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我的首个笔记本


piracy log



February 14, 2007


辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part i

本文是一次辩论的记录(附 podcast),《旧金山纪事报》曾经邀请两位重量级人物就互联网
的影响做了这个辩论,两者其...
这个新环境让我们发生什么变化? 它对信息流通有着什么样的影响? 对艺术的创造又如何? 它如
何改变着我们的文化? 本报邀请了互联网上最新锐思考者其中的两位, 来就这些问题进行辩论.
以下内容只做了解释性和长度的改动.

Chris Anders...
我们举几个文化和政治的例子. 在旧模式里, 如果你想做电影, 你只能去好莱坞的工作室. 如果你
想做音乐, 有知名度, 你就得经过音乐厂牌的体制. 如果你想当有正式作品的作家, 你就需要跟出
版商签约.
而在新模式下, "只管去做就是了."("...
什么会受欢迎. 进入这一行的门槛很高, 不过一旦你进来了, 你身上就有了特殊的市场力
(marketing power).
我 理解这个模式. 它有显著的好处, 但不是仅有的模式. 我同时是一个 blogger, 随着这些年的变
化, 我们将要...
Anderson: 在线的, 随便. 如果不打断文章的思路, 我完全能接受.

Keen: 我想, 用来说明我心目中的 20 世纪里大众传媒的文化黄金时期, 有一个很恰当的例子, 就是
广告没有捆绑进电影, 没有捆绑进音乐, 只捆绑到报刊的一边...
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  •   软件应该是免费的午餐
  •   制造稀缺: 在善恶论和泡沫...
piracy log



February 20, 2007


辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part ii

后边的这部分辩论中, Chris Anderson 和 Andrew Keen 谈到了维基百科, 公民新闻(citizen
journa...
Anderson: 我觉得不是谁都认可这个定义, 我也尽量避免用这个称谓, 但不是说像什么都没发生,
我只觉得这个称谓太模糊了没法用. 我一般说"人人生产"(peer production), 或者叫做用户的创作
(user creation)...
Keen: 我也觉得不存在所谓的客观报道. 我想 Chris 的看法实际上可以说明, 那种需要付费的专业
媒体多么重要.
我想纽约时报在网站上免费发送新闻不是出于偶然. 但你还得为(专栏作家)Maureen Dowd,
Thomas Fried...
全文完.

原文: Debate 2.0: Weighing the merits of the new Webocracy
出处: San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, October 15, 2006, page...
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Debate 2.0
Weighing the merits of the new Webocracy


Sunday, October 15, 2006




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   Main Business &...
sharing site YouTube was snapped up by Google for $1.65 billion, sparking talk of a new
bubble.

How is this new environme...
that group-think is an improvement over individual thought. Andrew, is the crowd smarter than the
individual?

Keen: Befor...
In the old model, markets have limited shelf space. You only have room to stock the things that are
most popular. Now we h...
identified through the old model. Some of them were self-identified by being commentators or bloggers
or participants in o...
The nominal price we charge for products, which by the way you are losing money on, is simply to
qualify the reader or som...
Keen: I'm not against advertising. I'm against the collapse of advertising in context.

Anderson: Let's talk about the las...
If Web 2.0 is anything, it's sort of the functional delivery of what we were talking about during Web
1.0. But it's fundam...
In many other countries, you've done away with that notion. In the U.K., you have the left-wing press
and the right. They'...
level of interest because it's too small to be a commercial proposition. But, that's my interest. I have
some very broad i...
Age: 45

Birthplace: London

Occupation: Editor in chief, Wired magazine; author, "The Long Tail"

Education: Bachelor's d...
我的首个笔记本
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我的首个笔记本

  1. 1. 我的首个笔记本 piracy log February 14, 2007 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part i 本文是一次辩论的记录(附 podcast),《旧金山纪事报》曾经邀请两位重量级人物就互联网 的影响做了这个辩论,两者其一 Chris Anderson 以他的长尾理论已经广为人知,另一位 The Cult of the Amateur 的作者 Andrew Keen 却显得相当“反动”,指出网络破坏了我们的传统 文化。 Keen 的精英立场引起了我的注意。现今繁荣的选秀节目似乎说明,这是大众媒介时代的最高阶 段,而 Web 2.0 太新了,大家好象只能等着,看会发生什么,所以在新的互联网身上,人们还 不确定该用“精英”和“大众”两个词中的哪一个。但我感觉这种精英立场很难压住数百万人手中 创造的力量。 对眼下的实践,没有足够的研究数据支持来作有力的证明,但两个人在这里谈到了一个传统媒 体似乎都有的结构,Keen 称之为 Gatekeeper,最近 ittalks 称之为“把关人”,这个结构在旧模式 下无疑发挥了积极作用:这些人发现了希区柯克们和 Keso 们的才能。但在新媒体中,以前靠我 们的“把关人”选出来的精英文化会有什么改变?会像 Keen 说的那样,“把关人”不复存在,文化 归于庸俗,还是会像 ittalks 说的那样,仍是最具话语权的人在为精英文化当“把关人”?又或 者,按照 Anderson 的理论,新媒体中有着完全不同的筛选机制,并且新机制更加有效? 对这些问题,你不能向一场辩论要求最终答案,但是可以从中形成你觉得更正确的一种思想。 而当亿万网民被互联网赐予了技术的力量和无尽的内容,事情总会有些改变。 以下是译文的第一部分: 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part i 互联网这个新媒体让人觉得充满希望、并且相当的民主,在网上流行起来的社区型网站吸引了 数百万的粉丝,而且开始抢占传统产业的饭碗。 MySpace 和 Facebook 这种"社会网络站点"催生着新社群,增进友谊,促进分享, Digg 这种"新闻聚 合"网站由读者自己选出当天最好的报道, "公民记者"和"公民博客"们追踪自己身边的事态, 把报 道免费放到网上散播, 成了与主流媒体一道的同行者. 称为"Web 2.0"的这个新互联网, 吸引了从商业巨头到主流公众的注意. 投给 Myspace 这类公司的 数十亿美元, 和泡在它们网站上的几百万用户, 都可以证明这一点. 就在(此文刊出时)上周, 视频 分享网站 YouTube 被 Google 用 16.5 亿美元火速并购, 引起了新一轮的"泡沫论".
  2. 2. 这个新环境让我们发生什么变化? 它对信息流通有着什么样的影响? 对艺术的创造又如何? 它如 何改变着我们的文化? 本报邀请了互联网上最新锐思考者其中的两位, 来就这些问题进行辩论. 以下内容只做了解释性和长度的改动. Chris Anderson 是 Wired 杂志的编辑和《长尾理论》的作者,他的书对技术如何促进世界的发展 做了经济学的分析. Andrew Keen 是一位网络创业者, 他的书《业余者的狂热》(The Cult of the Amateur)将在 5 月出版. 他不认为技术对我们或我们的社会有益, 而是确信这个新的、惯性强大 的互联网正在倡导平庸的价值, 冲淡了我们的文化. 下面让我们开始这场对话. Q: 我们所说的 Web 2.0 本质是提倡社区,分享和开放的理念. 这个环境重视群体价值高于个人, 民 主高于独裁. 最近的这次技术浪潮对我们的文化有着什么样的冲击? Andrew Keen: 我认为技术对文化没有太大贡献. 这次技术浪潮带来的陶醉和乐观, 很大程度上是 指, 我们用这些新技术创造着更好的文化, 比如更好的电影和音乐. 我却不怎么相信这些. 也许我在这有些反动, 在为落后的文化辩护, 但我的感觉是, 这个新兴的, 民 主化的文化, 这种"用户创造内容", 实际上在破坏着很多我们最有价值的体系, 包括电影工作室, 音乐厂牌, 新闻业和出版业. 我不相信,在目前,技术在事实上对世界有很大贡献. Q: Chris, 对技术在世界和我们的经济中起的作用, 你的看法比较乐观, 这也表现在你的书《长尾 理论》里. 对 Andrew 刚说的, 你想谈一下反对的观点吗? Chris Anderson: 技术不过是一种个人能力的"启动器"(enabler). 曾经大学教授们专用的工具现在 握在了每个人手中. 很多人就能直接交谈, 不用通过各种中介, 而让信息有所损失或扭曲. 我基本上相信民主的原则, 也基本上相信市场的原则. 我认为我们这个时代里三种最强大的力量 是演进(evolution),民主和资本主义, 这三个都是很个人主义的, 是某种启蒙后的自利的和个体的 代理机制, 在自主的运行着( sort of enlightened self-interest and individual agents working autonomously). 历史说明, 这些机制是现有模式里最不坏的一种. 这种机制只要乐观的答案, 而不一定是完美的. 所以, 如果你相信民主而且相信市场, 那你就相信技术能帮它们更有效的运行. 这些成效正如我们 今天所见. Q: 民主和开放市场的理念讲的是群体的智慧, 把大众的原则或大众文化作为更高的利益. Web 2.0 运动也是基于群体思维是个体思维的进步这样一个理念. Andrew,群体是不是比个体更聪明? Keen: 在我到硅谷做事前, 我教的是政治哲学, 我给一个班教过美国的建立, 讲《联邦党人文集》 (the Federalist Papers). 建国当时的很多争论现在又都出来了. 我想, 更确切的说, 问题可能就是"直接民主"和"代议制民 主"之间的矛盾. 我认为, 你们在(纽约时报专栏作家)Tom Friedman 写到的这个"平坦的"世界中之 所见, 和其他很多肯定技术的作家之所见一样, 都是"直接民主"的理想化. 我还是认为, 我推崇的那种智慧, 用经济术语来说, 那种"稀缺"( scarcity), 并不是在大众中间产生 的, 而是在富有才能和经验的人身上, 无论在政治, 经济,还是文化上都是如此. 相对于迷恋这种理想化的群体, 其实, 虽然说起来很抽象, 但历史上可以找到很多例子, 大众并没 有表现得多么智慧甚至没有基本的礼貌. 我宁可只注意专业性(expertise) 的价值, 和受过足够训练 的人们的智慧. Anderson: 我认为我们今天谈的民主和开放体制最奇妙的地方在于, 它们能比旧模式更有效的给 才能和"专业性"下定义.
  3. 3. 我们举几个文化和政治的例子. 在旧模式里, 如果你想做电影, 你只能去好莱坞的工作室. 如果你 想做音乐, 有知名度, 你就得经过音乐厂牌的体制. 如果你想当有正式作品的作家, 你就需要跟出 版商签约. 而在新模式下, "只管去做就是了."("Just go and do it.") 每个人的东西都能直接出来, 不用经过这 层"看门的". 虽然创造出来的东西里多半是垃圾, 但毕竟有些不是. 许多人的东西本来不能通过这种门槛或者说"准入检验". 就比如, MySpace 或 YouTube 越来越受 欢迎, 而他们并不是传统模式下的东西. 我认为现在, 才能、专业性、 以及智慧, 都比旧模式下更广泛的分布开了. 这个过程, 我觉得, 是 一种群体行为, 而不是一个一致的群体行动. 但这个群体很能发现好东西, 然后把好的提升上来 (elevate), 让好的东西来到它应有的受众面前. Q: Chris, 某个意义上, 群体智慧跟你的"长尾"经济理论有直接的关系. 你能给我们简要讲讲这个 理论吗? Anderson: "长尾"是"票房炸弹"(blockbuster)之后的时代. 说的更准确些, 是"票房炸弹"的垄断过去 之后的时代. 我们的经济正从大众市场转型成一种无比丰富的"小众市场"(niche market).(编者注: "长尾"一词 特指经典销售/需求曲线上无限延伸的 x 轴) 在 旧模式下, 市场的"货架"是有限的, 你的地方只够放下最流行的东西. 现在, 我们的市场"货 架"上有无限的空间, 我们就不需要把往常的好东西或是要大卖的东西给予特殊对待. 我们可以放 上所有的东西, 再算一下实际上哪些卖的好. 结果你就知道了整条曲线的情况, 然后你就发现, "长 尾", 或者说"小众商品"(niche item), 是一个巨大的,有所增长的市场. Q: Andrew, 新的体制是不是能更好的发现艺术才能和内容(content)? Keen: 我认为旧的体制在这方面做的也不错. 真正触动我的, 有一个几年前(前 Wired 杂志编辑,撰 稿人)Kevin Kelly 的演讲, 他当时说, 我们有这个责任, 来发展科技, 造就新一代的希区柯克, 莫扎 特和凡高. 这想法很有意思, 但我觉得不可能. 经典的例子要说披头士和滚石乐队, 很明显他们是在旧体制里出来的. 他们今天还做的到吗? 如 果他们只不过是 YouTube 或 MySpace 上的那么一支乐队.在这个世界里他们还会有精妙的市场 运作来帮他们成功吗? Q: 你是说人们会在长尾上陷入迷途? Keen: 我是说, 音乐界的专家和电影业的专家都深知自己的本行. 我是希区柯克的深度粉丝, 他在 20 世纪早期来到这(洛杉矶), 之前他在英国一块地方已经很有名气, 他到好莱坞是因为(制片人 David O.) Selznick, 这人把他当天才挑了出来. 世上总需要 Selznicks 这样的伯乐, 需要 Brian Epsteins(运作披头士). 长尾上 Epstein 或 Selznick 这样的人在哪里? Anderson: 从哪说起呢? 我们已经有很多的乐队开始流行起来了, 像 the Arctic Monkeys, 就没有通 过传统的音乐厂牌体制, 是因优秀而知名. 实际上他们当中, 多数对网络营销也不是十分精通. 另外, 要掌握网络营销也不难. 但首先这些新乐队是有艺术才能的, 要说他们有可能遇上星探么? 也有. 他们必须得有个星探来做企划么? 未必. 像 这种乐队一样的情况越来越多, 我的意思是, 有艺术才能的人很厉害, 星探也很有本事, 但才能 出现太多了, 哪个星探也发现不了所有的. 我认为问题在于, 以前我们根本不知道有这些我们发现 不了的东西, 我们只了解我们发现了的东西, 觉得那个不错, 然后就让星探们继续工作去了. 我相信艺术才能本来就比好莱坞发掘出来的那些要多. 另外, 话说回来, 我是 Conde Nast(译注: Vogue 杂志所属媒体集团)的编辑, 我本身就是一个我提到 的那种"看门的". 我可以决定在杂志版面上放什么. 这事很难做. 我们特别的精挑细拣, 使劲去猜
  4. 4. 什么会受欢迎. 进入这一行的门槛很高, 不过一旦你进来了, 你身上就有了特殊的市场力 (marketing power). 我 理解这个模式. 它有显著的好处, 但不是仅有的模式. 我同时是一个 blogger, 随着这些年的变 化, 我们将要降低在我们这(做编辑)的门槛, 让旧模式下没得到注意的那些声音进来. 其中有些已 经开始注意自己, 有人发表评论, 或做 blog 或参与我们的网站, 这其中的一些成了很有份量的意 见, 在旧模式下却是成不了的. Q: 我们来谈谈长尾的经济学. 你提到一个叫 the Arctic Monkeys 的乐队, 他们算是成功了, 而且很 可能声名大噪. 但他们有可能像滚石乐队和披头士一样有那么多收入吗? 另外你们杂志将来这些 新的参与者, 从 blog 界出来的他们, 能不能获得些收入? Anderson: 简单的回答就是, 有些能, 大多数不能. 我强调一点, 用一个术语说, 在这个纯粹生产的 时代(era of pure production), 很重要的一点是, 钱不是评测质量唯一的标准. 大多人做 blog 是不要 钱的. 大多乐队也没辞掉日常工作. 大多数上传视频的人也是不要钱的. 有些其他的动机让人们来 做超越于钱的价值之上的事. 你有了名誉, 你得到了表达, 你享受了乐趣. 在我 20 多岁时, 我玩音 乐, 做体育活动, 道理跟大多数人一样, 因为这些东西简直太爽了. Q: 不过, 当时你有什么梦想吗? Anderson: 梦想是让人发疯的. 我想玩篮球, 但是没有梦想成为一个专业篮球运动员, 因为那样像 是疯子. 我也玩音乐, 当然, 我没指望商业成功, 一部分是因为我知道我好不到哪去, 一部分是因为 机会明显太少, 而获得商业成功的机会一直都很少. 但我没因为这个停下来. 现在的人们也不会为这个轻易放弃. 我当时做音乐只挣了些啤酒钱, 但我 没觉得失败了, 或是被剥削了. 我很享受那段时光, 可能我的一些听众也得到了享受, 虽然我不敢 就这么说. Q: 如果作家和音乐家没有了经济鼓励(economic incentive), 内容(content)和社会将受到什么影响? Keen: 就拿你们俩来说吧, 我们坐在这个报社办公室里, 而新闻业已是危机四伏. 一个很重要的起 因就是 blogger 们发出来的免费内容. 音乐上我认为也是一样, 你的销售额在急剧下降. 这样的变 革实际上已经把文化"低价化"(commoditize)了, 现在一切都成了免费的. 现在业余乐队, 业余的 YouTube 电影作者, 业余 blogger 到处都是, 我认为消费者, 如果说还有消 费者存在的话, 他们会理所当然认为所有东西都该是免费的, 这样他们就可以不用花钱买报纸, 花 钱看电视, 花钱去看电影. 我知道 Chris 是经济学前沿的中坚, 但是, 现在免费内容的激增和传统文化产业的衰败是联系在 一起的. Anderson: 人们在免费这个问题上有误解. 大多媒体, 实际上, 已经免费了. 电视是免费广播的, 电 台是免费广播的, 报刊基本上也是免费的. 报刊卖的是广告. 我们给商品的这个名义上的价格, 其实本来就在让你赔钱, 它只是为了挑出可能看那些广告的读 者. 所以说, 我们本来就已经处在免费内容的时代了. Andrew 提出音乐的总收益在下滑, 实际上并不是真的. CD 销售是在下滑, 但是如果你算上数字版 单曲(digital singles)的销售, 包括手机铃声和现场演出的门票收入, 音乐行业的发展是相对平缓的, 甚至近来有所增长. 你得从一个更宽的各行业的视野来看问题. 单拿这个产品来卖可以挣钱, 围绕这个产品来卖东西 可以更好的挣钱. Keen: 不谈通常的商业模式, 如果在你的书里放广告, 你怎么看?
  5. 5. Anderson: 在线的, 随便. 如果不打断文章的思路, 我完全能接受. Keen: 我想, 用来说明我心目中的 20 世纪里大众传媒的文化黄金时期, 有一个很恰当的例子, 就是 广告没有捆绑进电影, 没有捆绑进音乐, 只捆绑到报刊的一边. 我 想接下来, 这种文化中的广告就会不复存在, 然后电影里就有越来越多的植入式广告(product placement), 有更多花里胡哨的办法把品牌和音乐包装到一起, 最后, 就成了你说的那样. 显而易 见, 以后会有音乐产业, 会有文化产业, 但广告会成为他们的中心, 随后文化的价值将遭到深刻的 损害. 你买一个音乐作品时, 而它多少是沃尔玛或麦当劳赞助的, 我觉得它的核心价值就远不如你买一 张单纯就是音乐的碟. 我发现, 数字化的下载让这种情况逐渐变成商业模式的重中之重, 因为如果 你有什么卖不出去, 你就得想个办法, 做广告来卖掉它. Anderson: 那是说什么?买沃尔玛赞助的音乐?到底是什么意思? Keen: 是说, 就比如, 在 YouTube 上好象有越来越多花里胡哨的办法, 用"品牌植入"(brand placement)来做这样那样的文化的营销. Anderson: 给我看一个例子, 我不太明白. Q: YouTube 上 Smirnoff 的"TeaPartay"广告是一个典型的例子, 人们欣赏它的漫画价值, 但它有隐 性的广告成分. Anderson: 你是不是认为人们不应该看 YouTube 上的 Smirnoff 广告? Keen: 那些我都不反对. 我是说文化的营销应该从广告里独立出来, 我觉得数字革命在这上面有 不良影响. Anderson: 你反对的是广告吗? Keen: 我并不反对广告, 我反对的是, 文本中的广告(advertising in context)会不复存在. Anderson: 我们就说过去 20 年吧. 你担心这 20 年里广告不断渗透, 直到无处不在, 这一点, 其实我 也不能说完全不同意. Keen: 重复一句, 我不反对"明确的广告"(clear advertising), 我反对的是跟内容混在一块的那种, 不 管是音乐里还是电影里, 它推销出去的是电影或音乐, 但其实就是由想做广告的公司资助的. part i 完. part ii 翻译中. 原文: Debate 2.0: Weighing the merits of the new Webocracy 出处: San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, October 15, 2006, page D - 1 录音: part i, part ii. 把自己的一篇 post 分成几部分跟读到别人分了几部分的 post 同样不爽,但此文实在是太长了 - -; POSTED BY nani @ 2:32 am |
  6. 6. TrackBack URI for this entry: http://nani.blogsome.com/2007/02/14/p49/trackback/ RSS feed for comments on this post. 1 Comment » thanks Comment by jun — April 16, 2008 @ 9:36 pm Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> Name E-mail URI Your Comment Anti-spam measure: please retype the above text into the box provided. The Essencials • piracy log in beta • feuilleton • favourites • delicious • subscribe! Recent Posts • 译文:朗西埃在《世界外交论衡月刊》上的访谈 • Documenta 12: 艺术已去 • 迷人的现代化音乐或芙蓉姐姐的诞生
  7. 7. • 左派之于当地,献词之于自己 • 给“电子共产主义”一点反思 • 最业余的读者,最有力的公共空间 • 作为纪念: 罗蒂《文科知识分子十一条》 • 软件应该是免费的午餐 • 制造稀缺: 在善恶论和泡沫论之外 • Long live the media's task • 从 Arcade Fire 到 SLSK! • 2+2=5 及其它 • 当盗版变成促销 • 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part ii • 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part i • 经济学人:全球化和加剧的贫富差距 • 百度智慧: 已为当初何必如此 • 寒蝉之治下的创新? • 一切新奇的事物(不)只是忘却 • 断网八卦 Categories • art • internet • public interest • recommended reading • translation Archives • August 2007 • July 2007 • June 2007 • April 2007 • March 2007 • February 2007 • January 2007 • December 2006 • November 2006 Search
  8. 8. piracy log February 20, 2007 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part ii 后边的这部分辩论中, Chris Anderson 和 Andrew Keen 谈到了维基百科, 公民新闻(citizen journalism)和传统媒体的比较, 进而将来的小众文化或无政府状态的预测. New Yorker 有过两篇长文, 关于 citizen journalism 和 wikipedia, 描写更加详尽. 供参考: Amateur Hour: Jounalism without journalists. Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise? 以下是辩论的第二部分. 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part ii Q: 我们可以展开一下话题, 考虑一下民主化(democratization), 社群, 分享, 这几个概念, 都是 Web 2.0 的基本宗旨. 那么, 先做个词汇联想. 我说到维基百科, 那个在线百科全书时, 你们俩会想到些 什么? Anderson: 我认为它是一个给人激励的, 成果显著的现象, 也许是我们时代最蕴涵力量的现象. 它 不免疏漏, 同时却在很多方面显得很出色. 我认为就整体来说它是世界上最好的一个百科全书,而单独讲,它有的词条有错误,还有的经 常被乱改。从这可以看出百科全书另一个用处。传统的百科全书是信息的结束和终点, 而这种新 型的百科全书却是获得更多了解的起点. 我们必须用特别注意的, 带些怀疑论的眼光来看它吗? 肯定要的. 它每个词条都准确无误吗? 并非 如此. 但从整体上讲, 它是最好的地方, 让你从这展开调查, 寻找知识. 我想它是世界上最好的. Keen: 我觉得它还算不上一个百科全书. 我把它看成一个词典, 一个"超民主"(hyper-democratic)的 词典. 我最注意的倒不是那么多的错误, 像 Chris 所说, 而是它的规模. 它是一个极端膨胀的, 没有 组织的东西. 在我看来, 它有很多词条分不出重要的事情和不重要的事情. Q: 是说没有经过编辑吗? Keen: 这取决于你怎么定义"编辑". 太多的人在创作它, 简直可以说是技术狂热症(technology enthusiast). 他们就这么不停的做. 有时候, 重要的词条对世上的历史人物只字不提, 然而关于某 些东西, 在我看来不怎么重要, 他们的词条却是长得不行. Q: 现在也许我能问问你们俩 Web 2.0 的定义. 对你们来说这个词意味着什么?
  9. 9. Anderson: 我觉得不是谁都认可这个定义, 我也尽量避免用这个称谓, 但不是说像什么都没发生, 我只觉得这个称谓太模糊了没法用. 我一般说"人人生产"(peer production), 或者叫做用户的创作 (user creation). 有意思的是, 现在发生的这些, 没什么不是我们十年前没说过的. 只不过现在它才管用了, 用起来 都方便多了. 我们在 90 年代就有网页, 但写 blog 现在方便多了. 如果说有 Web 2.0 这个东西, 它有点像我们在 Web 1.0 时讲的那些的一个(基因的)功能传导 (functional delivery). 但从根本上讲, 它是把能力赋予个人, 让一般人参与到之前一少部分人的领 域中来. Keen: 呃, 又是"一般人"这个概念, 我不怎么支持. 一切都开放了, 每个人就都成了一台台"小印刷 机"(译注: 原文为"mini-Gutenberg". Gutenberg 是合金活字印刷技术的发明人). 这本身并不是坏事. 但要考虑到此后的结果, 文化上和经济上的. 最终有一个得失. 再说一遍的话, 我想问题就在于这 种方式, 可以造成滥用. Q: 还有个 Web 2.0 的宗旨, 是"公民新闻"(citizen journalism).免费收集和散播信息的"公民记者"会 取代主流媒体, 还是成为补充? Anderson: 我想"做新闻"(journalism)这个说法已经失去原来的意义了. 我来给你举个例子. 最近几年来, 我和微软公司之间的这种互动关系已经有所改变. 以前我一般是听听 Bill (Gates)和 Steve (Ballmer)的演讲, 看看他们的新闻发布会, 接收这种从公司自上而下的消息. 现在, 作为一个 消费者, 我更多是去看几个相关工程师的个人 blog, 了解我感兴趣的产品. 比如我用 Windows media center, 那些 blog 上面就没有满眼的我不关心的产品的细节. 我只对它 非常感兴趣, 但对微软其它产品没有什么兴趣. 这些人, 可以说是在描述产品的发展动向, 实际上涉及了商务发布领域的行为. 显然, 他们不是记 者. 他们讲的是自己的事. 从很多方面来说, 现在他们起着提供信息的作用, 而这以前只归新闻业 管. 再举个例子: 我非常关心我的家人, 我所属的社会群体和我的朋友. 而在外时, 这些兴趣都会有些 削减. 很明显, 传统的新闻机构不会缩小报道范围, 到关心我孩子的足球比赛的程度. 不过, 仍有这 么一个缺位的报道功能. 但这是"新闻"(journalism)吗? 我不知道这算什么, 但我知道的是, 逐渐会 有更多的个人来做这些. 然后你可以对照一下在伊拉克, 在那种情况下, 我非常支持让有经验, 资源和特殊口径的专业人士 来发布新闻. Q: 在什么时候"客观"是最重要的? 你谈到了放缩的报道范围. 你真的需要一个"客观"的记者来写 你孩子的足球赛吗? 可能未必, 但是你想了解 PTA(译注:化纤纺织业的主要原料,原油的下游产品) 信息的话, 我想你肯定需要"客观". Anderson: 我的观点多少有些不合时宜. 我认为"客观性"这个概念从没真正实现过. 我认为它是来 自那么一个时代的副产物, 那时候每个城镇都有一两家报纸, 而且这是一个读者获取信息的唯一 途径. 这样就有一种义务, 保持公正. 时趋今日, 我们几乎有了无限多的途径来获取信息. 这样对某种途径, 就少了一些要求, 不必让它 涵盖事情的方方面面, 保持完全的平衡. 事实就是这样, 没有一种媒体可以做到客观, 而且我们本 来就存在各种或明或暗的偏见. 在其它很多国家, 已经不提这个概念了. 在英国, 有左翼媒体和右翼媒体. 他们的立场都是"透 明"的(transparent). 如果你想知道事情的两方面, 你看两份报纸就行. 随着这个趋势, 在一个信息 来源无限多的时代, 你会发现有强烈争议的看法的重要性. 越来越不可能有哪里是不带立场, 完 全平衡的.
  10. 10. Keen: 我也觉得不存在所谓的客观报道. 我想 Chris 的看法实际上可以说明, 那种需要付费的专业 媒体多么重要. 我想纽约时报在网站上免费发送新闻不是出于偶然. 但你还得为(专栏作家)Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman 的专栏付费, 因为他们是可以发表看法的人, 他们是经过长年训练当上记者和专 栏作家的人. 我想, 获知看法也许是最难的事. 我也觉得报章应该有更多自己的意见. 我来自英国, 来自那种传 统. 我关心的是在一片嘈杂中作出区分, 从这么多 blog 中, 发现高质量的意见. 我的一个偶像, 是 Christopher Hitchens, 激愤的英语专栏作家. 没有人会用"保持客观"来指责他. 要 保持 Hitchens 或 Friedman 他们身上的这种传统, 我想人们还是需要买报纸, 付给专栏作家一大笔 钱, 最后区分出这种专业的高深见解. Q: 世间的噪音是不是太多了? Andrew, 某个意义上, 你说的就是, "我需要有一些了解情况的人, 来告诉我世界上发生着的事." Chris 说的是, "我愿意自己去过滤一百万种声音, 从中找出重要的 那些." 这就是我们在谈的问题吗? Anderson: 太对了. 你说到我自己过滤一百万种声音, 我确实在过滤一百万种声音, 但不是凭一已 之力. 我有多层的过滤器. 有很多人, 时间比我多, 专业性比我高, 他们总能发现我发现不了的东 西. 我听着可能有 200 种声音, 但整体上讲, 我通过多重层面过滤着一百万种声音. 结果呢, 我得到 了更丰富, 更高质量的信息大餐, 比泡在更大范围和更多来源中的方式更适合我. 这样并不是很麻 烦, 比以前任何时候都简单多了. Keen: 又提到这里, 我关心的是, 我们似乎正走上这段非常非常远长,繁复的路程, 最后只是回到起 点. 我问你这样一个问题吧: 有什么你现在知道的, 是你 15 或 20 年前不可能知道的? Anderson: 这个问题让我有点糊涂. Keen: 你谈到的这些层面 — 给我一个具体的例子, 你通过它们才能知道, 而传统主流媒体不能让 你知道的, 你觉得有价值的信息. Anderson: 微软的例子就是一个. 传统媒体不会给我这个层次的解决方案, 对于我那些面非常窄的 兴趣. 传统媒体不会缩小范围到这种兴趣的层次, 因为它太小, 形不成商业项目. 但那是我的兴趣 所在. 我有一些很"宽"的兴趣, 也有一些很"窄"的兴趣. Q: 我想, 作为总结, 问一下 10 年后我们会达到什么程度, 和这些变化的走向? Anderson: 我想精灵已经跳出了阿拉丁的神灯, 而且会一直呆在外边, 能说话了的人们不会放弃 这个权利. 他们说的话和视频和音乐和民主制度, 这些工具, 只会更有力量, 我们会有更多的自由, 我感到更多的人都会得到表达. 这是一个不会停下来的趋势. 随着因循守旧的共同文化一点一点减少, 小众兴趣的"部族文化"(tribal culture)一点一点增多, 我 们的文化整体上会有什么改变? 我想自会有个评判. Keen: 我想更多的是"破碎", 是这种文化和生活的激进化. 我想技术似乎正好在这个时候形成爆 发, 这个时候美国人对很多事都感到愤怒. 跟 blog 或技术没有关系,是这些事物一起到来的方式让我注意. 我想, 如果我们传统的政治,文化, 经济体系持续受到这种激进的个人化(individualization)的损害, 那样我想是会出问题的. 我想如果互联网逐渐变成搞欺诈选举的政客和主流媒体宠儿的地盘, 任由这些牛鬼蛇神不断的把 不明白的人拉下水, 那么我想最终我们会发现在这个世界里, 我们只不过是在照镜子. 这样会导致我所说的文化和经济的无政府状态, 我想那不是什么好事情. 我想这样最后会形成更 少的社群, 讽刺的是, 这事本来就是关于社群的.
  11. 11. 全文完. 原文: Debate 2.0: Weighing the merits of the new Webocracy 出处: San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, October 15, 2006, page D - 1 录音: part i, part ii. POSTED BY nani @ 9:34 pm | TrackBack URI for this entry: http://nani.blogsome.com/2007/02/20/p51/trackback/ RSS feed for comments on this post. 1 Comment » 引用了,手动 ping 一下,呵呵。http://ohmymedia.com/2007/02/25/658/ Comment by maomy — February 25, 2007 @ 3:05 pm Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> Name E-mail URI Your Comment Anti-spam measure: please retype the above text into the box provided. The Essencials • piracy log in beta • feuilleton • favourites • delicious
  12. 12. • subscribe! Recent Posts • 译文:朗西埃在《世界外交论衡月刊》上的访谈 • Documenta 12: 艺术已去 • 迷人的现代化音乐或芙蓉姐姐的诞生 • 左派之于当地,献词之于自己 • 给“电子共产主义”一点反思 • 最业余的读者,最有力的公共空间 • 作为纪念: 罗蒂《文科知识分子十一条》 • 软件应该是免费的午餐 • 制造稀缺: 在善恶论和泡沫论之外 • Long live the media's task • 从 Arcade Fire 到 SLSK! • 2+2=5 及其它 • 当盗版变成促销 • 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part ii • 辩论:网络的政绩评鉴 part i • 经济学人:全球化和加剧的贫富差距 • 百度智慧: 已为当初何必如此 • 寒蝉之治下的创新? • 一切新奇的事物(不)只是忘却 • 断网八卦 Categories • art • internet • public interest • recommended reading • translation Archives • August 2007 • July 2007 • June 2007 • April 2007 • March 2007 • February 2007 • January 2007 • December 2006 • November 2006
  13. 13. Search Debate 2.0 Weighing the merits of the new Webocracy Sunday, October 15, 2006 Printable Version Email This Article del.icio.us Slashdot Digg Fark Technorati Newsvine Reddit Google Bookmarks Facebook (0) Georgia (default) Verdana Times New Roman Arial
  14. 14. Get Quote: Detailed News Charts SEC Filings Company Profile Historical Quotes Symbol Lookup Main Business & Finance Page: Stock quotes, portfolio, funds and more... Small Business Center: A new resource for small businesses. Get expert advice, forms and more. SFGate Technology: It's a high-tech world - - we just plug you into it... The Internet has become a wildly optimistic and democratic medium, rife with community- based sites that draw millions of fans and disrupt scores of industries. Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook encourage community, friendship and sharing. News aggregators like Digg.com let readers choose the best stories of the day. Citizen journalists and bloggers pursue their own stories and disseminate them for free on the Internet, bypassing the mainstream media altogether. Dubbed Web 2.0, among other things, this new Internet has captured the attention of Wall Street and Main Street alike, witnessed by the billions spent on companies such as MySpace and by the millions of users who visit those sites religiously. Just last week, the video
  15. 15. sharing site YouTube was snapped up by Google for $1.65 billion, sparking talk of a new bubble. How is this new environment affecting us? What is it doing to the flow of information? And the creation of art? How is it changing our culture? The Chronicle invited two of the Internet's sharpest thinkers to debate these questions. The following was edited for clarity and length. Chris Anderson is the editor of Wired magazine and author of "The Long Tail," an economic analysis of how technology is changing our world for the better. Andrew Keen, a Web entrepreneur and author of the book "The Cult of the Amateur," to be published in May, is not convinced that technology is bettering us or our society. He believes the new, freewheeling Internet is diluting our culture by celebrating mediocrity. Join us for the conversation. Q: What's being called Web 2.0 essentially champions the ideas of community and sharing and openness. It's an environment that champions the values of the crowd over the individual. Democracy over autocracy. How is this latest wave of technology impacting our culture? Andrew Keen: I don't think technology is doing a great deal for culture. Much of the euphoria and optimism about this latest wave of technology is suggesting that we, through these new technologies, are creating better culture. Better movies and music, for instance. I am not convinced of that. Perhaps I am a reactionary here, defending an anachronistic culture, but my sense is that this latest, democratized culture, this user-generated content, is actually undermining many of our most valuable institutions, including movie studios, music labels, newspapers and publishing. I'm not convinced that technology is actually doing a great deal for the world at the moment. Q: Chris, you have a bit more optimistic view on the role technology can play in the world and our economy, as evidenced by your book, "The Long Tail." Do you care to counter what Andrew was just saying? Chris Anderson: Technology is nothing other than an enabler of individual power. The tools once reserved for professionals are now in the hands of everybody. A lot of people just speak to each other directly without going through intermediaries and having messages diluted or distorted. I broadly believe in democratic principles. I broadly believe in market principles. I think that the three most powerful forces of our time are evolution, democracy and capitalism, all three of which are very much individualistic, sort of enlightened self-interest and individual agents working autonomously. History suggests that they are the least bad of the available models. They tend to reach more optimal, but not perfect, solutions. So, if you believe in democracy and if you believe in markets, then you believe in technologies that help them work more efficiently. That's very much what we are seeing today. Q: That idea of democracy and open markets speaks to the wisdom of crowds -- the idea that mass philosophy or mass culture is somehow a greater good. The Web 2.0 movement is based on the idea
  16. 16. that group-think is an improvement over individual thought. Andrew, is the crowd smarter than the individual? Keen: Before I did all this Silicon Valley stuff, I used to teach political philosophy and I used to teach a class about the beginning of American history, the Federalist Papers. Many of the arguments that came about then are playing themselves out all over again. I think perhaps the more pertinent issue is one of direct democracy versus representative democracy. What I think you are seeing in this "flattened" world that (New York Times columnist) Tom Friedman writes about, along with so many other pro-technology writers, is the idealization of direct democracy. I still think that the wisdom that I value -- the scarcity, to put it in economic terms -- is not in the crowd, but in people with talent and experience, whether they exist in political life, in economic life or cultural life. Rather than fetishizing this idealized crowd -- it seems tremendously abstract -- one can pick up so many examples from history where the crowd has not behaved in a very wise or gentlemanly way. I would rather focus on the value of expertise and the wisdom of people who are trained. Anderson: I think the fantastic thing about democracy and the open systems we are talking about today is that they define talent and expertise much more efficiently than the old models did. Let's take cultural and political examples. The old model was that if you wanted to be a filmmaker, you had to go to the Hollywood studios. If you wanted to be a musician and get heard, you would go through the label system. If you wanted to be a published author, you needed to get signed by a publisher. The new model is, "Just go and do it." Everyone can get out there directly without going through these gatekeepers, and most of what is created is junk, but some of it isn't. A lot of people are doing things that maybe wouldn't have passed the threshold or the test of admittance. For instance, MySpace or YouTube are turning out to be tremendously popular, but they are not conventional. I think that talent, expertise and wisdom is more broadly distributed than it was in our old models. That, I think, is a form of crowd behavior, but not the whole crowd acting together. But that crowd is very good at spotting merit and elevating it so that it can get the audience it deserves. Q: In a way, Chris, the wisdom of crowds leads directly into your "long tail" economic theory. Can you give us a brief synopsis of that theory? Anderson: The long tail is life after the blockbuster. Or more to the point, it is life after the monopoly of the blockbuster. Our economy is shifting from mass markets to millions of niche markets. (Editor's note: The term "long tail" specifically refers to the endless x-axis of a classic sales/demand curve).
  17. 17. In the old model, markets have limited shelf space. You only have room to stock the things that are most popular. Now we have markets that have infinite shelf space that don't have to discriminate between the conventionally good or the things that predictably sell well. We can offer everything and then measure what's actually popular. As a result, you can access the whole curve, and what you find is that the long tail, or niche item, is a big and growing market. Q: Andrew, does the new system do a better job at identifying talent and content? Keen: I don't think that the old system did a bad job. One of the speeches that really changed my position was actually one made by (former Wired editor and author) Kevin Kelly a couple of years ago when he said that we have a moral obligation to develop technology in order to create the next generation of Hitchcocks, Mozarts and Van Goghs. That's a very interesting position. I don't think it's true. The classic example would be the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. They got through in the old system. That's obvious. Would they get through today if they were just another band on YouTube or MySpace? Would they have the marketing sophistication to actually make it in this world? Q: You're saying people get lost in the shuffle on the long tail? Keen: I'm saying that experts in the music business and experts in the movie business know what they're doing. I am a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock. The guy came here in the early part of the 20th century and had already established himself as a big player in a small pond in the U.K. He came to Hollywood because of (producer David O.) Selznick, who picked him out as a genius. You need the Selznicks of the world. You need the Brian Epsteins (who managed the Beatles). Where is Epstein or Selznick in the long tail? Anderson: Where do I start? We have plenty of bands who are now becoming popular -- for instance the Arctic Monkeys -- without going through the traditional label system, who are being identified because they're good. Many of them weren't actually terribly sophisticated about online marketing. By the way, it doesn't take much to become good at online marketing. But, they were talented. Might they have been discovered by an (artist and repertoire) guy, some talent scout? Possibly. Did they need to be discovered by an A&R guy? No. Increasingly, we have more and more of that. What I suggest is the talent guys are fantastic. The A&R guys are great. There is more talent out there than any one of them can find. I think the problem is that we just didn't know what we weren't finding before. We knew what we were finding and that was good and those guys will continue to do their work. I believe that there was more talent out there than Hollywood discovered. By the way, I should stop and point out that I am a Conde Nast editor. I am exactly the gatekeeper that I talk about. I decide what gets in the pages in my magazine. It's hard to do it. We're very discriminating. We try to guess at what's going to be popular. It's hard to get in the door, but once you're in the door you have extraordinary marketing power behind you. I get that model. That model has fantastic benefits, but it's not the only model. I'm also a blogger and increasingly, as the years migrate, we're going to open our (editorial) doors to voices that weren't
  18. 18. identified through the old model. Some of them were self-identified by being commentators or bloggers or participants in our site, and some of them will turn out to have important voices that wouldn't otherwise be heard. Q: Let's talk about the economics of the long tail. Chris, you mentioned a band called the Arctic Monkeys. They've experienced some success, and they very well might become hugely popular. But do they have any hope of making the money the Rolling Stones and the Beatles did? And do any of your magazine's prospective new contributors, those culled from the blogosphere, are they going to make any money? Anderson: The simple answer is that some will, most won't. One of the points I make, and I think it's an important point in this era of pure production, if you'll forgive the jargon, is that money is not the only measure of quality. Most bloggers do it for free. Most bands don't quit their day jobs. Most of the people who are uploading videos are doing it for free. There are other incentives that can encourage people to make things beyond money. You have reputation. You have expression. You have fun. In my 20s, I played music and sports for the reasons that most people do: because it's a hell of a lot of fun. Q: But did you have dreams? Anderson: It was crazy to have dreams. I wanted to play basketball, but I didn't have any dreams about becoming a pro basketball player because it was crazy. I also played music. Of course, I had no expectations of commercial success, partially because I knew I wasn't any good and partially because the odds are clearly stacked and always have been stacked against commercial success. That didn't stop me. It doesn't stop people today. I don't feel like a failure or I don't feel cheated because I didn't get any more than beer money out of my music. I had a fantastic time and possibly some of the listeners did, too, although I wouldn't bet on it. Q: If you take the economic incentive away from writers or musicians, what effect will that have on content and society? Keen: Look at you guys. We're sitting here in a newspaper office and the newspaper business is in profound crisis. One of the major reasons is because of free content put out by bloggers. The same I think is true of music, where you've had this dramatic decline in sales. This revolution has actually commoditized culture to such an extent that everything becomes free. In this world of amateur bands and amateur moviemakers on YouTube and amateur bloggers, I think that the consumer, if there is indeed a consumer left, is taking it for granted that everything should be free so that they won't pay for their newspaper, they won't pay for their TV, they won't pay to go to the movies. I know that Chris is very strong on the economic front, but there has to be a correlation between this explosion of free content on the Internet and the decline in the traditional culture business. Anderson: People misunderstand free. Most media is, in fact, already free. Television is free to air. Radio is free to air. Newspapers are basically free. What newspapers sell is advertising.
  19. 19. The nominal price we charge for products, which by the way you are losing money on, is simply to qualify the reader or someone who is inclined to read the advertising. So, we're essentially already in a world of free content. Andrew suggests that music revenues are declining and actually that is not true. CD sales are in decline, but if you include digital singles sales including ring tones and then include ticket sales for live shows, the music business has been relatively flat and actually rising of late. You have to see it in a much broader perspective of the business. Selling the product is only one way to make money. Selling around the product is a much better way to make money. Keen: Other than a normal business model, how would you feel if advertisements were sold in your book? Anderson: Online, fine. If it doesn't interrupt the flow, I have no problem with it. Keen: I think one of the most pertinent things about what I consider to be a cultural golden age in the 20th century of mass media was that advertising was not packaged in movies. It was not packaged in music and only marginally packaged in newspapers. I think what's happening is that increasingly you have this collapse of advertising in culture so that you have more and more product placement in movies. You have more sophisticated ways of tying brands into music so that ultimately, you're right. Obviously, there will be a music business. There will be a culture business, but advertising will be so central to it, that the value of culture is going to be profoundly undermined. When you buy a piece of music, which in some sense is being paid for by Wal-Mart or McDonald's, then I think its core value is much less than if you buy a disc which simply contains music. I see with digital downloads this becoming an increasingly central part of the business model, because if you can't sell the thing, you have to figure out a way that advertising sells it. Anderson: What does that mean? Buy music being paid for by Wal-Mart? What does that actually mean? Keen: It means, for example, on YouTube there seems to be more and more sophisticated ways of building brand placement into cultural sales of one sort or another. Anderson: Give me an example. I don't follow you. Q: Smirnoff's "TeaPartay" ads on YouTube would be a good example. They're watched for comic value, but advertising is implicit. Anderson: Do you have an objection to people watching Smirnoff ads on YouTube? Keen: I don't have an objection to any of those things. What I would like to defend is cultural sales independent of advertising, which I think that the digital revolution is undermining. Anderson: Are you against advertising?
  20. 20. Keen: I'm not against advertising. I'm against the collapse of advertising in context. Anderson: Let's talk about the last 20 years. Your concern is that advertising is more pervasive in our culture in the last 20 years, something, by the way, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with. Keen: Again, I'm not against clear advertising. What I'm against is content, whether it's music or movies, being sold as movies or music but really being financed somehow by a business looking to advertise. Q: Maybe we can expand this conversation to consider the ideas of democratization, community and sharing -- all central tenets of Web 2.0. To do so, let's try some word association. When I say Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, what do you two think? Anderson: I think it is an inspirational and remarkable phenomenon. It is perhaps the most powerful phenomenon of our time. It's wildly imperfect and also, in many ways, beautiful. I think it's the best encyclopedia world in the world collectively. On the individual level, some of the entries are wrong, some of them are freakishly distorted. It suggests a different usage pattern of the encyclopedia. The old model of encyclopedia was the be-all and end-all of information. The new model of encyclopedia is a starting point for investigation. Must it be approached with caution and a certain amount of skepticism? Absolutely. Is any single entry guaranteed to be right? No. Collectively, it's the best single place to start an investigation or a search for knowledge. I think it's the best in the world. Keen: I wouldn't call it an encyclopedia. I think it's a dictionary. I think it's a hyper-democratic dictionary. My biggest concern is not so much mistakes, as Chris was saying, but its size. It's a very bloated, disorganized thing. It seems to me that many of the entries have no real ability to distinguish things which are important from things that aren't. Q: Is it a lack of editing? Keen: It depends upon how you define editing. There are just too many people who contribute. It's rather like talking to a technology enthusiast. They just go on and on and on. Sometimes, important entries say nothing at all about world historical figures, whereas you have these very long entries on things, it seems to me, that are not very important. Q: Maybe now I can ask both of you to define what Web 2.0 means. What does that phrase mean to you? Anderson: I don't think anybody can agree on a definition, and I tend not to use the term. Not that there isn't something going on. I just find the term too indistinct to use. I talk about peer production, otherwise known as user creation. The funny thing is there is nothing going on here that we weren't talking about 10 years ago. It's just that it now works. It's all much easier to use. We had Web pages in the '90s, but blogs are much easier.
  21. 21. If Web 2.0 is anything, it's sort of the functional delivery of what we were talking about during Web 1.0. But it's fundamentally about individual empowerment -- letting regular people participate in what was previously the domain of the few. Keen: Well, again it's this idea of regular people that I'm uncomfortable with. It opens everything up and everyone becomes a mini-Gutenberg. That, in itself, isn't a bad thing. But there is the issue of consequences, cultural and economic. Who wins and who loses? Again, I think that the problem is the way in which these things can be abused. Q: Another core tenet of Web 2.0 has been "citizen journalism." Can the mainstream media be replaced, or supported, by citizen reporters gathering and disseminating information for free? Anderson: I'm not sure I know what the word journalism means anymore. Let me give you an example. My interaction with Microsoft has changed in recent years. I used to read the speeches and see the press releases from Bill (Gates) and Steve (Ballmer) and absorb the top-down messaging from the company. Now, as a consumer, I'm more likely to read the individual blogs of the engineers involved with various products I'm interested in. I use Windows media center, and there is no level of detail about that product that I'm not interested in. I have a fantastic amount of interest in that, but virtually no interest in some of Microsoft's other products. Those people, in sort of describing the product development, are doing what used to be the domain of the trade press. Clearly, they are not journalists. They're talking about themselves. In many ways, they are providing an information function that journalism used to do on its own. Another example: My interest is very intense around my family, my community and my friends. And that sort of diminishes as you move outward. Obviously, traditional journalistic institutions don't scale down to the level of my kid's soccer game. And yet, there is a reporting function that still needs to be done. Is that journalism? I don't know what it is, but I do know that, increasingly, individuals are going to be doing it. Then you scale all the way out to Iraq, and that's a situation where I'm very much in favor of working with professionals with experience, resources and special access to deliver the news. Q: At what point does objectivity matter? You were talking about that level of scale. Do you really need an objective reporter at your kid's soccer game? Maybe not, but as you get closer to the PTA, I would imagine you definitely do. Anderson: I take a somewhat unpopular view. I think the notion of objectivity has never really been attainable. I think it's an outgrowth of that era where there was one or two newspapers in any town and that was the only way a reader could get the information. There was an obligation to be evenhanded. Increasingly, we have sort of an infinite number of places you can get information. There is less requirement at any one of them to have all sides of the story and be perfectly balanced. Let's face it: No media could ever be objective, and we have biases whether they're explicit or implicit.
  22. 22. In many other countries, you've done away with that notion. In the U.K., you have the left-wing press and the right. They're transparent about where they come from, and if you want two sides of the story, you read two newspapers. Increasingly, in an era of infinite sources, you see the importance of a strongly argued perspective. There is less and less expectation that any one place is going to be dispassionate and perfectly balanced. Keen: I agree that there is no such thing as objective journalism, whatever that is. I think that Chris' point can actually be used to justify the professional media which we pay for. I don't think it's any coincidence that on the New York Times Web site they give their news away for free, but you pay for (columnist) Maureen Dowd, you pay for Thomas Friedman, because those are the guys who have a voice. Those are the people who have many years of training as reporters and as columnists. I think the acquisition of voice is perhaps the most difficult of all things. I agree that newspapers should be more opinionated. I come from the U.K. -- from that tradition. What concerns me is distinguishing between rants, which one finds on so many blogs, and quality opinion. One of my heroes is Christopher Hitchens, the angry English columnist. No one would ever accuse him of being objective. To maintain that tradition of a Hitchens or a Friedman, I think people still need to buy newspapers, pay their columnists large amounts of money and be able to distinguish that kind of professional wise opinion. Q: Is there too much noise in the world? Andrew, in a way, you are saying, "I want a handful of people who know what they are talking about to tell me what's going on in the world." Chris is saying, "I'm willing to filter a million voices myself and I'll find out what's important that way." Is that what we're talking about here? Anderson: Fantastic. When you say I can filter a million voices myself, I am filtering a million voices, but not doing it myself. What I have is layers of filters. There are people out there who have more time than me, have more expertise than me or just find things that I haven't found. I have maybe 200 voices out there that I listen to, but collectively I'm filtering a million voices through all those layers. As a result, I get a richer, higher-quality diet of information better suited to me to pull from a wider pool and wider variety of sources. It's not that much trouble. It's much easier than it's ever been before. Keen: Again, the thing that concerns me is we seem to be going on this very, very long, complicated journey to get back to where we started. Let me ask you this question: What do you know now that you wouldn't be able to know 15 or 20 years ago? Anderson: I'm a little confused by the question. Keen: These layers you are talking about -- give me a concrete example of what you can know through them that traditional mainstream media doesn't enable you to know, The Microsoft example I gave was one. The traditional media was not going to give me that level of resolution about my very narrow interest. Traditional media was not going to get scaled down to that
  23. 23. level of interest because it's too small to be a commercial proposition. But, that's my interest. I have some very broad interests and I have some very narrow interests. Q: I wanted to wrap things up by asking where are we going to be in 10 years and where is this movement taking us? Anderson: I think that the genie is out of the bottle and is going to stay out of the bottle, that people given a voice won't give it up. The tools of the spoken text and video and music and democracy are only going to get more powerful and we're going to have more freedom to do so, and I suspect that more people will find a voice. That's a trend that's not going to stop. How it changes our culture overall as we become less and less of a cultural lockstep of shared culture and more and more of a tribal culture where we have our niche interests? I think the jury is out as to what that's going to do to us. Keen: I think we are seeing more fragmentation. I think we are seeing more anger. I think we are seeing this radicalization of culture and life. I think that technology seems to be almost coincidental and has exploded around this at the same time that Americans are very angry about many different things. It has nothing to do with blogs or technology, but all these things are coming together in a way that concerns me and I think that if our traditional institutions of politics or culture or economics continue to be undermined by this personalization and radical individualization of things, then I think we will be in trouble. I think that if the Internet becomes more and more of a soapbox to trash elected politicians and mainstream media figures and to conduct these witch hunts on anyone who ever makes a mistake, then I think that eventually we are going to find ourselves in a world where we're just going to be staring at a mirror. It's going to result in what I call cultural and economic anarchy, and I don't think that is a good thing. I think it will result in less community, which is ironic given the fact that this thing is supposed to be about community. Andrew Keen Age: 46 Birthplace: London Occupation: Media entrepreneur; author, "The Cult of the Amateur," to be published in May Education: Bachelor's degree in history, London University; master's in political science, UC Berkeley Family: Wife and two children Chris Anderson
  24. 24. Age: 45 Birthplace: London Occupation: Editor in chief, Wired magazine; author, "The Long Tail" Education: Bachelor's degree in physics, George Washington University Family: Wife and four children Participating in this interview were Deputy Business Editor Alan T. Saracevic, staff writers Dan Fost, Ellen Lee, Verne Kopytoff and Benny Evangelista, and editorial assistant Steve Corder. This article appeared on page D - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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