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Power: shared, shift…organicoautorganize

SHIRKY, Clay. (2008 ) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations. New York: The Penguin Press.

Capítulo 1: It takes a village to find a phone

“When we change the way we communicate, we change society. The tools that a society uses to create and maintain itself are as central to human life as a hive is to bee life. (…) So it is with human networks; bees make hives, we make mobile phones”.(17)

“Here’s where our native talent for group action meets our new tools. Tools that provide simple ways of creating groups lead to new groups, lots of new groups, and not just more groups but more kind of groups. (…) These communication tools have been griven many names, all variations on a theme: ‘social software’, ‘social media’, ‘social computing’, and so on. Though there are some distinctions between these labels, the core idea is the same: we 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. (…) By making it easier for groups to self-assemble and for individuals to contribute to group effort without requiring formal management ( and its attendant overhead), these tools have radically altered the old limits on the size, sophistication, and scope of unsupervised effort (…)” (20-21).

The tectonic shift

” For most of modern life, our strong talents and desires for group effort have been filtered through relatively rigid institutional structures because of the complexity of manging groups.” (21)

“Group action gives human society its particular character, and anything that changes the way groups get things done will affect society as a whole. This change will not be limited to any particular set of institutions or functions.” (23)

Capítulo 2: Sharing anchors community

“Sociology is not just psychology applied to groups; individuals in group settings exhibit behaviors that no one could predict by studing single minds. (…) As a group grow, it becomes impossible for everyone to interact directly with everyone else. ” (28 ).

” We use the word ‘organization’ to mean both the state of being organized and the groups that do the organizing. (…) We use one word for both because, at certain scale, we haven’t been able to get organization without organizations; the former seems to imply the latter. The typical is hierarchical, with workes answering to a manager, an that manager answering to a still-higer manager, and so on. The values of such hierarchies is obvious – it vastly simplifies communication among the employees. New employees need only one connection, to their boss, to get started. That’s much simpler than trying to have everyone talk to everyone”.(29)

“The basic capabilities of tools like Flickr reverse the old order of group activity, transforming ‘gather, then share’ into ‘share, then gather’.(35)

“Our basic human desires and talents for group effort are stymied by teh complexities of group action at every turn. Coordination, organization, even communication in groups is hard and gets harder as the group grows. That difficulty means that whatever methods help coordinate group action, like calling each group member in turn or setting up a phone tree, bus most of these methods don’t work well even for dozen of people, much less for thousands.” (45)

“Social tools provide a third alternative: action by loosely structured groups, operating without managerial direction and outside the profit motive”. (47).

“Our electronic networks are enabling novel forms of collective action, enabling the creation of collaborative groups that are larger and more distributed than at any other time in history. The scope of work that can be done by noninstitutional groups is a profound challenge to the status quo.” (48 )

“(…) the new easy to assemble”. (48 )

“Sharing creates the fewest demands on the participants. (…) Knowingly sharing your work with others is the simplest way to take advantage of the new social tools. (…) Cooperation is the next rung on the ladder. Cooperating is harder than simply sharing, because it involves changing your behavior to synchronize with people who are changing their behavior to synchronize with you. Unlike sharing, Where the group is mainly an aggregate of participants, cooperating creates group identity – you know who you are cooperating with. One simple form of cooperation, almost universal with social tools, is conversation; (…) Sometimes the conversation is with words, as with e-mail, IM, or text messaging, and sometimes it is with other media: YouTube, the video sharing site, allows users to port new videos in response to videos they’ve seen on the site. Conversation creates more of a sense of community than sharing does, but it also introduces new problems.

Collaborative production is a more involved form of cooperation, as it increases the tension between individual and group goals. The litmus test for collaborative production is simple: no one person can take credit for what gets created, and the project could not come into being without the participation of many. Structurally, the biggest difference between information sharing and collaborative production is that in collaborative production at least some collective decisions have to be made.” (49-50).

“Collaborative production can be valuable, but it is harder do get right than sharing, because anything that has to be negotiated about, like a Wikipedia article, takes more energy than things that can just be accreted, like a group of Flickr photos. (…) Collective action, the third rung, is the hardest kind of group effort, as it requires a group of people to commit themselves to undertaking a particular effort together, and to do so in a way that makes the decision of the group binding on the individual members. All group structures create dilemmas, but these dilemmas are hardest when it comes to collective action, because the cohesion of the group becomes critical to its success. Information sharing produces shared awareness among the participants, and collaborative production relies on shared creation, but collective action creates shared responsibility, by tying the user’s identity to the identity of the group.” (51)

“The commonest collective action problem is described as the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ biologist Garret Hardin’s phrase for situations wherein individuals have an incentive to damage the collective good.

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