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  • Gregg Eldred - An Excellent Discussion of Changing Group Dynamics

    I am not one to read books on technology, strange as it may seem. Especially ones that talk about current issues as they will become dated in a few months, or less. However, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations, by Clay Shirky, works for me on several levels. You could read this book a year from now and still gain valuable insight into the blogging, Twitter, and social media arenas.

    Contents:
    Chapter 1: It Takes a Village to Find a Phone
    Chapter 2: Sharing Anchors Community
    Chapter 3: Everyone is a Media Outlet
    Chapter 4: Publish, Then Filter
    Chapter 5: Personal Motivation Meets Collaborative Production
    Chapter 6: Collective Action and Institutional Challenges
    Chapter 7: Faster and Faster
    Chapter 8: Solving Social Dilemmas
    Chapter 9: Fitting Our Tools to a Small World
    Chapter 10: Failure for Free
    Chapter 11: Promise, Tool, Bargain
    Epilogue
    Acknowledgements
    Bibliography
    Index
    About the Author

    The premise of the book is laid out in Chapter 1, where Shirky relates a 2006 story of a stolen Sidekick, a smartphone lost in a New York City cab. The owner offered a reward for its return, sent to the phone itself, but it was not answered. From there, a friend of the owner started a blog, relating his adventures in recovering the phone. From the blog, and the attention that it received, the owner was able to recover the phone. It was done through e-mails, pressure on the New York City police, and the networking between people that cared enough to create an issue of recovering the phone. Blogs, wikis, social networking sites, IRC, and Twitter are enabling people to create communities and organizations without formally meeting or requiring a bricks-and-mortar locations. Examples Shirky uses includes political activists in Belarus and Leipzig, East Germany, Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), and activists in Egypt. These examples, and others, show that Shirky may be right in his assessment that what we are seeing now in "Web 2.0" is as important as the invention of moveable type (the printing press) in 1439. It may be years before you will be able to confirm this, but you can tell that there is a shift happening, using the internet, that was previously impossible to surmount (geography, primarily, but also the connections that we all enjoy due to blogs, wikis, Twitter, and others).

    Here Comes Everybody is a very enjoyable book. For those people that need an introduction to the power of blogs, wikis, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other technologies, this book will serve you very well. While not an exhaustive expose on any of the technologies, Shirky explains the rise of them (including a little background on the founders) and how we have adapted them to our specific use. E-mail and text messaging allowed East Germans to help bring down the government in 1989. Twitter, seen as a micro-blogging platform, has been used by democracy advocates in Egypt to notify others of police actions and also to garner support for those jailed during protests. Wikis, especially, are given a high position in the book, as the standard of global collaborative thinking. Wikipedia's origins are shown, as well as why it works as well as it does. But those aren't the only items of interest. One of the more fascinating discussions concerns "fame" and participation. There is a marked imbalance in all of the tools he describes. Some people post more pictures to Flickr, write more blog posts, or use Twitter more extensively than others in the population. This leads to a measure of "fame" in the communities. This is called the "power-law distribution" and actually allows these technologies to flourish. It also allows the major contributors to enjoy a measure of "fame." Reading this, I finally understood why there are so many people that do not contribute to wikis, blogs, or on-line forums. But while those people may not contribute the majority of the work, they do contribute, and they care about the success of the wiki, blog, or forum (for example) as much as those that contribute the majority.

    There are lessons within this book for everyone that blogs, contributes to wikis, or tweets. Further, if you are working for a large organization, there is a clear understanding of how these technologies can leverage internal and external experts. It may help your organization to find better ideas from your employees, from sources that you never considered. One of the highlights for me was reading "For any given piece of software, the question 'Do the people who like it take care of each other?' turns out to be a better prediction of success than 'What's the business model?'" As I look at the particular area of technology that I inhabit, I would have to answer with a resounding "Yes" to that question. Which also explains why I think that it is doing so well and will continue to do well.

    Highly recommended.

  • Thomas D. Moran "Tom" - Well worth the money

    It is not the newest design but it works like a champ. What is especially neat is the optional keyboard is a battery, greatly extending the life of the tablet. You cannot get internet access by cell phone as an option and it needs Wifi.
    The only down side is that for some reason the browser doesn't like certain web pages like The Daily Beast and it will just shut itself down.
    And, strangely, the tablet is so thin it is hard to get a case for it. There is a specially designed case for use with the tablet and also the keyboard. It's worth the money.
    Given the reduced costs, it's a good buy but you should get the optional keyboard and case.

  • monster42 - Feels so good

    Not that all the reviews haven't already covered it, but it works and maintains.

    I highly recommend doing the diet with the program. You need the amount of protein it recommends, otherwise you will be too sore the following day to effectively do the workout. I treated it like it was a 3 month program I had to just do and it is still paying off over 6 months later. I was semi-in shape going into it, but needed to seriously tone. As a girl, I was 136lbs/size 8. I am now 123lbs/size 4. I have not continued the program as I feel it's good to mix it up and it's difficult to commit to exercise over an hour a day/6 days a week and have a social life. So now I'm in party mode, then will start back up in Feb for another 3 months. Currently, I simply run and do about 2-3 of the DVDs per week (legs, yoga, plyo)and I have been able to maintain this weight. Can't wait to see what kind of results I get from round 2. So yes, it's hard, but it's doable, and you will learn tips on eating that will help you continue to succeed without 'dieting'. I never felt like I was on a diet - if you like to cook, it's easy to figure out meals to bring flavor without all the calories and fat. You just need to plan your meals for the week, track each days total in advance and then stick to it. If you love grilling - that's my #1 solution to tasty food without the calories.

  • Misko - Amazing Chair

    I was looking for a well-padded, comfortable, armless chair that doesn't take up much space. This chair was perfect! I bought this chair to use during a 54 hour trivia contest where I would be sitting in front of a computer for the vast majority of the time. Not once during the 54 hours did I feel uncomfortable in this chair. I like this chair so much that I'm buying a second one right now for my home office.

  • Michelle Freno "MinM" - You'll love and hate Amy

    The best mystery I've read in a long time. There were many surprising plot twists, but all were plausible and well-done. But the most fascinating part of the boo in my mind is Flynn's dissection of popular concepts of long-term relationships. I don't want to include any spoilers, so I'll say no more. I like Natalie's review a lot, though, so if you haven't read this yet and want more detail, see: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show....