Who is Clay Shirky?

For coworkers (you know who you are…):

Jeff Atwood says, It’s Clay Shirky’s Internet, We Just Live In It

Hugh Macleod says there is only Clay Shirky’s Law: Equality. Fairness. Opportunity. Pick Two.

Ted: Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. collaboration:

Clay Shirky is author of the recent “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” (on my must-read list), and from his bio:

Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Current clients include Nokia, GBN, the Library of Congress, the Highlands Forum, the Markle Foundation, and the BBC.

In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Shirky is an adjunct professor in NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology — how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. His current course, Social Weather, examines the cues we use to understand group dynamics in online spaces and the possible ways of improving user interaction by redesigning our social software to better reflect the emergent properties of groups.

Mr. Shirky has written extensively about the internet since 1996. Over the years, he has had regular columns in Business 2.0, FEED, OpenP2P.com and ACM Net_Worker, and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, Wired, Release 1.0, Computerworld, and IEEE Computer. He has been interviewed by Slashdot, Red Herring, Media Life, and the Economist’s Ebusiness Forum. He has written about biotechnology in his “After Darwin” column in FEED magazine, and serves as a technical reviewer for O’Reilly’s bioinformatics series. He helps program the “Biological Models of Computation” track for O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology conferences.

Among his must read essays for anyone developing a social app of any kind:

A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Power Laws, Weblogs, , and Inequality

Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing

Communities, Audiences, and Scale

Shirky, to me, is noteworthy for his balanced views on the Web and its applications to and effects from society.

Far more here.

YouTube: Clay Shirky on Love, Internet Style: