Sunday, April 6, 2014

Article report: Clay Shirky, "Publish, then filter"

“Publish, then filter” chapter of Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations”, published by Penguin Books in 2008, talks about mass amateurization of informational channels and a changing capacity of new communications tools. Author describes the current process of media liberation from economic constraints. The cost consideration earlier forced publishers or other content producers to select and filter between good and mediocre works before publication. Now this system, due to social media proliferation, has to mostly work through “publish-then-filter” algorithm.(98) Expensive and intricate techniques of direct mails and bulk advertisement, that looked personalised, now look old fashioned at the very least since any blog can turn from a diary for friends into a media outlet, broadcasting for millions and everyone, by the similar and very distinctive Sharky’s analogy of previous years’ technology, phone, that could turn into a radio station at the turn of a knob. (89)     
The main thesis of this chapter, and this seems can be expanded on the whole book as well, is the notion that user-generated content, that now is being produced with such re-creative tools as Flickr, Wikipedia, weblogs, allows the owners of computers to distribute their creations to others (83). These conversations that now go in a much smaller groups, use the same medium that professional broadcast and mass media outlets and have big potentials. Potentials because of the possible interaction of the public about user-generated content or questions or asking for advice that may provoke walkie-talkie within certain community (100). Author suggests that  
by providing an opportunity for the visible display of expertise or talent, the public asking of questions creates a motivation to answer in public as well, and that answer, once perfected, persists even if both the original asker and the answerer lose interest (101).
Recruiting everybody to join such communities Shirky affirms that
community of practice are inherently cooperative, and are beautifully supported by social tools, because that is exactly the kind of community whose members can recruit one another or allow themselves to be found by interested searchers. They can thrive and even grow to enormous size without advertising their existence in public (101).

Clay Shirky is an author and educator on the social and economic effects of the web. He has a joint appointment at New York University. His columns and writings have appeared in Business 2.0, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Wired. He is a member of the Wikimedia Foundation's Advisory Board that advises the Board of Trustees and gives help in the areas of law, organizational development, technology, policy, and outreach. He has given many talks about his book and it’s available around the web including the website of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. In the video below Shirky spoke about his book at the World Bank in May 2008.

Clay Shirky. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from
Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody : the power of organizing without organizations. New York: Penguin Books.

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