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Clay Shirky is a director at Socialbomb, a community platform that connects users’ mobile phones, Blu-ray players, and computers with other devices. He is also an American writer, consultant, and teacher on the social and economic effects of internet technologies.

Shirky’s consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client and server infrastructure that characterizes the web. His current clients include Nokia, GBN, Library of Congress, Highlands Forum, Markle Foundation, and BBC.

In addition to his consulting work, Shirky is an adjunct professor for the New York University's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology. His current course, Social Weather, enables its followers to examine the cues used to understand group dynamics in online spaces and the possible ways of improving user interaction by redesigning social software to better reflect the emergent properties of groups.

Shirky has written extensively about the internet since 1996. Over the years he has had regular columns in Business 2.0, FEED, OpenP2P.com, and ACM Net_Worker. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Release 1.0, Computerworld, and IEEE Computer. He has been interviewed by Slashdot, Red Herring, Media Life, and the Economist's Ebusiness Forum. He has written about biotechnology in his ‘After Darwin’ column in the FEED magazine and serves as a technical reviewer for O'Reilly's bioinformatics series.

Shirky frequently speaks on emerging technologies at a variety of forums and organizations, including PC Forum, Internet Society, Department of Defense, BBC, American Museum of the Moving Image, Highlands Forum, Economist Group, Storewidth, World Technology Network, and several O'Reilly conferences on peer-to-peer, open-source, and emerging technologies.

Shirky was the original professor of new media in the media studies department of Hunter College where he created the department's first undergraduate and graduate offerings in new media and helped design the current MFA in integrated media arts. Prior to his appointment at Hunter College, Shirky was the chief technology officer of Site Specific, a New York-based web media and design firm where he created the company's media tracking database and server log analysis software.

Shirky holds a bachelor’s degree in arts from Yale College.

Jobs (2)



Associate Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

2011 - Current   (almost 6 years)

Board & Advisor Roles (3)


Education (1)


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