Web 2.0 Sucks – or so says Andrew Keen

Keen isn’t so Keen

This morning during a SHSMD conference I’m attending that is directed toward Healthcare Marketers, I was compelled to sit through a lecture given by Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur:  How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture.”  It was interesting to note that as soon as Keen delivered his first minutes of opinion, the audience was noticeably uncomfortable.  Keen’s main point was that the proliferation of Web 2.0, the advent of blogging by anyone, of Youtube videos being posted by anyone, of Wikipedia being edited by anyone is causing society to suffer.  Keen’s background, as a music publisher, prompted him to defend the artists who aren’t properly reimbursed due to illegal downloading.  Duly noted and agreed on that point.

You Have No Voice

I wasn’t completely sure if Keen believed Oswald was killed by a single bullet.  Unfortunately we never got to that point.  But his suggestions that the consumer must stand to attention when a so-called expert espouses their thoughts was downright insulting.  I got sick to my stomach as I watched Keen talk about how the everyday man doesn’t deserve the right to be inspired, motivated nor have the right to express themselves.  I guess because he’s an author it also qualifies Keen to use his podium to take potshots at Sarah Palin from his democratic high chair.

I applaud SHSMD for inviting a controversial speaker like Keen to speak and challenge conventional thought.  However, having Keen speak at this point in time with millions of blog posts published each day, social networking becoming more than abundant and several issues addressed or repaired by amateurs like myself because of Web 2.0, is like attempting to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

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7 Responses

  1. Well put, Jeff. And I couldn’t help wondering if the rush of “amateurs” to self-publish wasn’t somehow comparative to how popular — and capable (i.e. weren’t political papers, pamphlets and newspaper commentaries of the earlier centuries just versions of today’s blogs?) — orators of the past used their current media to direct and even sway popular opinion.

    That being said, the ability for the “common man” to have their voice heard should be celebrated, not admonished. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson, a “common man” himself, who believed that exposure to varying opinions — even those potentially despised or perceived as evil — could only serve to better society as a whole? After all, it is everyone’s right to hear/read/experience what they want, and their obligation to decide what they want to believe in.

  2. his arguments are very flawed – not many take him seriously:

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20080610/0259341363.shtml

  3. What does Andrew keen mean by it sucks?

    His points are terribly arrogant..

  4. If you look at this clip from the Daily Show, you’ll get a basic gist of what Mr. Keen is all about.

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/91639/august-16-2007/andrew-keen

  5. […] blog age it seems like everyone has something to say, and that’s great (unless you’re Andrew Keen, guest speaker at SHSMD 2008), but it also means that people who don’t necessarily consider […]

  6. […] to see! Expect to hear about Web 2.0, what it is, why you should know about it and maybe even why some industry pundits are saying it’s the death of our […]

  7. […] Search engine advertising — while there’s some indication that it’s a better advertising model — often evokes suspicion and distrust. Indeed, one attendee at the session remarked that she never clicks on paid listings as she perceives the organic ones to be much more pertinent. Many other attendees agreed. This is a very popular opinion and certainly at the heart of the Web 2.0 phenomena where it’s the masses that determine relevance (much to the chagrin of this guy). […]

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