Ironically, given that he claims that “the internet is destroying our culture”, I keep noticing Andrew Keen thanks to the web.
I missed an opportunity to hear him speak in London last night. (And how did I hear about the event, before and during? Twitter, of course). The evening was, to put it mildly, not well received by my contemporaries. Tom Coates wants to put him on the naughty step, Euan Semple called him a troll and Llloyd Davis called him a liar. In fact, all three posts have masses of insights into the night (not least Lloyds, which captures some great quotes).
So, I missed it. I found a small consolation while reading around today, I discovered that Andrew Keen appeared on the Colbert Report a while ago. Now, I don’t watch TV. I do have access to the internet though, which is just as well as it means I get to watch this segment.
“The problem with the internet is it’s making it increasingly difficult for artists to earn a living, because everyone is stealing.”
Wow. Really? Isn’t it making new business models possible too? Keen can’t have heard of the long tail I guess.
“The internet is trivialising culture to such an extent that everyone is broadcasting, everyone is writing blogs, everyone is putting music on the web…”
Well there’s your problem. Too many of the wrong people are making stuff. And while we’re thinking about bloggers, Keen says this of blogging and objectivity
“I think we need objective, professional journalists who responsibly collect the news…”
and so far I’m agreeing. Of course we do. In a small way it even reminds me of Ghandi’s famous response on being asked what he thought of Western civilization,”that would be nice”. Keen spoils all this by completing the sentence though.
“…rather than anonymous bloggers, who are often in the pay of corporations [or] foreign governments.”
Now he’s lost me on so many counts.
- Professional journalists and bloggers (anonymous or otherwise) are somehow mutually exclusive?
- Personally, I’m a blogger, and although I draw a salary from a corporation, they don’t (directly) pay me to blog. They’d pay me regardless of whether I blog or not, though hopefully blogging helps me do my job better. I blog as a person who happens to work for a corporation rather than on behalf of the corporation (if this is news to you, check the very bottom line of the page). I cant help feeling this would still cause Keen some problems.
- In the pay of foreign governments? What’s the relevance? Are we in FUD territory here or what?
I’m glad I didn’t pay to see him speak last night.
Update: Adriana comes to the realisation that offline can’t handle trolls.