Thoughts on “Here Comes Everybody”

I enjoyed this reading and thought Shirky presented some new concepts I’ve never thought about.

  1. Shirky and McGonigal ideas seem to intersect. McGonigal preaches that gamers are only interested in intrinsic rewards and to make the world a better place we need to be more like them and everyone should focus on intrinsic rewards. Our society and economy is based on extrinsic rewards. Shirky says that people need incentive to get them to do something. One of the few uncontentious tenets of economics is that people respond to incentives. If you give them more of a reason to do something, they will do more of it, and if you make it easier to do more of something they are already inclined to do, they will also do more of it.” (18) I’m curious as to what kinds of incentives Shirky is talking about, whether they’re intrinsic or extrinsic, or both. And if he thinks this will change with the technology.
  2. Shirky talks about how companies don’t have enough money to start campaigns as big as the example of photos for the Mermaid Parade. He says that unorganized groups are doing this on their own and are tagging photos in Flickr with the same tags which makes one really large group of photos. Since the users decide what to tag, what does this mean for the unorganized groups? Will hierarchical systems die out?
  3. I am a little unclear on user generated content. Shirky said that Stephen King writing a novel wouldn’t be user generated content not only because its just a file on his computer but also because he gets paid for novels. So if he posted a free book online to something like WordPress, would that then be user generated content? Or not, because he’s not an amateur? Also, is something as small as a Facebook status update considered user generated content?
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