Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nov 24: Reading Reaction

According to the reading, Here Come Everybody..., Clay Shirky speaks about social networking and their inner workings. We are given a good amount of examples on how these networks, large and small, are maintained in today's world.

First, he goes into an example about an airliner and how the person sitting next to you might know the same exact person as you. But you may know the same person because you are both doing something similar, such as traveling to the same location. Shirky calls this Small World networking. Small World networking is at the heart of this article. Shirky states that Small World networking has two characteristics. One being it relates to small groups, the other pertaining to large groups. These groups are ultimately at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Small groups fall into the category to current online social networking sites, similar to Facebook and Myspace. Ultimately, in some way you know the people you are friends with and it allows the group, according to Shirky, to become even stronger. But, large groups would fall more into the category of Myspace’s music section. These artists have countless “friends,” yet it is hard to believe that with over 100,000 individuals they are as strong as a group of 50. “Large groups are sparsely connected” (pg. 215).

In an attempt to relate to a younger audience even more Shirky explains a new social networking tool called Dodgeball. It allows people to notify their friends where they are. It is somewhat like Twitter, but more phone based. Finally, I would have to agree with the Small World network. It really does matter how you interact in the world. I have met countless individuals and have fallen victim to stating what a small world, but it came down to doing something quite similar as the other person in a specific area.

Shirky, Clay. (2008) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Penguin.

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