I hinted before that I have my doubts about the effectiveness of social media and wonder if it is all that revolutionary. I also harbor secret doubts (not so secret now!) that it is inevitable and necessary. Last November author Andrew Keen wrote an article defending these same doubts and promoting his book “The Cult of the Amateur”.
Many of you have probably read this already since it came out in Nov. 2007. I wouldn’t be surprised if Keen was discussed ad nauseam in the UGC class last fall. Either way, I found it was the best expression of my doubts so far. I don’t agree with all his statements however, such as his insistence that we listen to the Harvard professor. I realize he was using the term to represent a traditional authority but I suspect that not everything a Harvard professor or another “expert” says should be taken at face value.
I do agree with this statement however:
“So the truth about this Web 2.0 debate between Silicon Valley techno-utopians and techno-skeptics like me is that it’s not really about technology. These enabling technologies have simply reopened America’s old wounds about the role and meaning of intellectual authority, economic privilege, social class, cultural authority, and political power. The debate about the value of social media is really a conversation about the legitimacy of our free-market meritocracy. These are troublesome and sometimes troubling cultural and political issues that have always bubbled beneath the surface of American intellectual life. Therefore, this is not really a conversation about Web 2.0; instead, it’s the continuation of a much older argument: the Federalist Debates 2.0, perhaps, or the Sixties 2.0.” -Andrew Keen
Here is the link to the article:
Feel free to shout me down if you disagree.