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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cult of the Amateur

With all this talk of social media around, I just got around to reading Andrew Keen's early 2007 book: The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture. This book positions Web 2.0 from blogs to Facebook to the Wikipedia as dangerous developments that will ultimately degrade how knowledge is recorded and delivered, and put many people out of work along the way. Since most all of what we read today praises social media developments, this book adds a sobering contrary view that is worth understanding. I don't think that the internet will kill our culture, but it may change it, and not always for the better. This book makes an important argument. I suggest that if you are a promoter of social media, read this book. It shows what some of the negative consequences could be. Like any revealed technology we are likely to have to adapt to the consequences.

A bit ironically, Keen has an Amazon blog, where he frequently posts about the music business. The same blog looks like it's mirrored in his public blog: The Great Seduction. Looks like he has to use social media to get his arguments out there. It a great example of how blogging can be used to extend a books argument in time and space.

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