A Reflection to: Shirky’s “Organizing Without Organizations”


Shirky opens up his book with this “saga of the lost phone” to make an example out of how we, as humans, get tasks done in this day and age. The blatant point made is that things have changed. Shirky states that as sociable beings, we are able to complete a lot more and do so a lot more effectively because we—as a countless number of people—work together, instead of as our own separate individual. And because things have changed, technology has allowed us to simplify the means by which we organize to tackle a certain task.

With Shirky’s “StolenSidekick” example, we see that the more people who rally in effort to accomplish something…are the more people who rally to accomplish something. The actions of Evan, Ivanna, and Sasha are the catalysts for this social explosion and audience phenomenon: the availability of Evan’s social network (already equipped with a readership to boot) allowed him to open his own space of internet forum and gather forth a group of people who supported his cause. Thus, with the number of his internet supporters growing from the thousands to the millions, it was obvious that somewhere along the way, the ones who stopped him from achieving his end goal would naturally become the minority. As society has taught us, the minority opinion must eventually succumb to that of the majority or become the majority itself.

If we, as a group of people, all work toward one goal the probability of reaching said goal becomes that much more attainable. Evan’s internet force is a prime example of how social networking has changed the way we organize ourselves into a larger, majority group. With the help of the internet, we can easily reach a wider audience and pull them over to our side.


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