The book can be found on the Internet here.
Team Lessig Social Media advocates Swarmwise as a method to follow and experiment with.
What swarms are there for the campaign finance reform movement?
Introductory paragraphs (found on pages 13-17) in Swarmwise, based on the author's real life application of the swarm, say the following:
On June 7, 2009, the Swedish Pirate Party got 225,915 votes in the European elections, becoming the largest party in the most coveted subthirty demographic. Our campaign budget was fifty thousand euros. Our competitors had spent six million. We had spent less than 1 percent of their budget and still beat them, giving us a costefficiency advantage of over two orders of magnitude. This was entirely due to working swarmwise, and the methods can translate to almost any organized large-scale activity.This book is about that secret sauce.
A swarm organization is a decentralized, collaborative effort of volunteers that looks like a hierarchical, traditional organization from the outside. It is built by a small core of people that construct a scaffolding of go-to people, enabling a large number of volunteers to cooperate on a common goal in quantities of people not possible before the net was available.
Working with a swarm requires you to do a lot of things completely opposite from what you learn at an archetypal business school. You need to release the control of your brand and its messages. You need to delegate authority to the point where anybody can make almost any decision for the entire organization. You need to accept and embrace that people in the organization will do exactly as they please, and the only way to lead is to inspire them to want to go where you want the organization as a whole to go.
When I kick-started the swarm of the Swedish Pirate Party, I had posted a rough manifesto on a rather ugly website and mentioned the site just once in a chat channel of a file-sharing lobby. That was all the advertising that ever happened; the next day, the party had hundreds of activists. Timing, social context, and message are crucial – but if you have those three, your initial swarm will form like bees to honey in hours. Growing it and maintaining it will also be crucial, but those are the next challenges in line. We take one challenge at a time.
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Perhaps most significantly, focus in the swarm is always on what everybody can do, and never what people cannot or must do. Focus in the swarm is always on what everybody can do. This sets it completely apart from a traditional corporation or democratic institution, which focuses sharply on what people must do and what bounds and limits they are confined to. This difference is part of why a swarm can be so effective: everybody can find something he or she likes to do, all the time, off a suggested palette that furthers the swarm’s goals — and there is nobody there to tell people how things must or may not be done. Rather, people inspire one another. There are no report lines among activists. As everybody communicates with everybody else all the time, successful projects quickly create ripples to other parts of the swarm. Less successful ones cause the swarm to learn and move on, with no fingers pointed.To what extent can the campaign reform movement benefit from study of Swarmwise and from conscious efforts to apply its ideas. To what extent are there swarms being built, and at work? Which campaign finance reform organizations are exemplary in building a swarm?