Creative replies to iPod Shuffle

OnHollywood – “Can Democratization Kill Professional Mainstream Media?” was the most entertaining session at the OnHollywood conference.Moderated by Dan Farber, Editor-in-Chief at ZDNet, the debate went on with Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, Bill Cleary, Founder of Cleary & Partnersand Justin Kan creator of JustinTV.

It started with Andrew Keen’s quote: …”instead of creating masterpieces, these millions and millions of exuberant monkeys [Internet users]-many with no more talent in the creative arts than our primate cousins-are creating an endless digital forest of mediocrity.”

Andrew Keen stated that websites like Wikipedia or Digg are “very dangerous” because “Wisdom of the crowd are internet activists who are stealing our culture from us” .

The audience had a lot of fun hearing that the Internet and Web 2.0 are a huge threat to our “magnificent 20th century media culture”. Justin Kan commented intelligently that the media in the 20th century were driven by the market and they will be driven by the market in the 21th century too.

Andrew Keen was deeply upset that in Wikipedia, the entry about a particular porn actress is much longer than the one on Marie Curie… and the fact that teenagers are now using Wikipedia as their main research resource in high school. He wishes the government could find a way to control on this wild Internet content, claiming that it is possible to do it without being totalitarian… I doubt it.

Dan Farber asked if instead of seeing the Internet as a cultural wasteland he could not see an hybrid world where traditional media and the new social media could live together. At Ubergizmo we share Dan’s vision of the future.
Bill Cleary suggested that it is good to allow people to be creative and to simply let the people choose for themselves what they want to read or watch. But Andrew Keen seems to be an extremist of the traditional and government-approved culture, claiming that only educated and professionally trained journalists are valid news reporters. Well… with this kind of idea, Ubergizmo would be banned from Andrew’s perfect world!

Andrew was so overly provocative that, in my opinion, he was just trying to sell his book. Some of his arguments are interesting: it forces us to think a bit more about the future of the communication culture and be a bit less amazed by the over-connected 15 year old crowd.

In conclusion, Bill told Andrew to be more positive because nobody is going to burn the great library of Alexandria… Things are fine.

Read more about the book on ZDNet blog the book on ZDNet blog

The session will be available on video tomorrow on AlwaysOn website

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