From starting flash mobs to retrieving lost cell phones, the power of organization is limitless. With the technology revolution that has swept the globe recently, coupled with the integration of the internet, those that have harnessed this organizational power have been able to accomplish amazing things that would have been impossible just a short time ago. Those that have felt the wrath of these organized technology users have had a rude awakening to this fact, whether it is the corrupt Belarus post-USSR government or the head of Northwest Airlines. No one would be wise to take the power of organization lightly.

The most startling realization about this organizational revolution is that it can be accomplished without actual organizations. Individuals can carefully get the ball rolling and a few blogs, message boards, and text messages later a flash mob is marching in protest in front of a government building. Like minded individuals can now become like minded groups. Anyone who see’s an injustice arise can use these organizational tools to transform their individual desperate cry into a deafening roar of a mob.

Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations exemplifies the power of these organizational tools. Shirky uses a myriad of examples to explain these phenomena, pulling on several events in the world’s recent history to show these points. Technology now offers a way for voices to be heard and brought together, and gets results in the public sphere.

One of the first examples Shirky uses is the case of cell phone left in the back of a taxi cab in New York. Using a website and an online news site, the owner is able to stir up local interest by telling the story as well as divulging facts about the nonchalant attitude of the person that found the phone and refuses to give it back. What starts as a missing phone story turns into an investigative quest through use of Myspace, the NYPD, the military police and various other entities, all through use of the web. 10 years ago, this is not even possible. However, now the use of technology and its ability to organize individual’s efforts towards a goal has allowed situations like the missing cell phone to become feasible.

Throughout Here Comes Everybody, Shirky gives a plethora of examples of all kinds of varieties to prove his organizational points. There is seemingly a story for everyone, either one they can relate to or one that they have at least heard about. This helps to drive the nail home on his ideas on the many uses of organization in today’s society. Technological social organization has started movements across a wide span of topics, all using several different types of internet based tools. Some of these tools Shirky mentions are Twitter, Facebook, Mysapce, blogs, and message boards.

Through the first few chapters, one might get the feeling that Shirky is all over the place with his varying examples of organization. The topics change from chapter to chapter, each using a new example. However, after this sinks in it is clear that Shirky is using these wide ranging examples to prove just how global the uses of these organizational technologies can be, when used properly. Humans are social creatures by nature, and these communication tools that have arose brings out several traits displaying this, and sometimes leads to ideas the original creator had not intended.

Shirky also delves into the bumps in the road that certain social tools have run into. Certain groups have had to learn the hard way that with no regulations at all, projects can be derailed fairly quickly. From Amsterdam’s White Bicycle idea to Wikipedia, it has been proven that humans will exhibit bad behavior without some form of governance over the group. This fact is important to remember when attempting to start any type of socially motivated group.

Here Comes Everybody is a great tool in looking at the social revolution that has arisen with the growth of the internet, and provides a good insight into the how and why of this revolution. It also allows its reader to ponder “What happens next?” Shirky did a great job researching and writing this book, and the examples he provides explains his points that he is trying to make. This is a recommended read for anyone trying to harness the power of organization and wants to see where we are headed in the future using these tools.