The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture

“I don’t talk about the Italian sociologist Pareto in the book, but Pareto talks about an 80/20 rule. And I think I’m a follower of Pareto, in the sense that all systems tend to be dominated by 20% of the people who shape 80% of the content. I think that much is true for Web 2.0 and it’s true for traditional media. Only the new elite are anonymous. The new elites are the kids, the 20-somethings, who are shaping so-called wisdom of the crowd sites like Reddit and Digg.”

“We Twitter ourselves to death, and we use the Internet to tell the world what we had for breakfast, or what we watched on television. And that’s not valuable for ourselves, and it’s not valuable for any kind of collective conversation.”

As a big, big consumer of Web 2.0 media myself (my career has always been based on the web and producing and consuming content, and I participated in Wikipedia, social networking, and P2P image boards before they were fashionable), I am fascinated by a lucid critique of the unabashed utopianism surrounding the movement.

PS. This is the 1000th post on Accelerating Future, representing almost four years of blogging, which has included coverage in magazines (Psychology Today), television (G4.TV), and over five million visits.

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3 Responses to “Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture”

1. raelifin Says:
August 28th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Cool guy. Wrong. But articulate and fun to listen to.
2. Dustin Says:
August 28th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Always thought that argument was ridiculous. I almost never see any of these stupid things he talks about on Web 2.0 sites.

Why? Because I don’t subscribe to people telling me what they had to eat on Twitter. I don’t subscribe to blogs without intelligent conversation.

Even if 80% of the stuff on Web 2.0 sites were garabage….so what? Don’t read it. The other thing that Web 2.0 gives you is customization.
3. kingraven Says:
August 29th, 2009 at 11:07 am

This is a bit off-topic for the main point of your post, but happy 1000th Accelerating Future posts. May many more come.

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