The culture of the amateur

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Our most. Our most valued cultural institutions, Keen warns—our professional newspapers, magazines, music, and movies—are being overtaken by an avalanche of amateur, user-generated free content. Advertising revenue is being siphoned off by free classified ads on sites like Craigslist; television networks are under attack from free user-generated programming on YouTube and the like; file-sharing and digital piracy have devastated the multibillion-dollar music business and threaten to undermine our movie industry.

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Published by CurrencyKeen's first book is a critique of the enthusiasm surrounding user generated contentpeer productionand other Web 2. The book was based in part on a controversial essay Keen wrote for The Weekly Standardcriticizing Web 2. Keen argues against the idea of a read-write culture in media, stating that "most of the content being shared— no matter how many times it has been linked, cross-linked, annotated, and copied— was composed or written by someone from the sweat of their creative brow and the disciplined use of their talent.

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New technologies have made it possible for fans to interact even more with their favorite television shows and movies by compiling collections of their own and editing them to their own taste preferences. One of the most popular outlets of amateur culture is viddingor fan-made music videos. These are some of the simplest skills to teach oneself, and arguably the most fun and entertaining. Vidding allows the author to combine TV and movie video clips with pieces of music and convey a certain idea about the original piece.

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Amateur culture is beginning to expand immensely within society; this is due to the rapid innovation of digital tools. Recording devices and public forum have combined to create a culture of production purely out of motivation to create and share. Amateur culture is not for profit, and is producing a communication medium of blogs, personal journals, videos, podcasts and all sorts of new ways to express and share.

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Digital utopians have heralded the dawn of an era in which Web 2. Keen wanders off his subject in the later chapters of the book — to deliver some generic, moralistic rants against Internet evils like online gambling and online pornography — he writes with acuity and passion about the consequences of a world in which the lines between fact and opinion, informed expertise and amateurish speculation are willfully blurred. For one thing, Mr.

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Our most valued cultural institutions, Keen warns—our professional newspapers, magazines, music, and movies—are being overtaken by an avalanche of amateur, user-generated free content. Advertising revenue is being siphoned off by free classified ads on sites like Craigslist; television networks are under attack from free user-generated programming on YouTube and the like; file-sharing and digital piracy have devastated the multibillion-dollar music business and threaten to undermine our movie industry. When anonymous bloggers and videographers, unconstrained by professional standards or editorial filters, can alter the public debate and manipulate public opinion, truth becomes a commodity to be bought, sold, packaged, and reinvented.

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It is commonly said that copyright matters because it encourages the production of socially beneficial, culturally significant expressive content. Excessive focus on copyright law and policy, however, can obscure other information practices that also produce beneficial and useful expression. The functions that make up the creative cycle- creation, selection, production, dissemination, promotion, sale, and use of expressive content- have historically been carried out and controlled by centralized commercial actors.

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Digital labour theorists highlight the invisible work done by amateurs, which is generally seen as a leisure activity with no market value but indirectly monetized by digital platforms like Google and Facebook thanks to advertising, data collection, and stock values - thus giving a value to these free contributions. Cultural industries, which were initially resistant to the increasingly democratic trend in culture, are also starting to take advantage of the situation, as are advertisers, who are moving into the new spaces of communication and influence generated by amateurs. A few amateur content producers, including certain YouTubers, do also manage to monetize their audiences, in the form of commissions paid by platforms.

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New rule: Books that are short on good ideas should only get short reviews. Keen's argument can essentially be boiled down to this: Web 2. Hacks are now cranking out "an endless digital forest of mediocrity;" "the professional is being replaced by the amateur

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