Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Cult of the Amateur

I'm reading Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur right now, and I'll be lucky enough to hear him speak as part on his Internet Start-Up Guest Lecture Tour in a few weeks. The central argument of his book is that with the onset of YouTube, blogs, and pretty much everything else us industry insiders call Web 2.0, the art and culture typically created by experts and genuine artists is being forsaken in favor of amateur videos, rambling blogs by idiots like me, and content that lacks a true understanding of the genre it inhabits.

I don't want to get into a full argument about this book right now, as I haven't finished it yet. I'm already antagonistic to Keen's hypothesis, as I feel that people are able to discern between amateurish nonsense like Charlie The Unicorn and embrace the quality content that is out there on the internet (I'm not saying the videos put out on Funny or Die are Shakespeare or anything, but there does seem an effort to get the professionals into the medium that the amatuers are running to compete.)

Another thing Keen hasn't mentioned yet is the amazing ability of our Web 2.0 services to distribute our knowledge throughout the world. For example, I frequently read Jeff Lauras' music blog I'm Only Sleeping. If I hadn't checked this blog today, I never would have heard the song "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" by The Move. I feel like my evening has been enhanced by this experience, and thus YouTube did me a favor by letting me hear this song I otherwise wouldn't have.

That's the basic point I'm trying to make to counter Keen's argument. But, at any rate, I haven't finished the book, and agree with him or not, he does bring up some interesting ideas.

In order to continue this perpetual spread of knowledge, I'm going to post a video that I think may enhance people's evenings as well. It's The Beatles performing "I Feel Fine":

1 comment:

Yarış Oyunları said...

Very nice article. Thanks for taking the time to write it down. Keep up the good work.