I know it hasn’t been that long since I took a few roundhouse swings at Andrew Keen, the sometime entrepreneur and “social critic,” who wrote about the Google-YouTube deal and how it was like two thieves uniting. But I just came across a post promoting his new book, entitled “The Cult of the Amateur: How Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and the Digital World are Assaulting our Economy, Culture and Values,” and it just sounds so mind-bogglingly stupid I couldn’t help myself. This makes Nicholas Carr sound sane.

The cover of the book has an hourglass (the kind that you see when your computer is busy) because, Andrew explains:

There’s not much time left, that symbolic hourglass suggests, until our whole culture is swept away by the dire consequences of Web 2.0 egalitarianism.

and then he adds:

We are teering on the edge of catastrophe. Blogs, wikis and social networking are, indeed, assaulting our economy, our culture and our values. Web 2.0 is pushing us back into the Dark Ages.

In other places, Andrew has held forth this apocalyptic view as well, saying:

Web 2.0 undermines conventional expertise and moral authority in favor of the authenticity of the ordinary blogger, digital photographer or musician. But the truth of this “authenticity” is the cacophonous din of ephemera: The self-authored content on the contemporary Internet is either irreverent, narcissistic or pornographic.

Boy. Thank God there’s someone like Andrew standing up for the movie studios and record companies and society in general. We wouldn’t want to encourage people to express themselves, or (God forbid) be irreverent. For more samples of what I would loosely refer to as Andrew’s “thinking” on this subject, check out an interview/debate he took part in with Chris “Long Tail” Anderson, organized by the SF Gate.


My M-list pal Kent Newsome calls Andrew a classic example of what basketball players call a “self-check.”

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

17 Responses to “News flash: Andrew Keen still a moron”
  1. News flash: Andrew Keen still a moron via Mathew Ingram: mathewingram.com/work October 16th, 2006 at 04:05

  2. Unlike in basketball, however, there is no rim to block their pitiful attempt at a layup, and there is no referee to call traveling as they stumble into a face plant. It’s up to the collective refereeism of the blogosphere to call a foul

  3. seems to me that when the middle man becomes the customer, the customer is getting lost. There’s a shift coming as things go digital, and the brick and mortar stores will inevitably need to change in response (assuming they want to stay in business). Wishing the problem away won’t work.

  4. Guys a putz. By the way I love your blog but at $248,000 (according to Technoratti) I would understand if you sold it and stiopped writing :)

  5. Thanks, Howard. Unfortunately, it’s only worth that much in virtual bubble dollars, not real money :-)

  6. […] Ingram: Andrew Keen Still a Moron. Come on, tell us how you really feel. […]

  7. Thanks for pointing Andrew Keen out. Makes for a fun read. :)

  8. Thanks, engtech. Definitely fun for the whole family.

  9. […] Mathew Ingram (Disclosure: Mathew is not in a company that I funded…yet) has a post up about a fine young fellow named Andrew Keen. […]

  10. […] Monday, October 16, 2006External: News flash: Andrew Keen still a moronPosted by Webmaster 1 day, 18 hours ago in DefaultI know it hasn’t been that long since I took a few roundhouse swings at Andrew Keen, the sometime entrepreneur and “social critic,” who wrote about the Google-YouTube deal and how it was like two thieves uniting. But I just came across a post promoting his new book, entitled &#8220……LinkPermalink | Email It | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)TrackBack URL: http://socialspaces.blogwog.com/tb.asp?id=98873 If you liked this article you might also like this one: External: Financial Companies Urged to Reallocate Marketing Funds to Virtual Worlds. Blog Trackbacks Make yourself heard, post a trackback on this blog entry. Blog Comments Make yourself heard, post a comment on this blog entry. Post Comment […]

  11. […] At the risk of overusing the “M” word (hint: it rhymes with “boron”), I feel compelled to take note of a recent column from Charles Cooper, who apparently is the executive editor of Cnet News. All I can say is that if he’s in charge of the Cnet News operation, then God help us all. Although he doesn’t mention Andrew Keen, Charles is definitely of the same mind as the “social critic” who believes Web 2.0 is ruining society as we know it (more about that here). […]

  12. Thanks for this post Matthew. I just got my first taste of this master of modern media Andrew Keen on a debate on the TVO program The Agenda. You should be able to download a pod cast of the “debate” on TVO’s website. Man, this guy is swift. Totally grasping at straws in a desperate attempt to maintain a monopoly on media and people’s thoughts by the elite. A sane woman totally mauled this guy with rationale. He looked traumatised by the end of the “debate”, eyes desperately darting back and forth trying to invent some type of retort to sanity and this “dangerous egalitarianism”.

  13. Thanks, Fowl — I will definitely take a listen. Maybe someone will upload it to YouTube :-)

  14. Thanks for the comment. I stumbled across your page on my way to find andrew somewhere on the net to tell him how much I appreciate his great “debating” skills. And lo and behold, the luddite has a blog!!!!!
    There is my earnest thank you note.

  15. I’ll post the message here, since likely it’ll be deleted soon enough.
    “Wow Andrew! You blew me away! I just saw your “debate” on The Agenda and was glad to finally hear someone on tv expressing my views, because I am only a poor uneducated peasent unable to speak for myself. I immediately rushed onto the interenet (not having learnt how to write I had to do it right away before your name left my head. It’s sad how kids nowadays only know how to “type”, which obviously isn’t the same thing at all.) to find out where I could find your books, as the internet is useful for some things, right? when I happened upon this blog. Needless to say I am now depressed and dismayed. The great messiah of Elitist media control (I like to refer to you as the Great Orator, as your snesible pleas of “Give me one example” sure got me to forget that your opponent on the show had given many, that’s why we need clever folk like you, mein Fuhror.) had a blog of his own, contributing to the moral decay of egalitarianism. Just a few short moments ago, I believed you were a skilled and trained expert of public opinion, now I find you wallowing in the depraved depths of the unwashed internet. Woe is me. I can only surmise that you have stooped to such a low because you are not annointed by the Lords of the Mainstream Media. As such, I cannot allow my peasent mind to accept your views as “worthy” or “annointed”. I would ask that in order to reach the most people and be taken seriously again, you must remove all mention of you or your thoughts from the internet. Only then can we truly have a happy homogenised populace. Heil Keen.”

  16. That’s quite something, Fowl. Nice work.

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