As an introduction to this season’s theme for Upgrade! New York, Clay Shirky discussed the concepts of forking and failure in the open source process, and its value to the context of activism and the creative process.
Clay Shirky is a writer, educator, and consultant on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He is an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU) in their graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches courses on the interrelationships of social and technological networks, particularly how they shape culture and vice-versa. He consults to a variety of organizations on network technologies, and is an acknowledged expert on collaboration tools, social networks, peer-to-peer sharing, collaborative filtering, and Open Source development. Clay has spoken and written extensively on the Internet since 1996, with regular columns in Business 2.0, FEED, OpenP2P.com and his own shirky.com blogsite. He has appeared in The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and others. In his new book, “Here Comes Everybody”, Clay explores how organizations and industries are being upended by open networks, collaboration, and user appropriation of content production and dissemination.