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A polemic describing the dark consequences of the new digital economy, dubbed Web 2.0, on our culture, our
standards, and our commerce. Building on the controversial arguments he posed in a much talked-about
2-part article that ran in The Weekly Standard in February 2006, Silicon Valley dissident Andrew Keen
condemns the new digital media as an assault on our economy and on our society's political and commercial
THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR explores the destructive effects of the web 2.0 - blogging, free advertising, file
sharing, and web site aggregators such as Yahoo and Google - on our economy. Newspapers are losing
revenue as a result of free classified ads on sites such as Craig's List, network television is suffering from
TiVo's annihilation of the commercial, the ipod and video ipod are undermining the multibillion dollar music
and movie industries, and Google print-scanning threatens the profitability of conventional publishing.
Meanwhile, digital piracy, enabled by these technologies, is also draining revenue from artists, movie studios,
and corporations. Keen examines the far-reaching effects this has on businesses in all industries.
According to Keen, web 2.0 enables a "cult of the amateur" in which blogs, wikis, music file-sharing, online
social networking, Google, and video and pod casting threaten standards of creative excellence and
intellectual property. In a world where Web 2.0 technology empowers anyone with a computer to publish their
writing, distribute their entire library of photographs, and proliferate their music, the division between media
and audience, and expert and amateur becomes blurred. This, Keen claims, has led to a perilous flattening of
culture in which the cultural elite disappears and everyone - even the poorly educated and inarticulate - can
become widely heard, and given equal voice. Worse, Keen argues, this democratization of media legitimizes
and enables intellectual thievery, facilitates and encourages pornography, resulting in the abandon of moral
authority. In his sharply-argued and inflammatory treatise, Keen concludes by charging us to take
responsibility for reversing the havoc we are wreaking on our economy and society.
With a new foreword, and a brand new chapter on web 2.0 in the political arena - from the YouTube/CNN
debates, to the quality of political discourse on the blogosphere, and more - the paperback will be
up-to-the-minute on the latest threads of the web 2.0 debate.