Week 9 class notes: Self-Organization

Posted: November 6, 2014 in Class notes
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We spent class taking a close look at the readings – an exercise that, I heard on Twitter, some students found very helpful. Is that so? Please let me know how it worked for you.

Please try to remember:

  • the definition of self-organizing
  • classifications and patterns about online collective action
  • the organizing power of a hashtag
  • methods for studying online self-organizing using social media data
  • implications of self-organizing for shifting power relations in society

What are your specific takeaways from class?

  1. joygreenleaf says:

    Some of my takeaway:
    1.Social media enables people to self-organize into social activities without organizations
    2.We no longer have to ask for permission to take power – power is no longer controlled by large organization – we can take that power and makes changes.
    3.Power of hashtag – technology literacy should be incorporated into education
    4.Government and institutions will not easily give up power
    5.Due to the power shift, corporations can no longer take the traditional approach on handling negative comments – just delete them. They have to be more strategic.

  2. esidnam says:

    I also found the class setup helpful last week; I enjoyed going deeper into discussion about the readings. Also, one of my main takeaways from the class is the idea that a new medium can bring “changes in degree” that bring about “changes in kind” (a thought from the ‘Here Comes Everybody” reading). Our discussion about the shift in power relations facilitated by new media shows how important it is to take a step back and look at the bigger implications of new technology.

  3. DMCrim says:

    I really enjoyed the set up of this weeks class – it helped me understand the readings better! If I remember correctly, you mentioned we would be talking about the power of hashtags in a future class – I am very much looking forward to this! The power of hashtagvs is interesting to me. Also, my main take away from class was that our society is seeing a shift in “power” between organization and individuals in terms of online activism and that shift if greatly because of the internet, which has taken away previous barriers related to activism.

  4. One of the things that I came away from last week’s class with was a deeper understanding of how organizations and brands can make or break themselves on identifying, understanding, and managing the behaviors of “herds” of consumers on social media. Marketers and public relations specialists should take notes from meteorologists, as they need the ability to predict and forecast storms – tweetstorms.

    Also, the discussion about how Web 2.0 and social technologies have changed the way we organize and share information was eye-opening. We touched on a lot of very large concepts this week in a way that was helpful and educational.

  5. jaredmwright says:

    This week was my favorite topic so far. I especially liked the point about how the Internet and SM does not cause self-organization but rather removes barriers to it. People still need the will to organize and sustain a movement (very important), however now it is made easier. Geographic distance is no longer an issue. We can completely circumvent institutions. Even marginal issues and movements that would not have the resources to organize a sustained movement offline can now have a big impact and compete with powerful wealthy interests. This greatly alters elite’s ability to suppress dissent and control policy.

    Also, the life cycle of a hashtag and how this enables self-organization is super interesting conceptually and methodologically. This has been completely absent from the sociological lit I’ve read.