Thursday, November 06, 2008

Web 2.0 is bad

Love at first sight

Cultural chaos and moral decay are strong words to use about Web 2.0, but Andrew Keen isn’t afraid to use them. He dares to question, and so it was entertaining to listen to Andrew Keen’s critique of participatory media on the BBC last night (particularly because listeners' text messages and emails were woven into the programme format). Of course it was a bit of a rant, but we’ve come to expect that. Keen claims that the professional knowledge of experts is being eroded by self-publishing amateurs and citizen journalists. And he scoffs at bloggers! Ironic then that he publishes the text of his talk on his own blog. He also claims that new technology is ‘assaulting our economy’. His book ‘The Cult of the Amateur’ seems to be doing well at £7.94 a copy, and probably better as a result of free BBC publicity! But of course that assumes we were listening and not updating our Facebook or frittering away our time on YouTube. Is expertise and authority under question as a result of Web 2.0? That would be hard to prove, and if we really are moving dangerously towards a situation in which ‘all truth is personal and all knowledge is local’, could you really blame the technology or would you have to blame the producers and the consumers? Yes, all of us. If you believe this then you’d believe anything, wouldn’t you. Wouldn’t you?

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