Andrew Keen is not invited

While reading the debate on Web 2.0 between Andrew Keen and David Weindberger I became quite emotional.  I wanted to reach through the screen to shake some sense into Keen, I almost yelled at my computer, and I definitely shook my head at every Keen response.  I couldn’t help but see how my previous blog “power to the people” was reiterating his points albeit from the opposing point of view.  I maintain the opinion that the internet and the communication that it allows between people offers individuals and society a greater benefit than the previous model that restricted widely accessible information to “gate keepers”.

Keen believes that allowing anyone to comment on published information is a negative.  It allows anonymous users to post negative comments and clutter.  Don’t opposing viewpoints spur conversation that has the potential to lead to a greater understanding of the subject?  He states “the culture business is ugly.  It rewards talent and punishes those that don’t have it”.  He must be referring to Kim Kardashian.  Keen points to the fact that Gore and Reagan having the top two non fiction books on NY Times Best Seller list disproves opinions of the media being a left/right wing racket.  How can two books on a list even speak to that?  It would seem that the country is almost split 50/50 on their political affiliations.  Wouldn’t it also be reasonable to assume that both viewpoints be on the list?

My biggest problem was when Keen was referring to the top 6 blogs (I’m still shaking my head).  Does he honestly think that the same person that read the autobiography on Einstein couldn’t be the same person reading about their iPhone on a blog?  Given that technology is such a big part of our lives, wouldn’t an “intelligent” person also want to read about the products that are coming out, not just technology geeks?  He alludes to wanting his kids to read books from the non fiction list over blogs about how to kiss.  Isn’t having the option to read both non fiction and articles on miscellaneous knowledge better than only having the option to read one of them?  Andrew Keen argues for the old way we received our information because he was on the inside looking out.  Now he must produce a quality product that the masses want to read and he is unhappy about it.  I can only hope he has a social network where he can find like minded individuals to talk about the good old days.

 

 

Posted on September 21, 2014, in Social Media, Society and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Excellent response here. I’d like a bit more about what you took from Weinberger’s points too though. Did his counters to Keen calm you down at all? 🙂
    Speaking of anonymity, this piece from earlier in the year makes a nice argument for pseudonyms: http://www.wired.com/2014/04/why-we-need-online-alter-egos-now-more-than-ever/

    • Weinberger did calm me down in between my head shaking sessions. I liked that he offered possibilities and an open mind versus the “my way is the right way” approach that Keen took. I read the Wired article and it makes a valid point. Being able to comment on an article, especially a controversial one, would receive the truest representation of viewpoints if the authors knew they wouldn’t be judged and criticized in their personal and professional lives.

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