I did read (OK, OK, speed-read, or skim) Andrew Keen's book, and it certainly covers some interesting ground, but little you haven't heard / thought or discussed before, about the internet - from addiction to online porn or gambling, to Hollywood not being able to afford to make films due to piracy (gasp!), because of the amateurs and pirates, etc.
When someone has taken the moral high ground like that 'arguments against' always sound naive or subversive and irresponsible, I suppose.
"Thirteen year olds should be playing soccer or riding bikes, not sitting in locked bedrooms looking at hardcore pornography."
(a neat 'should' - followed by irrefutable nostalgia, and then an undeniable truth - pretty sneaky).
I would tend to steer the discussion towards educating yer citizenry - 'don't believe everything you read' and so on. Easier said than done, of course.
I just resist the idea that an elite of 'clever' people do it better. That'll be the economists who got us into this current mess, and yet whose predictions about the coming recession, and the ways out of it, we still supposedly trust? And 'amateurs' shouldn't put in their five-cent's worth about, maybe we should just tighten our belts, and start paying off all the money we borrowed? Oh no, the experts recommend we all go shopping to save the economy, and borrow some more, while you're at it? Um.
No, no, you don't understand, that's far too simplistic you naive amateur - the same experts who got us here, will now supposedly steer us out. The 'amateurs' certainly affected the stock market, since getting tempting into 'investing' (it sounds so much better than 'gambling'), but they shouldn't attempt to fix it, just believe the greedy dream of the professionals, who can never admit they don't understand either. Um.
So, yes, this book reads like a stimulating source and ground for discussion, but finally doesn't seem to look further than 'where we are now'. If Hollywood can no longer get millions of dollars to make movies for us, are we so sure we will only end up with homemade YouTube videos? What about small indie film-makers, using a social networking system to raise funding? Apologies for adopting the jargon, but what of Web 3.0, once we all get bored?
Anyway, you can read more by the same man on his blog (heh heh - they may be empty worthless opinions, of course, so read at your own risk). I love a good paradox. You can even comment on a thread about the book, so he doesn't seem entirely against the idea of feedback, and user-generated comments.
As ever, I seem late to the argument, and doubt anyone reads this. Blogs, to me, remain handy places to store links and ideas and themes, and to practice clear writing (not to say typing). Vanity doesn't really enter into my equation.
[The new edition of the book has an afterword about Web 3.0 - and references the UK's Byron Review (with PDFs of the full report, executive summaries, etc) "Safer Children in a Digital World" - emphasising 'media literacy' (assessment of content, etc) and collaborative work between the various organisations and authorities. Good Stuff. Thanks, Mr Keen, for pointing me that way.]
Reverting to the Library aspect of this 2.0 nonsense: I like both the Annoyed Librarian's rants about the enthusiastic converts - or Twopointopians, as she delightfully labels them - and the considered responses of some people who still see value in the trend, if not the jargon.
The Annoyed Librarian: Twopointopians and the New Faith
The Annoyed Librarian: The Cult of Twopointopia
Revenge of the Twopointopians
Free Range Librarian
David Lee King: the Annoyed Librarian is annoyed with me
The Librarian 2.0 Manifesto