The Cult of the Amateur: How Blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the Rest of Today's User-generated Media are Destroying Our Economy, Our Culture, and Our Values
Amateur hour has arrived, and the audience is running the show
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The cult of the amateur: how today's internet is killing our cultureUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Keen (founder, CEO, Audiocafe.com), a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and accomplished technology writer, has produced an extensive history and critique of the evolution of today's Internet, often called ... Read full review
I think Keen takes himself a bit too seriously. He makes some good points, but always in the negative, against the so-called "amateurs" who can post whatever they want on the Internet without having credentials. Yes, we know they do that; but we still have the discernment to reject what is not authentic and look for more authoritative sources.
Unlike a good reporter, which seems to be one of Keen's models, Keen does not give both sides of the story. He keeps harping only on how amateur postings have ruined culture. Rarely, if ever, does he point to anything good about this new style, with his Web 2.0 has permitted. Thus, he is not really reporting, but rather ranting against something he fears. In this, he violates his own precepts.
Also, it's not at all clear how identity theft, Internet pornography, and Internet gambling have to do with the cult of the amateur. Sure, these are bad things that need to be addressed, but the amateur is not responsible for these things. If anything, these are "pros" in their own fields, hackers, gambling impresarios, and pornography vendors.
Keen did not convince me that the cult of the amateur is a bad thing. He scared me with the ID theft chapter, but that's nothing new.
I think he's just picking a fight, and a I suppose, as he indicates, he's got it. He said some of his email correspondents have called him a "Luddite." I think he's just still learning. He notes at the end that this is his first book. Let's see what he comes up with next.