For today’s final reaction of the semester I have read chapter nine of Clay Shirky’s book called Here come everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. Reading this chapter I found myself liking it more and more because it made me think about different social situations. In this chapter the author describes the reasoning behind how we always seem to know somebody somewhere and, how with so many people in this world it is still so small. Also, discussed is how social networking sites have only increased this likely hood of knowing more and more people. This quick description of course is putting bluntly.
The author first discusses how it is not the world being small that sets us up to run into someone it is how we increase our percentages. The author calls is “hemophily” which, is basically the situations that we put ourselves in that only a small percentage of people able to do (Shirky, 2008). For example, if you are a communication major in college taking a political communications course what is the likely hood you will be surrounded by people who are interested in politics? The answer is a very good chance. When you put yourself into a situation where a few people are able to do the same the likely hood of running into someone you know based on certain characteristics of the occurring event is very likely. This is also typical in business matters as well. Say you have a list of business contacts stretched far and wide and at a conference you run into to someone who knows someone now you have added another contact to your list (Shirky, 2008). This is probably the most common means of growing your contact list in business today. The author takes this concept to the next level.
The Internet, which gives us social networking sites like myspace, facebook has changed social introduction forever. You are now able to become friends with a group of people just for being friends with someone else. You can do all this without actually meeting the people. This is where I disagree with the author. The author describes how knowing this denser cluster of people is easier because there are fewer degrees of connections between everyone (Shirky, 2008). I see this as being more fragile and, much more costly in the long run. Lest say you get into a fight or disagreement with one of these people instead of losing one person you have now lost a whole group of people. Remember the group has not met you and there only opinion of you is based on the original contact member.
That was my only disagreement with the entire paper other then that it was a good read and had a lot of good points to it.
Shirky, Clay. (2008) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations (chapter 9). New York: Pe