Here Comes Everybody: Chapter 3

Posted by tom | Apr 25, 2010

Cover of Carl Shirky. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. NY, NY: Penguin Press, 2008. Do you agree with the title of Chapter 3, Everyone is a Media Outlet?  The chapter abstract reads

Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression, and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media.  The result is the mass amateurization of efforts previously required for media professionals - Clay Shirky. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization. NY, NY: Penguin Press, 2008, p.55, original in italics.

Yes, I'm a media outlet, a representative of mass amateurization of efforts previously required for media professionals.  My high school newspaper staff experience has not been built upon with any accredited training/certification to become a skilled professional journalist.  A provocative benefit is that I'm neither confined by a narrow definition regarding news/media/journalism, potentially leaving me confused/blindsided by the rise of new forms of communication, nor sold on the defense of the profession caught in the midst of a societal exploration of new web platforms of gathering and communicating information ;-)  Groshlink, U-ConnectPGH, Emerging Scholars Blog, Facebook pages, and various other venues demonstrate my desire to find ways to get the word out* and walk alongside, while potentially being in the process of displacing, standard forms of media.**

A few quotes for your reflection: 

  • Two things are true about the remaking of the European intellectual landscape during the Protestant Reformation:  first, it was not caused by the invention of moveable type, and second, it was possible only after the invention of movable type, which aided the rapid dissemination of Martin Luther's complaints about the Catholic Church (the 95 Theses) and the spread of Bibles printed in local languages, among its other effect. ... social effects lag behind technological ones by decades, real revolutions don't involve an orderly transition from point A to point B.  Rather, they go from A through a long period of chaos and only then reach B.  In that chaotic period, the old systems get broken long before new ones become stable.  In the 1400s scribes existed side by side with publishes but no longer performed an irreplaceable service.  Despite the replacement of their core function, however, the scribes' sense of themselves as essential remained undiminished (p.67-8).
  • "Now that there is no limit to those who can commit acts of journalism, how should we alter journalistic privilege to fit that new reality?" ... Who is a professional photographer? ... What once was a chasm has not become a mere slope. ... An individual with a camera or a keyboard is now a non-profit of one, and self-publishing is now the normal case. (p.74)

Here Comes Everybody: Chapter 1
Here Comes Everybody: Chapter 2

*Only made possible by the assistance of a strong support team with shared vision/mission. 
**As you know, I enjoy the traditional forms of media and draw on them in my posts ... It's hard not to notice that I'm sharing an amateurish mix of quotes, notes, and comments on a traditional form of media (i.e., a book) which is seeking to explain where people like me come from ;-)
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