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September 07, 2008



Wow. I have noticed the buzz around for "Here Comes Everyone" but hadn't got the full Clay Shirky riff. That is really quantum leap stuff (not unlike "The Long Tail" first time. Thanks for sharing.


Now consider this from the perspective of the developing world and especially China/India. What happens when the majority of the population shifts from spending 24 hours a day just surviving to having spare cycles to do something else?

Jorge Carvalho

Hey Chris, great to see you writing again. I'm a fan of Clay, his book is really great. I particularly like his speech about Love & The Internet. http://tinyurl.com/553bav


I taught my 28 yr old and my 14 yr old how to use the phone to find info by insisting that when they wanted a new toy or video game or book that they call the store and get the info on it, price, availability, location of store, etc. They are quite capable on the phone, now. Then about a year ago my 9 yr old wanted a new Tamagotchi. She called me from her dad's. I said, "Call Walmart and find out if they have any and how much they are, then call Toys R Us and Target, then call me back." She calls me back a few minutes later and says, "I didn't know the phone number so I went online. They have them at Walmart for ?? (however much they were)" It's a whole new world for our little ones.


If you look at the time usage studies, television watching simply replaced spending time with one's friends. (I can get you a reference on this if you like). This substitution may have been a result of suburbanization which made it harder to socialize. You'll notice that the return of socialization via the internet is happening during an era of renewed appreciation of urban life.


Networked tools are allowing groups to form and collaborate without any of the traditional friction that comes from managing the efforts of multitudes.

Clay talks about what that means, and the consequences of that, here:


Chris Flanagan

In his book Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky wrote: “when we change the way we communicate, we change society.”

I’ve just written a profile about John Abele, retired founder of Boston Scientific and leader of the Grunion expedition - a global pursuit to find Abele’s father’s World War II submarine, lost at sea in the summer of 1942.


Abele’s quest for the Grunion is about the power of social networking and, to use Shirky’s terminology, “organizing without organizations.” It’s about what happens when serendipity intersects with technology and human intent.

I think you’ll enjoy the story - it’s both inspiring and demonstrative of the power of collective capability.


I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.




Clay always seems to amaze me. :)

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For those of you thinking that if they implement this it will eliminate some of the waiting and lines…
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Well, nice article buddy… Someone will love to read this infor if I tell her about this. For those of you thinking that if they implement this it will eliminate some of the waiting and lines…
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Wow, it was really a fantastic information on the weird things that happen when things suddenly become abundant.. Thank you so much for sharing such an interesting information with us..

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Hi. I agree in principal with your ideas at the same time I do believe if someone invents something before others.
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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!