Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Running on Love (ran out of coffee)

Clay Shirky (Twitter link).  What a name. Clay- of the earth.  Shirky- if you try to look up the name definition or origin, good luck.  The old Shirkys spread over the world and the name definition is different based on the region.  However, HouseOfNames.com states that it's Gaelic from Ireland spelled O' Searcaigh and means- wait for it... "loving."

If you are familar with Clay Shirky's work, you'd know how apropos his name is, just how well it suits him.  He's known for the statement "the Internet runs on Love" so recap- America runs on Dunkin, the Internet runs on Love... and I never run (unless Zombies are involved).  What does that mean- the Internet runs on Love?  Definitely not a "prop" to Internet dating.

First, Clay Shirky is a writer and consultant, interested in the social & economic effects of the 'net.  He went to school for theater at Yale and honestly, he did a lot of other stuff.  Interesting stuff, don't get me wrong.  However, you can get all that filler information elsewhere (Wiki), even check out his blog or view his TED talks.  My friend after doing all this stuff (he hasn't really stopped doing stuff either), he writes a book "Here comes everybody".  In the book, he describes how people collaborate online through four key steps:
  • me-first collaboration, ie I share a link or hashtags etc.
  • conversation, ie we come together to talk about #GOT (very important!)
  • collaboration, ie we in a group come together to solve a problem with division of work (as if a group of rebels came together to figure out the best way to kill Geoffrey [the character we love to hate] and assigned tasks to get the job done)
  • collective action, in which Shirky states this is mostly for the future with emphasis on the fate of group as a whole is important.
The nature of such collab is the basis for Shirky's catchphrase "the Internet runs on Love."  Heavily reminds me of Stella saying, "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers." Basically through these steps listed above, individuals accomplish tasks that institutions used to do, for example media companies that provide journalism are now being upended by every John Doe with smartphone.  Even some news providing institutions now rely on social media updates from sources "on the ground".

Do you think "the Internet runs on Love"? Do you rely on the kindness of strangers, online (used Wiki? How do you think the "mass amateurization" of news affects journalism? 

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