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The Cult of the Amateur: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube and the rest of today's user-generated media are killing our culture and economy Paperback – 9 Oct 2008

3.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing; 2 edition (9 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885200
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Andrew Keen has had the temerity to point out that our search for instant wisdom through, say, Google and Wikipedia provides not necessarily what is most true or reliable―merely what is most popular. I read it in one sitting then went outside to fish for our supper, firmly believing that the poor fish that swallows my squirming worm on a barbed hook is infinitely smarter than the idiot on the other end holding the rod. (Ralph Steadman The Observer - “That’s the best thing we’ve read all year”)

A staggering new book by Andrew Keen. He is an English-born digital media entrepreneur and Silicon Valley insider who really knows his stuff and he writes with the passion of a man who can at last see the dangers he has helped unleash. His book will come as a real shock to many. It certainly did to me. (A. N. Wilson Daily Mail)

Keen deserves to be taken seriously... I admire his bravery in arguing against the vociferous IT crowd. (Luke Johnson Management Today - Books of the Year)

The Cult of the Amateur needed to be written and it needs to be read. (Management Today)

This is a powerful, provocative and beautifully written stop-and-breathe book in the midst of the greatest paradigm shift in information and communications history. (Chris Schroeder, CEO, Health Central Network and former CEO, WashingtonPost/Newsweek online)

Andrew Keen is a brilliant, witty, classically-educated technoscold―and thank goodness. The world needs an intellectual Goliath to slay Web 2.0’s army of Davids. (Jonathan Last, online editor, The Weekly Standard)

Important... will spur some very constructive debate. This is a book that can produce positive changes to the current inertia of web 2.0. (Martin Green, VP of Community, CNET)

For anyone who thinks that technology alone will make for a better democracy, Andrew Keen will make them think twice. (Andrew Rasiej, founder, Personal Democracy Forum)

Very engaging, and quite controversial and provocative. He doesn’t hold back any punches. (Dan Farber, editor-in-chief, ZDNet)

Thank you so much for your virtual BIBLE. It is the only thing I have come across that is uncompromising and clear. The computer is a wonderful piece of machinery, but it is in danger of becoming a barometer of our moral stance, a law maker for our shared values and a bulwark against the sheer essence of beauty that has gone before. It must never be the annihilator of human effort, the touchstone of ingenuity or the simple pleasure of making something that may have been made for a thousand years. (Ralph Steadman)

Book Description

Keen argues that much of the content filling up YouTube, Twitter and blogs is just an endless digital forest of mediocrity which, unconstrained by professional standards or editorial filters, can alter public debate and manipulate public opinion.

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