The cult of the amateur

Saturday morning, I've a burst of energy. Feeling that innovative ideas are filling my head. I did listen to some of the AlwaysOn session and liked what the speakers said. I've seen Andrew Keen on some webcasts before presenting argumentations that the web 2.0 is useless.

What should I think about such a statement? I wrote in Jaiku this morning:

Innovating Social Media in Finland means that you have to accept that basically no local market exists. You have to think and act globally!

By visualradio 2 minutes ago in Sotkamo, Finland. Add Comment Delete

Andrew Keen said, "I'm not saying all the content is bad, or that every single one of the 70 million bloggers are bad. There are bound to be a few literate ones." Of course he also dismissed the rest as "user-generated amateurism."

He has written a book "the cult of the amateur" and
Keen's larger point is not the rise of user-generated content, but the possibility it will overwhelm the kind of managed, edited, fact-checked and, dare I say, more reliable content that more traditional publishers provide.

The danger exists that the amateur will gain more power. It's like the clash between popular culture and the more classical one. Pop music and opera are two different domains. An Ingmar Bergman movie is different from a Hollywood action film.
  • Is web 2.0 killing our culture?
  • Is Twittering your ideas useless?
  • Jaiku's are worthless?
  • Blogging doesn't have a value

August 3, 2007

Web 2.0: 'Generally Worthless'
By David Needle

Reporter's Notebook PALO ALTO -- Talk about walking into the lion's den.

Controversial author Andrew Keen participated in a panel discussion before a roomful of Web entrepreneurs, executives and online media types in the wrap-up session of the AlwaysOn conference here. If that wasn't enough, a giant screen onstage projected bloggers' snide comments on the proceedings in real time. Keen, author of The Cult of The Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture, stuck to his guns in a spirited debate with the equally iconoclastic tech analyst George Gilder.

Keen didn't waste any time declaring most so-called Web 2.0 (define) content to be extremely poor and hard to monetize. "The vast majority of Web video is un-watchable, the content unreadable and generally worthless," said Keen.

But Gilder had his own point to make: "The vast majority of culture is worthless; what's new about that?" he asked, noting that there's still plenty of quality content to be found on the Web. While he praised Keen's book as having "a lot of truth" and worth reading, he said it's "a barren and limited vision of what the Net has to offer."

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