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Higher Ed in the News

NYU's Clay Shirky says the Internet revolution has only just begun

June 14, 2010

Clay Shirky, a Web-culture guru who has become the Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program's star professor, seeks a feng shui for the Internet, encouraging programmers and Web designers to build online systems that will get visitors talking, sharing, and creating, rather than passively reading and watching.

Shirky argues that as websites become more social, they will threaten the existence of all kinds of businesses and organizations, which might find themselves unnecessary once people can organize on their own with free online tools.

In his latest book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, scheduled to appear from Penguin Press this month, Shirky urges companies and consumers to stop clinging to old models and embrace what he characterizes as, "As Much Chaos as We Can Stand" in adopting new Web technologies. He presses programmers and entrepreneurs to throw out old assumptions and try as many crazy, interactive Web toys as they can—to see what works.

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