Formerly SpringBlog

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Organizing without Organizations

“This is not a religious endeavor or a moral endeavor…. [sic]this is a HUMANITY endeavor.”

Justice is the powerful motivator that helped Evan generates the involvement of others, leading to the recovery of Ivanna’s phone. The idea behind Shirky’s first chapter isn’t about just cell phones; the chapter is about organizing groups without actually being an organization. Social media is rapidly changing how people interact. Facebook, twitter, and other social media sites enable users to create their own groups or invitations bringing people with a common interest together. By logging into Facebook, I can join multiple groups or accept random invites to vote for this organization or attend this group’s fundraiser.

Some groups may be of a more serious tone, for example the 2011 Snowpocalypse Petition for Sensibility at Ball State University. The snowpocalypse group provided an outlet for the frustration many Ball State students felt about the snow storms and lack of cancellations by the university. Students were able to organize a petition or organize a group without actually having to form a formal organization.

Other groups may be more of a more humor based connotation, for example the National SlapAss Day that Ball State will host this year on April 7. Yet again Ball State students joined together to form an invite and a group page concerning the events of last year when a person riding a bicycle slapped the ass of several people. For more information regarding these events go to

Even more serious than a missing phone, is a missing person. Earlier this school year I received a Facebook invite to ANDREW COMPTON MISSING SINCE 10/28/10. I was immediately compelled to send the invite to my friends in the area around Andrew Compton’s last known location. I had never met this person, nor had I ever even heard of him before, yet I was moved by the message of this group. Not only do we as a society have Amber Alert systems to help us find missing children, we now have social media to help us locate missing persons. However, Andrew’s tale is not a happy one the webpage searching for him hoping for his return is now one of remembrance of the life he lived.

I am thankful for social media because of the advantage it can provide with locating stolen property or missing persons. Groups are being formed for various reasons every day, whether they are for humor or for a more serious purpose, I believe this new way of forming groups is important to our society. Though not all groups may be found interesting, I feel as though the real impact comes from those groups that provide a sense of belonging or purpose to individuals.

What is it about a sense of justice that makes groups of people want to join together? What social media groups do you participate in? How has social media and group formation effected your involvement with people?


  1. As someone who went to school with Andrew Compton it was nice, and even refreshing, to see the countless people who were apart of this Facebook group. Groups like these is part of the reason I find Facebook important for society. However, some groups seem pointless, immature, and even hurtful. I agree that the snowpocalypse page was a good way for students to vent their frustration without really jeopardizing anything, but seeing some of the comments made the entire group seem like a joke. I think the only way a group can be affective is if people are mature and thoughtful about what they post.

  2. I agree with you. I think being mature and having consideration for others as well as consideration for the group's goal is important. Some groups do seem pointless and can even be demeaning. In contrast though there are also groups who are respectful and have valuable goals they are working towards. Sometimes it's just difficult to weed through all the groups.