closing Rheingold states, “Such literacy can only make action possible, however−it is not in the technology, or even in the knowledge of how to use it, but in the ways people use knowledge and technology to create wealth, secure freedom, resist tyranny.” (Rheingold, 2011, paragraph 12)

Howard Rheingold Profile. TED: Ideas Worth Sharing. Retrieved from

Rheingold, H. (2011). Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies. In ITO, J.(Eds.), FREESOULS captured and released.  Retrieved from

Lawrence Lessig’s Blog

Keen's "The Cult of the Amateur": BRILLIANT!

Posted May 31, 2007

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law with the Harvard Law School. Lessig is highly regarded due to his work with copyright issues regarding electronic applications. Within this blog post Lessig reviews the book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture by Andrew Keen. (Link to Lessig’s blog post here

Essentially this blog post is about online copyright issues and a rebuttal towards Andrew Keen for his comments about Lessig in the book The Cult of the Amateur (Link to book here Keen is not a supporter of participatory literacy criticizing the accuracy and validity of online publishing by amateurs. “The lesson he [Keen] teaches is one we should all learn -- to read and think critically” (Lessig, 2007)

In the Extended Entry, Lessig addresses a few sections in the book where Keen attacks him, his views and role within the copyright and creative commons issues. Covering issues from piracy, to traditional meaning. One idea this book review does bring to the forefront of the online participatory literary is the importance of being critical of the information one reads. Rheingold’s interview with Adora Svitak echos this concept as she provides a few tips for children to determine the credibility of a website, “researching the authors is a good step”. (Rheingold & Svitak, 2010)

In closing Lessig supports online creativity and mentions, “What Keen misses is the value to a culture that comes from developing the capacity to create.” (Lessig, 2007)

Lessig, Lawrence. (2007, May 31). “Keen's "The Cult of the Amateur": BRILLIANT!.” [Blog post]. Retrieved from:

Rheingold, Howard. (2010)“Adora Svitak: A 12 Year Old on Digital Literacy." [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Part 2

I was impressed with a lot of the articles and video clips chosen especially The Grand Rapids LipDub ( reviewed by Glenn; it is an excellent example of collective action illustrating the power of the people when they have a common goal. James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing, the Harry Potter inspired ebook by George Norman Lippert reviewed by Hillary is very intriguing. I will be reading this ebook when I have some free reading time. Self publishing is a topic that interests me and in my cyber travels I found a website called Issuu – You Publish ( that enables people and publishers to produce ebooks.

Theresa’s review of Homeless Hotspots brought up the issue of ethics and the ethical use of online programs, mobile technology and social media. The ethics surrounding the internet and usage of mobile technology and social media is quite relevant as online communication increases globally. There is a mirage of opinions about the Homeless Hotspots project but the two primary positions are exploitation of the homeless or viable meaningful employment for homeless. 

The KONY 2012 video clip that went viral a few weeks ago was reviewed by Kim, Glenn and Liz. Kim brought up the idea that if something is well-designed and communicates a message we, the public are swayed; “Despite the fact I think as a public we are less naïve than perhaps a couple generations ago, we can still be swayed by a well-designed and communicated message.” (Denstedt, March 11, 2012) I think a correlation can be drawn between a well-designed website or podcast or magazine and physical beauty. We as a society are attracted to beauty regardless of the form. Raj Persaud wrote an article for the Financial Times that expresses society’s attraction to beauty and correlated it to intelligence and health. Basically we are attracted to beauty and well-designed visuals that communicate a message.  

Denstedt, K. (2012, March 11). Kony 2012 Second Text for Assignment 2 [Web log comment] Retrieved from (2012). Collaborators. Retrieved from 

On eve of James Potter sequel, Harry Potter fan fiction heats up: Unlikely author poised to keep the story alive. (2008, July 15). PR Web. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from

Persaud, R. (2005, April 30). Science rewrites the rules of attraction. Retrieved from

“The Grand Rapids LipDub.” (2011, May 26). YouTube:

No comments:

Post a Comment