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I used this book for my sociology dissertation (knitting and popular culture). It is very well written and enjoyable to read.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2007
I had high expectations that this book would provide some interesting and thought-provoking balance to the current Web 2.0 hype... but sadly it proved to be poorly written and superficial. The assumption seems to be that expert = good, amateur = bad. That paying for a service makes it of greater value than free services. That the only way from here is down unless we back-pedal to state of subservience to the "experts". Keen goes for shock value rather than rationality and seems to decide that as an expert he is under attack and therefore must attack back for maximum effectiveness. His writing ranges from the childish to the offensive and this book is a one-man rant against change. I hoped to see some ideas about how we might approach the 1984 2.0 that Keen fears, but instead of discussing ideas like information literacy, critical thinking and education etc. his writing pouts on the page like a sulky teenager.

One star awarded simply because some how his writing managed to get me from one cover of the book to the other without chucking it in the bin. Considering how tempted I was, overcoming that was no mean feat.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2007
Among many things, Keen suggests that none of us can trust what we read or see on the internet because of the anonymity of submissions -- that anyone can print anything to sway public opinion, to push their own (uneducated?) opinion, to destroy people's reputations, and worse ... no one is libel for the consequences. Instead of an open society of information, Keen fears we are moving into a society of overworked, recycled, manipulated misinformation. Having finished this book, I thought of the huge negative impact on the very core of our edcuation and social processes. His points were excellent and brave. He is saying things that Silicon Valley internet-junkies don't want to hear.

Unlike people's simple opinions, Keen backs up his opinions with frightening and hard data. I give him a 4 star rating only because he occasionally goes over the top in his attempt to pursuade his readers.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2007
Keen has the guts to stand up to wave of hype about web 2.0 and its supposed brilliance.

He makes well argued and thought provoking points about accuracy and intellectual property (amongst other subjects) and how professional practice is being undermined by a generation who take our rich cultural landscape for granted. He makes many valid points, but the one that stood out for me was: `where will the Internet be without quality cultural material to cannibalise and mash-up'? We could be left with only amateur opinion, amateur music, amateur authors, amateur film and amateur experts. All these have their place in culture, but I wouldn't want those to be my only choices.

I feel differently to some reviewers here, I think Keen is worried where there will be no cultural institutions which can nuture original talent (Snakes on a Plane anyone?), no fact checkers with which to check Wikipedia against. Just limited imagination and 'common sense.'

Keen's view of the future is pretty bleak and he doesn't make a lot of suggestions. However, those he does make are interesting, and left me with a hopeful feeling after reading the rather depressing preceding chapters.

I think Keen should have addressed why we distrust a lot of mainstream news, and dealt with media organisations abusing their power. But that's my only major criticism.
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2007
Keen is a very poor writer but his polemic about the destruction of popular culture - the music, film, television, newspaper and book industries - and its replacement by free amateur rubbish is spot on. The "monkeys" here and everywhere won't like it and won't agree (while they continue to bore the world with their self-important drivel) but the internet has created a huge cultural and moral problem which no one has even thought about beginning to try to solve.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
The enormous number of poor quality, border-line illiterate, superficial reviews on Amazon just prove Andrew Keen's point. The amateurs have taken over and it's to the detriment of our culture. This book is certainly worth reading.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2008
I would like to provide a brief summary of the book. I have read the indepth reviews.

I am reading the book for the second time as the factually inaccurate Luddite nonsense drove me so mad the first time around I did not finish it.

I was trying to give it a second chance.

But the second reading only goes to confirm my view before. The author fears change. Sees fault in every thing that is new and has a rose tinted view of the past that is absurd.

One for the recycling bin i am afraid.
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