Why are some online organizing efforts more successful than others?

by Eszter Hargittai on June 23, 2008

Like Henry, I also participated in the TPM Cafés Book Club discussion of Clay Shirky‘s Here Comes Everybody last week. My contribution continues along the theme of some of the earlier posts concerning inequalities, but my particular focus is why some online organizing efforts are more successful than others and what factor the organizer’s resources play in all this.

In related news, Clay will be joining us as a guest here in a couple of weeks. This advance warning should give you enough time to go and read his book although it’s not a requirement for commenting on his posts.:)



Steve Laniel 06.23.08 at 9:33 pm

I love Shirky, but forgive me for being rather numb to “technology will revolutionize everything” claims. I reviewed Shirky’s book a while back. Shirky is a technologist, not a historian. He needs to step back and ask why some revolutions have not happened the way people thought they would. My short answer would be: because politics always trumps technology.

I’m curious if people here get anything good out of that review.


Seth Finkelstein 06.24.08 at 12:07 am

1. Readers might enjoy a column I wrote on this topic:

Great internet campaigns don’t guarantee success in politics

“Internet evangelism shares a marketing technique with sellers of quack medicine, in that the promoters are eager to emphasise any successes and ignore any failures.”

2) I also recommend Tom Slee’s review

“The questions then become ones of what kind of structures will form and persist in the online world, and if you are going to talk about these questions then you have to address the economics of the problem.”

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