In which Clay Shirky does the work for me

I thought a good place to start in my research collecting would be with the sites Clay Shirky finds interesting and the research, ideas, etc. he compiles online. One could say Clay Shirky is curating thoughts about society’s collaborative use of the internet. And he’s got quite a few resources for me. Thanks, Mr. Shirky.

This is his personal site: http://www.shirky.com/
It basically just links to a handful of the better sites on internet research.

This is his blog: http://www.shirky.com/weblog/
The blog holds a lot more. It is largely his own thoughts and not organized by anything but time, so it will take some serious wading through to be helpful.

The best site from him I’ve found is his writings from 1993-2006: http://www.shirky.com/writings/
All the titles are visible and I can assess whether they are useful based on the categories they’re separated into. Since most of them are from the 1990s, it’s definitely most useful for a look at how these concepts of organizing began to take shape and were thought about.

Within that site, I found these articles to kick-start my thought-collecting.

The Internet and the Size of Government
This article interested me because it looks at some early (1999) differences in governmental functioning within the new confines of the internet.

Social Software and the Politics of Groups
Again this informs my reading from the historical sense. It describes using social software for communication within groups and goes into how it’s different without the constrains of sound or space and sometimes even time (e-mail).

Kasparov vs. the World
This is the first and only apparent article on the site discussing an Internet protest. I wonder if it might be one of the first web-based protests. It’s about a chess game, interestingly enough. This line struck me:

Since online communities and online media outlets use the same tools — web sites, mailing lists, BBS’s — the border between “community interest” and “news” is far easier to cross.

Thus far, these sites are only Shirky curating his own works. I’m disappointed not to find a stream of sources he finds useful. Perhaps I’ll find that in delving deeper into his blog.

But one more slightly related sort-of curation I’ll include is Ted.com.

Shirky made somewhat of a name for himself through talks he gives there (I think he’s given four total). He discusses how collaboration through new technologies has potential to create social change for the good. His profile page collects info on him, but Ted itself categorizes speakers based on “The Rise of Collaboration.” Within that are many speeches, these are the ones that I digested so far:

Clay Shirky on “How cognitive surplus will change the world”
His basic theory is that the time and brain power people had after they’d finished their tasks for the day used to be spent on the couch and can now be spent on the internet collaborating with others to create.

Luis von Ahn on “Massive-scale online collaboration”
He realized (after inventing it) that Captcha means we’re all spending a whole lot of time entering words for no reason. So he invented a new version that will benefit society through, you guessed it, our collaboration.

And finally, I realized the best curation Shirky does of things he finds interesting is through his Twitter handle. SO. I will now be following that: https://twitter.com/#!/cshirky

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