Broad and sweeping, yet detailed and penetrating, Clay Shirky’s volume “Here Come’s Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” is a tour de force of how technology influences group activity and organisation. Shirky skillfully blended social sciences like psychology, sociology and anthropology with elements of the social web – mailing lists, forums, blogs, Youtube, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, Wikipedia and Twitter.
Weaving his words into an easily digestible narrative, Shirky isn’t afraid to borrow theories and concepts to back up his claims. A notable example is the Coasean Theory, which states that high transaction costs make hierarchical organisations more efficient than individuals striking agreements with each other. Shirky’s argument is that the lowering of coordination costs to practically zero through social tools like forums, emails, and blogs make it possible for new loosely structured groups to form outside traditional organisations. Hence the Coasean Floor of transactional costs are lowered, making it efficient and cost effective for such groups to form.