Monday, 25 June 2007

Cult of the amateur

That's one way to put it... this is the way journalist Andrew keen refers to citizen journalists, bloggers and generally users of the so-called web 2.0.

He has written a book Cult of the amateur about which he was interviewed yesterday on Radio 4 where he referred to, amongst other things:

“Useless and corrupt user generated content”
“Self promotion - narcissism”
“Bloggery …. an enormous threat”

Further he said:

“Kids are going on the internet and are believing everything they read we are creating an increasingly media illiterate culture … in order to understand the internet you need to be literate before you get to the screen….”

This does not seem to be the case at all in research carried out by a whle range of people who are finding that kids cross reference, read critically (if not sceptically) and that the fact of taking part in all of this confirms that the web is written by 'ordinary people' like themselves.

Keen's diatribe betrayed that underlying his fears were the loss of his lievlihood as a journalist ... and if this interview is evidence of the quality then he SHOULD be worried. He obviously think the printed word has more credibility on paper and that wikipedia isa sham n comparison to Britannica... well how many times do people get a chance to draft and re-draft issues of Britannica, I wonder? (I have sung in praise of wikis before.)

This all reminds me of the insidious Toxic Childhood crap we have had to bear over the last several months. This nonsense is so pervasive and makes me really angry. Satatistics like '1 in 6 children' have 'developmental or behavioural disorders' is sheer stupidity. (When they read books like this, why do people forget all they know about kids, their curiosity, their questionning, their non-sponge like brains? Why do they forget they were once kids? Why do they think their generation is not toxic?? )

Need a drink to calm me down.....


(Gratuitous photo and gratuitous drink. Need to Re-tox.)

More social networking in the news as we discover there is a class divide in the software people use -- e,g facebook or myspace. with facebook being for the toffs and myspace for the plebs.Hmm, I have both .. as well as Bebo! My observations are that it seems to be more an age divide, (Bebo first; then MySpace; then Facebook..) but then I have not done research on this. (Like Andrew Keen, we can all make stuff up.)

Anyway, going back to Andrew Keen's book title, calling something a cult, is somewhat dismissive. I prefer creative commons of citizen participation. Hear the smug interview here.... you have to have Realplayer and slide the bar to the last five minutes of the prgramme to go straight to the interview here.


Anonymous said...

What a tosser Mr Keen is,
So is it a wine night?


DrJoolz said...

Yes probably he is. I have no idea what you mean about a wine night.

guy said...

I heard Keen on the radio. It was one of those late night discussion things with lots of clever people. Anyway someone really backed him into a corner about citizen journalism. He more or less admitted that he was over-generalising...does that make him any better?

DrJoolz said...

I think that on balance it does not make him better. He has written a whole book on iy and he must have known he was over generalisin and I think that this kind of rubbishy journalism is making it hard for people like us to get our positive, better informed messages across.

guy said...

OK then he's a tosser.

Joolz said...

THink so. But would change my mind if you had insider info.

brendadada said...

I love the general popularism of self publishing, which is what blogging et al amounts to.

But is that 'journalism' per se? Is what is being called 'citizen journalism', actually something more like sporadic autobiography?

(Your blog post has binged itself magically into my RSS reader, which tends to have a serendipitous mind all of its own.)