Does social media simply amplify the way humans work anyway?

Hugh often cites Clay Shirky’s quote:

“So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this — the cost and difficulty of publishing absolutely anything, by anyone, into a global medium, just got a whole lot lower. And the effects of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast.”

I find this quote can be quite helpful in presenting Web 2.0 concepts to folks who aren’t quite as immersed in the fish bowl (as Mitch calls it) of social media. In some way, I hope it gives groups permission to blue sky about the possibilities being presented by Web 2.0 without getting bogged down in the intricacies of the technology itself.

Clay is releasing another book tomorrow called “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations”. Russell has a nice advance review here.

It is interesting to think about how the Internet is impacting our capacity to collaborate and create with others – both in terms of how things get done and what, exactly, are the things getting done. I recall a discussion with Chris Corrigan some time ago where he suggested that one of the things he loved about blogging is that it enabled him to build connections with other facilitators such that when they finally meet in-person as part of a hosting team, they can move into the core of their work together much more quickly.

I think that, in many ways, Web 2.0 simply amplifies they way we work and organize as humans anyway. It is actually a lot more natural than many skeptics would initially consider. Here’s a pic of a Facebook user’s friends network / social graph:


And here’s a picture of Halifax’s Farmers’ Market:


I think the similarities here are much more than simply visual.

Previously posted on

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