This is a highly interesting and excellent debate about Web 2.0 and the explosion of self published critics, musicians, and musers at large. More importantly it’s about the general public, as in US, being able to FIND these people and exchange thoughts and ideas with them.
Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture,” argues that the web is filled to the brim with useless noise, and says to let the professional critics disseminate our daily stockpile of news and entertainment. David Weinberger argues that within the noise and chaos of Web 2.0 there ARE talented individuals worth acknowledging, and while they may not be recognized in any field whatsoever – their information is as valuable as a newspaper critic.
Andrew Keen makes some excellent points, but I tend to side with Weinberger . Gen X and Y are savvy, smart, and know how to filter through the mountain of shit in order to find what they want online. And they know when crap is crap. No one is arguing Will Ferrell’s landlord video is anything close to with Citizen Kane. No one is suggesting that because a million videos of dancing hamster exist that we as a society are eschewing Shakespear. On the net there are consistent gems of logic, reason, and dissent worth reading. For example a favorite site of mine, The Consumerist, let’s customers put companies on trial for their misdoings. Like the local TV station’s “Troublefinder”, only EVERYONE can do it. I especially like Weinberger’s response to “Let the professionals guide us”
The mainstream media’s business model does not aim at nurturing talent. It aims at moving units. It therefore does exactly what you complain the Web does: It panders to the market. If you want to see the “democratization” of talent you fear, just look at a Top 40 chart…
It’s a lengthy exchange but worth a read. I copied the original article below as the link will expire shortly. p.s. Support net neutrality!
Wall Street Journal Article Below:
The Good, the Bad, And the ‘Web 2.0′
July 18, 2007
The explosion of blogs, social networks and video-sharing sites has allowed any Internet user to become a journalist or filmmaker or music star. But is this democratization of information — often called Web 2.0 — the future of the Internet or a looming disaster? The Wall Street Journal’s Jamin Brophy-Warren invited the authors of two recent high-profile books on the subject to debate. Andrew Keen, who wrote “The Cult of the Amateur,” argues the Web has become overwhelmed with useless noise. David Weinberger, author of “Everything is Miscellaneous,” argues that Web 2.0 tools let users filter out irrelevant (or inaccurate) information. A condensed version of their discussion, carried out over email, is below. (You can read the full text here.)
Andrew Keen is author of “The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture.” He is an Internet entrepreneur who founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and worked at several Silicon Valley start-ups. He is the founder and CEO of afterTV LLC, a consulting firm, and writes a blog here.
David Weinberger is author of “Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder” and co-author of “Cluetrain Manifesto.” He worked as a marketing consultant and executive at several tech companies, including Interleaf and Open Text. He is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center and writes blogs here and here.
Mr. Keen begins: So what, exactly, is Web 2.0? It is the radical democratization of media which is enabling anyone to publish anything on the Internet. Mainstream media’s traditional audience has become Web 2.0’s empowered author. Web 2.0 transforms all of us — from 90-year-old grandmothers to eight-year-old third graders — into digital writers, music artists, movie makers and journalists. Web 2.0 is YouTube, the blogosphere, Wikipedia, MySpace or Facebook. Web 2.0 is YOU! (Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2006).
What do you think? Has the Internet become overrun with useless noise? Or does Web 2.0 give citizens access to a depth of information never available before? Join the discussion.Is Web 2.0 a dream or a nightmare? Is it a remix of Disney’s “Cinderella” or of Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”? Have we — as empowered conversationalists in the global citizen media community — woken up with the golden slipper of our ugly sister (aka: mainstream media) on our dainty little foot? Or have we — as authors-formerly-know-as-the-audience — woken up as giant cockroaches doomed to eternally stare at our hideous selves in the mirror of Web 2.0?