Friday, June 3, 2011

Wikipedia & Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody"

I was also very interested in Shirky’s discussion about Wikipedia in his text, "Here Comes Everybody," stating that it is a self-sustaining machine. No one is getting paid to do the work, so no one is concerned about how much work is being done by other people, “[s] ince no one is being paid, the energetic and occasional contributors happily coexist in the same ecosystem” (121).
I find this notion of work and “happy collaboration” to be somewhat similar to the structure of the cyber school where I teach. Many of the subject area experts and other project managers happily fill random duties and other obligations with very little direction or without being assigned to do so.
Essentially, at my school many of the employees are given the freedom to work on what they please, with some minimum requirements. This model works great in many ways, and it’s funny how the people I work with fully function to their own regard. It’s like a self-sustaining machine, and people come up with new ideas, groups, projects, work, and other functions without any direction whatsoever.
On the other hand, there are many areas that are inefficiently run due to this open structure. I liken it to the way Shirky describes Wikipedia that it, ” …involves being effective without worrying about being efficient” (120).