New Medias New Favorite Bad Guy

Democratization vs Professional Mainstream Media I’m in the audience watching a debate moderated by Dan Farber of ZDNet/CNET, with Bill Cleary (an anthropologist), Justin Kan (a live TV station 24/7), and Andrew Keen (an author). The basic battle being put forth is: blogging, flickr, videoblogs, podcasts, and the like are undercutting quality media, journalism, entertainment, etc. Keen’s argument is that every time we blog, a smarter better journalist dies.

In his book, THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR, Keen goes after most everyone I’ve met in the last 7 months. His book is a polemic, a hand grenade. He’s shoving this in the maw of the Kool-Aid drinking Web 2.0 world. He KNOWS it’s bombastic, and he’s playing the role very well.

Justin Kan held his own. Hes a smart, articulate conversant. His point was that everyone will want to watch people they know, and that some will rise to the top, and some will stay the audience of five or six. It’s a great point.

Bill Cleary, the anthropologist, made some AMAZING points and helped shape the human perspective. Having him there gave the experience a little less of a feel of this being an opinion piece. Instead, there was a wonderful sense of this conversation in the human scale.

I covered the real-time back and forth a bit on Twitter, and found it interesting. I think Keen’s made several points that are interesting.

We haven’t read the book, any of us. We can’t just accept any of this as granted. I read a blurb on Amanda Chapel’s blog, and I’ve spoken with Keen. I think there’s a big difference between what we know about his stance, and what we conjecture.

That said, what do YOU think about the following statements, as “imagined” to be in this conversation:

  • Bloggers are un-edited, unprofessional, and amateurish, and this harms the value.
  • Who wants to watch all this YouTube and personal media? Why are people watching Justin.tv?
  • Is there a hybrid that will more likely make this work out?

What’s YOUR take?

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