New rule: Books that are short on good ideas should only get short reviews. Keen's argument can essentially be boiled down to this: Web 2. Hacks are now cranking out "an endless digital forest of mediocrity;" "the professional is being replaced by the amateur You'd think that by positioning himself as the defender of high culture and cultural authority, Keen would uphold his end of the bargain. That is, you'd expect him to offer us a nuanced, carefully-crafted look at the uses and abuses of Web 2.
The Cult of the Amateur
The Cult of the Amateur — Andrew Keen
Bloggers are notoriously touchy so it's unlikely they'll respond with restraint to the comparison that opens Andrew Keen's polemic. Adapting the 'infinite monkey theorem', Keen, a British media commentator based in California, updates the typewriting primates to internet users. These 'monkeys' are not producing Shakespeare, they're deluging us with 'everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels'. It's not a fashionable statement in this super-connected Web 2.
YouTube if you want to ...
Amateur hour has arrived, and the audience is running the show. Our most valued cultural institutions, Keen warns—our professional newspapers, magazines, music, and movies—are being overtaken by an avalanche of amateur, user-generated free content. Advertising revenue is being siphoned off by free classified ads on sites like Craigslist; television networks are under attack from free user-generated programming on YouTube and the like; file-sharing and digital piracy have devastated the multibillion-dollar music business and threaten to undermine our movie industry. When anonymous bloggers and videographers, unconstrained by professional standards or editorial filters, can alter the public debate and manipulate public opinion, truth becomes a commodity to be bought, sold, packaged, and reinvented. The very anonymity that the Web 2.
Digital utopians have heralded the dawn of an era in which Web 2. Keen wanders off his subject in the later chapters of the book — to deliver some generic, moralistic rants against Internet evils like online gambling and online pornography — he writes with acuity and passion about the consequences of a world in which the lines between fact and opinion, informed expertise and amateurish speculation are willfully blurred. For one thing, Mr. And he cites a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting that hot lists on social networking Web sites are often shaped by a small number of users: that at Digg. Because Web 2.