Friday, January 8, 2010

Shirky, Chapter 1

Shirky describes how the story of a lost cell phone in a taxi can be used to explain the changing scope of how society and collective action are changing. Ivanna lost her phone on a taxi and Sasha ended up getting it. Ivanna attempted to get the phone back, but she was unable to convince Sasha to return her phone. The pattern of events in which the phone was returned is a very interesting story. You'll have to read the chapter to know exactly what they are. However, the use of online community and the ease of group formation over the past several years has created an environment highly conducive to forming groups and acheiving desired social outcomes. Ivanna was able to use the help of friends and millions of online supporters to get the phone back from Sasha. The lost phone was a rather small thing, but it demonstrates the power of online culture and the power groups have when they are acting collectively together.

We also spent time in class discussing a review for the quiz:

Sociological imagination Descriptive research Research process Operationalization Primary group Group Secondary group Ethnography


1. Don't forget to do the quiz this weekend, it's on blackboard.
2. Vote for the clip of the day for Tuesday.


  1. Hey
    Brandon-- how did you chose that image? It is interesting, but especially because those images of usenet were made by Marc Smith and company. just curious.

  2. I did a Google image search for "collective action," which I thought was the major topic for Shirky 1. It was on page 3. Here's the link:

  3. There are so many ways that this cell phone could have been retrieved. In today's society technology has become so wide spread that communication get better and better each day. As there are these social network sites facebook, twitter, myspace etc. If it wasn't for these websites in this example this cell phone wouldn't have been found. This is an good example though of how things have changed socially and so widespread in our society today.