Monday, June 18, 2007

Keen on Web 2.0

Interesting video of a presentation by Author Andrew Keen where he discusses his book "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture" as part of the Authors@Google series. This event took place June 5, 2007 at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

Keen is a fierce defender of traditional media, especially quality newspapers like the Guardian. I think he's right that a lot of blogs are boring and do not have the resources to do the kind of research that certain mainstream media can do with teams. I would argue that there is much too much drag-and-drop journalism in many so called quality media organisations in Europe and that the trend is growing. I am astonished at the inaccuracies and oversimplifications in subject areas that I know quite a lot about. Therefore I read articles about areas I don't know with a healthy dose of scepticism. I keep articles on subjects that interest me so I can read them again in a different context. I find that helps keep an overview - distance in this case is a very good thing. I read blogs on the premise that they are a great source of opinions. Only over time do I begin to trust a blog as a source of fact. Keen is right that schools (certainly in the Netherlands) are failing to teach the kids how to find information and judge its authenticity. We're becoming lazy, so that rather than type in the URL of a site, its easier just to put a few words into Google and get them to find the site.

Keen has some important concerns about privacy towards the end of the presentation. Worth the time to watch. Thanks to Upstream for the tip.
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