The Cult of the Amateur A BOOK REVIEW BY ART AIELLO JMC 68004SOCIAL MEDIA IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
AboutAndrew Keen•A contradiction•One time Silicon Valleyentrepreneur•Silicon Valleytechnological elite•Became a critic of thesocial web•According toKeen, Web 2.0 is: • Destroying culture • Destroying our economy • Trivializing expertise • Creating cacophony
The Beginning of Disillusionment September 2004: FOO (Friends of O’Reilly) conference The hot topic: “democratization” The establishment would lose its grip on content Keen saw content chaos Author and audience become one and the same Dumbing down of culture Misinformation likely to be spread
The Crux of Keen’s Arguments Wikipedia Not a knowledge engine, only an aggregator of content We comment on existing content—a culture of punditry What’s the value of content if all we do is change it by aggregating and annotating? Citizen Journalists Everyone becomes a Matt Drudge Just because you can see and share it doesn’t mean it’s accurate No ethical standards No ramifications for spreading misinformation
The Crux of Keen’s Arguments YouTube Has marginalized the notion of professionally produced content We used to turn to professionals for broadcast content; now we turn to anonymous video producers “Free” content doesn’t necessarily mean “good” content What of those content creators who have paid their dues?
Keen Goes Off the Rails Is Keen a luddite? The pendulum has swung both ways The Utopians vs. Keen Tower Records, traditional newspapers Keen laments what he holds dear The social web isn’t solely responsible for the demise of traditional media Rob Bundy: water from the “soulless” tap
What PR Pros Need to Know Transparency will be key In an anonymous world, we cannot contribute to anonymity We can lead others in “piercing the veil” of anonymity Help stakeholders sift through content to find what’s true No gatekeepers anymore PR can be “cleaners” PR can move to a role in which we serve stakeholders regardless of professional allegiance