CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World

Watson tries to distribute the future evenly
Tom Watson closes his title “CauseWired” with a quote from novelist William Gibson: “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.” It seems, once you are done with the book, that Watson is determined to more evenly distribute the future by trying to dissect it for the benefit of the readers.

The advent of Facebook Causes, Kiva, Change.org and Social Actions is only the tip of the iceberg. Yet, Watson is well aware that the new social web (i.e., Web 2.0) is a means to an end; he says: “… after all the clicking, emailing, viewing and posting, people need to get up from their chairs and step outside.” He acknowledges the importance of having new media become an enabler of social change offline: whether you give five dollars, make phone calls or host an event…

The book is thought-provoking and stimulating while keeping things real and keeping the hype aside. It is not only a must-read for all nonprofits evaluating social media (a way to say, evaluating staying current) but also for anyone wanting to understand how new media are affecting the way we affect social change.

Clay Shirky captures the essence beyond the hype

Reading “Here Comes Everybody” by Clay Shirky is a reaffirmation of the brilliant thoughts he shares during his keynotes all over the place.

This book is not about specific technologies, though you will find many enabling platforms mentioned and exemplified. Neither does it offer a framework for businesses and individuals to follow, to embrace Web 2.0 and the new social internet, though his chapter titled “Promise, Tool, Bargain” comes close to offering a roadmap for the times ahead.

In “Here Comes Everybody” the essence beyond the hype, the fundamentals that make this technological revolution we’re in the middle of a turning point in history. I highly recommend it.