Shirky – The rise of social awareness

My questions posed that the beginning of the week regarding Shirky’s book are still just that, questions. So far in the reading, Shirky does not really touch on why things are picked up by the masses, but more so on the how. Shirky does suggest that there has been a shift from filter-then-publish to publish-then-filter in the production of media. In this model the only measure of success is whether or not your content is filtered by the masses. The only argument pulled from this discussion is that filtering will happen, but not so much about why it will happen.

In chapter 8, you could suggest that Shirky’s answer would be along the lines of: the reason people care is because it has some connection to the viewer. In the instance of the Sidekick, many of those that become involved online either had a cell phone stolen or could relate to it based soley on the face that they even owned a cell phone and it could happen to them. But it can also be said that the reverse is not true; just because you have some connection to the story, post or movement does not mean you will become involved. So there must be some other factors at play here. I’m hoping that Shirky may comment on this further along in the book.

Regardless of the why, the theory I am most drawn to that Shirky poses is the increase in the speed of social awareness with the prevalence of online social tools. Does this speed of social awareness mean that we will have a more aware populous overall? I’m not really sure, but I think most proponents of a democracy would say this can only help the overall engagement of society.

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