Defending the Amateur
Andrew Keen has put out a book attacking citizen journalism among other things. Pundits have called Andrew Keen the Ann Coulter of the anti-citizen journalism movement. Lawrence Lessig says that Keen's book:
purports to be a book attacking the sloppiness, error and ignorance of the Internet, yet it itself is shot through with sloppiness, error and ignorance. It tells us that without institutions, and standards, to signal what we can trust (like the institution (Doubleday) that decided to print his book), we won’t know what’s true and what’s false. But the book itself is riddled with falsity — from simple errors of fact, to gross misreadings of arguments, to the most basic errors of economics.
So how could it be that a book criticizing the Internet — because the product of a standardless process where nothing is “vetted for accuracy” (as he says of Wikipedia) — could itself be so mistaken, when it, presumably, has been “vetted for accuracy” and was only selected for publication because it passed the high standards of truth imposed by its publisher — Doubleday?
And Dan Gillmor says his work is:
a shabby and dishonest treatment of an important topic.
So if you're in Vancouver on the 24th you might want check out a panel I'm on with Mr. Keen at Vidfest:
Macro - The Wisdom of Crowds: Web 2.0 Democracy or Mob Mentality?
The Web 2.0 phenomenon has opened the floodgates on user participation, collaboration and content. Online communities and social software are hotter than ever, and the ability to interact with like-minded individuals instantaneously from anywhere around the world has had considerable benefits for users and businesses. But the Web 2.0 democracy, coupled with the anonymous nature of the internet, has also resulted in some unsavoury group behaviour and mob mentality, breeding fear and criticism. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? How do you as an individual or business cope when the mob takes over? How will the web evolve past these growing pains? Join the panel for this very lively, provocative and stimulating debate.