Here Comes Everybody Book Summary By Clay Shirky

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Here Comes Everybody is a book about the rise of communication technologies and their effects on how we organize.

It explores how developments in technology have changed the way we communicate, and how this has led to a distinct shift in our social organization.

The book asserts that advances in communication technology – such as the Internet – has removed many of the traditional barriers which impacted our ability to reach one another, and subsequently facilitated collaboration on a much larger scale.

Costly expenses are gone, replaced with unprecedented levels of connectivity, leading to creativity and innovation that can span vast distances.

Essentially, Here Comes Everybody provides readers with an understanding of this new landscape so that they can learn to make use of it in both their professional and personal lives.

Here Comes Everybody Book

Book Name: Here Comes Everybody (The Power of Organizing without Organizations)

Author(s): Clay Shirky

Rating: 3.8/5

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

Categories: Marketing & Sales

Author Bio

Clay Shirky is a highly knowledgeable and respected figure in the world of understanding how the internet affects society.

He holds dual positions at New York University: Associate Professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches, and a professor in the Journalism Department.

His vast experience with technology has led to him being consulted by notable names such as Lego, Procter and Gamble and even the US Navy, while his writing about social implications of technology have been featured in renowned publications like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine.

How The Internet Changed How We Communicate And Organize: Exploring The Impact Of Technologies With “Here Comes Everybody”


The internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and coordinate with one another.

From relying on Wikipedia for information instead of physical encyclopedias, to following news stories online as opposed to buying a newspaper; the power of the modern internet is undeniable.

Here Comes Everybody dives deep into how technology platforms have shaped communication, organization and coordination in our world today.

For example, you will discover: how bloggers forced a Senate Majority Leader to resign his post; why someone with a PhD in photography might be just as qualified as someone with an iPhone camera; how one woman’s lost phone attracted the attention of 1 million people; and why those involved in large online social networks such as Facebook would struggle to find gratification only by socializing online.

Through this book, discover the powerful impact the internet has had on our everyday lives!

The Internet: Making Assembling Nationwide Networks Easier Than Ever Before

The internet has completely revolutionized how quickly and effectively we come together to form groups, as exemplified by the case of Ivanna and her lost phone.

In 2006, when Ivanna accidentally left her phone in a New York City cab, her friend Evan created a website as a way to spread awareness of the search for her phone.

To his surprise, the website went viral and within one day he had an impressive 10 emails flooding in per minute!

It wasn’t long before professional lawyers, police officers, online detectives and even major news outlets such as The New York Times and CNN got involved – all due to the power of the internet.

This type of assembly would have cost lots of money and taken plenty of red tape only 5 years prior.

Ten years ago it would have been completely impossible without digital communication tools!

The Internet Empowers Us To Share And Cooperate In New Ways

Sharing and cooperating are the two core team activities that have been hugely improved by digital platforms.

We can now access these group functions more easily and quickly than ever before.

For example, if you post photos onto a website like Flickr, you get to choose whether to make them public or private – with just one click, your work is available to over 87 million members, not only on the site itself but across the world wide web as well.

Years ago, if you wanted to show off your pictures on such a large scale, it would have taken so much time and money!

But sharing isn’t the only thing that we can do better online – cooperation is also easier than ever before.

To cooperate means to coordinate our actions and interpret verbal exchanges with someone else, either directly or remotely.

We’ve made huge strides ahead in this area thanks to digital platforms like email (we all know about “carbon copy”) and text messaging from groups.

Digital technology has made it possible for us to communicate efficiently with giant groups of people without needing to undergo physical presence in each of those individual places.

Without these advancements in technology, showing an audience of 87 million people our work would have been impossible a few decades ago!

How Digital Platforms Foster Effective Organization Through Spontaneous Division Of Labor And Sense Of Community

Effective Organization

Wikpedia is a great example of how digital platforms and technology can foster effective organization.

By assigning tasks to its volunteers in a spontaneous division of labor, no one needs to know the details of any page in order to contribute and make sure the page is up-to-date.

This cooperative process often enlists hundreds or even thousands of users actively monitoring the pages with inaccuracy being identified and corrected within seconds.

The most important part about what makes Wikipedia work – that keeps contributors returning and content growing – is passion and collaboration.

When people come together to share their knowledge on a subject they care about, it creates strong online communities like Wikipedia.

It also gives authors a sense of satisfaction knowing that their contribution mattered.

Moreover, since someone’s always watching out for false information, it doesn’t get added in the first place.

So, online communities like Wikipedia are definitely built on cooperation and love!

How Digital Platforms Eliminate Hierarchical Obstacles And Enable Seamless Coordination

Organizations, big and small alike, can reap the benefits of creating digital platforms rather than relying on traditional methods.

That’s because when it comes to coordinating an organization, there are far fewer managerial and cost obstacles through a digital platform than with non-digital platforms.

Take Microsoft for example; their massive workforce of 100,000 employees is just one example of how costly in both time and energy it is to manage a large-scale operation.

With employee payroll and communication between managers and staff needing to be budgeted for alongside office equipment like desks and chairs, it’s no wonder traditional methods don’t always get the job done efficiently.

On the other hand, thanks to new forms of communication made possible by modern digital platforms, organizations now have a much easier way to coordinate operations without spending nearly as much money or energy.

emails, text messages and even social media websites make communicating with groups large or small virtually instantenous – like when organizing the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade in New York!

Flickr users willingly upload photos tagged with “mermaid parade” which then builds the group up organically without any need for extra motivation.

The advantages are clear – those who embrace modern digital solutions have an incredible advantage when it comes to avoiding organizational obstacles!

Technology Enhances Our Desires To Connect Face-To-Face

Regardless of how advanced technologies become, they’ll never completely replace our desire to meet up with one another in person.

Technologies such as the telegraph and AT&T’s Picturephone intended to reduce the need to travel, while the internet offers video chat and online communities that give us a sense of connectedness.

Even still, we much prefer to travel and be in the presence of people who matter to us.

The website MeetUp is a clear example of this need for physical presence – it allows users to coordinate their location and interests so that they can subsequently join an in-person meeting group.

Its success within a year of its creation serves as evidence that even when multiple avenues for communication exist, we ultimately crave face-to-face interaction more than anything else.

At the end of the day, regardless of how powerful or advanced new technologies may be, they will never replace our innate craving for real connection with fellow humans.

How The Internet Creates Boundless Opportunities To Form Communities And Groups


With the internet, forming a group or organization no longer depends on sharing a physical location.

That’s because websites now serve as virtual communities and allow users to interact across all parts of the world.

You don’t have to be limited by your geographic area anymore – through online venues, even niche organizations can link up and reach like-minded people in far off places.

Take, for instance, Pagan organizations.

In an area with only one or two other Pagans around, it can be difficult to form an interesting group; but with the internet, you’re no longer restricted by such boundaries.

There are so many opportunities to get involved in Pagan groups both near and far that it makes it easier than ever for Pagans to find their tribe and support each other!

The internet opens up the potential for connecting people regardless of where they live.

As a result, even those interested in niche causes can flourish through the help of technology.

The Power Of Social Media: How Digital Platforms Revolutionize News And Information Sharing

The media industry has experienced the most drastic changes from digital platforms like social media sites.

We all know that activities like reading the newspaper or tuning into a radio broadcast are no longer our primary information sources, and it’s clear why: with digital platforms, anyone can now become a content creator – publishers, broadcasters, bloggers and more!

Not only are these digital outlets able to create newsworthy material in an interesting way, but they can also cover topics which traditional media has overlooked.

Take the case of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s comment in 2002; it was barely reported by traditional outlets as just another insignificant event.

However, many bloggers reported it on their own digital channels and over the course of a few days millions of readers had seen what Lott had said – leading eventually to his resignation weeks later.

This is just one example of how powerful digital tools can be when it comes to informing readers around the world.

As Amateur Publishers Proliferate, Professional Journalists And Photographers Are Losing Their Worth


The age of the internet has brought a wave of changes, with some industries more heavily impacted than others.

In media, photography and other communication-based fields, the line between professional and amateur is becoming increasingly blurred.

For journalism and photography, having access to the right tools was once a marker of an individual’s professionalism.

A journalist relied on newspapers and printing presses to get their message out there; same with a photographer relying on darkrooms or camera equipment.

Now, anyone can publish their work on the internet – therefore have access to a much larger earth-wide audience without even needing traditional equipment or any specialized knowledge.

An advertising company that needs a perfect photo for its campaign doesn’t have to care whether it came from an amateur or veteran – only which one fits best for their project.

Websites like iStockPhoto are just one example of the decreased importance of being professionally trained in certain industries today; anyone can upload photos to sell them for marketing uses knowing they won’t be at a disadvantage compared to experts in the field.

As this shift becomes more prevalent, many professionals are realizing their value has gone down while amateurs are gaining more ground with each passing day.

Wrap Up

The main takeaway of Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky is that the internet has drastically changed how people communicate and collaborate.

Communication and cooperation are now practically instantaneous, meaning it’s easier than ever to create and join huge groups, regardless of location.

However, it’s important to remember that digital tools shouldn’t replace the need for physical community.

The book encourages readers to keep up with new communication technologies, as this is a great way to get your message heard.

It also stresses the importance of investing in our physical communities and maintaining relationships in person, even if we have hundreds of friends online!

Here Comes Everybody will leave you with an appreciation for the power of digital communication — as well as an understanding of why sometimes there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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