Remember those walls I built? Well baby, they’re tumbling down.

Clay Shirky begins his book “Here Comes Everybody” with the story about the stolen Sidekick because this event provides a comprehensible example of what it means to organize without traditional organizations. Mostly due to the result of the advent of the internet, the walls of hierarchical organizations are crumbling. In online organizations, we now hold equal power as other shareholders in the organization. We collaborate rather than answer to superiors. WE are superiors. In the story of the Stolen Sidekick, Evan not only gains the sympathy of everyone who has ever lost something, but nurtures resources, encourages expertise, and cultivates networks to achieve a grandiose task. The model of his organization is flat rather than triangular.

Shirky asserts that “when we change the way we communicate, we change society.” However, I have to disagree with this. Rather, I believe that the internet is merely a tool for society to do what it has always done; but faster and on a grander scale. The internet is not outside our society, but rather it magnifies it. Therefore, Shirky sub-heads his book title with “the Power of Organizing Without Organizations” because he is showing the change in the MANNER in which we organize, but not the fact that as humans we organize.  After all, socialization and organization have been some of our most natural instincts alongside reproduction and survival since the beginning of human history.


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