17 May 2011

Here Comes Clay Shirky

Another post in my irregular "What I highlighted and why while reading Here Comes Everybody" series.
Whenever you improve a group's ability to communicate internally, you change the things it is capable of. What the group does with that power is a separate question.

Shirky, chapter 7, page 171
You can use Facebook to bully someone to the point she tries to kill herself - or to help support your revolution. YouTube can give us The Pink Glove Dance, or "fat people getting hurt" (I'm not even going to link, because it's offensive on many levels). Twitter can help people get news and find each other after a major natural disaster, or help fans of bubble gum pop attack one of the most exciting young artists in contemporary jazz.

They're just tools, just like a hammer can build a school or break a window, and just like fire can keep you warm or burn your house down. And there's no more sense in blaming the tools for their misuse than there is in blaming the car for a hit-and-run.

What new things are your members capable of, now that they can talk to each other without you? What are you doing to facilitate and be involved in those conversations? What is your association doing to direct that power to the good?

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