Extra Credit

Clay Shirky: How Cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history


I must say to begin with Clay Shirky is one hell of a speaker and this is coming from someone that really isn’t that interested in the stuff he is talking about. Just from the beginning of his speech alone he has a tendency to capture your attention. In this speech he is talking in Washington DC. And is talking about the transformed media landscape which is basically anyone that has a message they are trying to get out there no matter where in the world it may be. He does a great job at telling stories to back up the point he is making which also makes it easier for someone like me to understand what he is talking about. In this speech Clay Shirky makes some pretty big claims but is able to back them up for instance he says at this moment in time is the largest increase in expressive capabilities in human history and backs it up with the history of media, the printing press, the two way communication – telephone, recorded media – movies, and finally media and landscape. Everything we grew up with and are used to. He begins to describe the different patterns in media and relates it all to the internet which he calls the motive carriage. The cool part about this speech was when he actually got into what the title of the speech was called How Cell Phones, Twitter, Facebook can make history. In may 0f 2008 a massive earthquake hit china and the earthquake was reported as it was happening. It was like it was all done in real time people were texting, twittering, facebooking, taking videos, ect. This is what the internet has done for us. He said that the BBC got there news of this quake from twitter before china released the information. He said even the government learned about the quake through there residents then in half a day there were relief funds set up all throughout the internet. This video was kind of confusing because I didnt understand much of what he was talking about but I understood enough to get it as a whole. I do agree with him also that Cell phones twitter and Facebook can make history and I believe that becuase of everything that we covered in this class during the semester. What technology is doing for people. How is helping or harming the good along with how its making history. I think it is good we have all this new technology.

Chris Anderson of WIRED on tech’s Long Trail.


Chris Anderson is the editor of WIRED magazine and in this talk he is discussing technology trends which is something that WIRED follows closely. He starts his talk by saying that he lives in the future which I find really cool, for someone that is involved in all digital things he has to be aware of everything that is happening or going to happen which is basically all that WIRED covers. He says there in the forecasting business with a concept in Wired Tech dealing with predictions and timing. I thought it was also pretty cool that he says that all the predictions made in the 1990s have come true today pertaining to technology. E-commerce, internet traffic, internet advertising, all of which came true but were all wrong in time. TIMING IS EVERYTHING. He shows a great example of WIRED’s forecasting of LINUX something I knew very little about but through the diagrams he showed helped me understand it better. The whole talk was kind of hard to understand and he lost me a few times with things he was talking about, mostly things that unless i have a background in technology I would never know what they are. But he begins to discuss trends in the United states and the forecasts that go along with them. He shows examples of the car industry and Hybrids. He then shows Skype and the there forecast which was pretty cool becuase I had no idea how many users they projected and had in the years it has been out. I think this article was interesting talking about forecasting and trends all of which they need to be aware of in the technology business but I feel that its something that is really hit or miss and just becuase there is a trend or you have forecasted it correctly doesnt mean it will be accurate or it will even be close. Its hard for me to understand forcasting technolgy becuase besides this class I havent had any other information about it before. I just liked how he ended his speech talking about how things are free. He says free is one of the most dramatic shifts in globilization and a huge econiomic tool. Free Communication he feels is the most important technolgy trends we are looking at today. I think this could have fit better in the end of Clay Shirky’s talk about text messaging, twitter and facebook making history. But it was a good way to end his speech.


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