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Sunday 19 August 2007

Andrew Keen booed - and walloped

On the Colbert Report (it follows the Daily Show on Comedy Central):

He gets booed. Can't see him selling many books from that appearance.

Keen asked for advice (on his blog) beforehand.
Anyone have any advice about how to outwit the great Stephen Colbert?
One comments that Colbert actually offers his own advice to guests on his website:
“The best laughs [my guests] can get are through correcting my [character's] stupidity,” Stephen has said. “I think it doesn’t work when they have a joke or two that they’re desperate to say on the show, and then they don’t really actually listen to the conversation. ... They’re waiting to drop the joke in the middle of the interview, and it lands there like conversational plutonium.”
Sounds like Keen listened — he's humourless all right — but still manages to come across as an intellectual snob. No wonder he's getting these US Talk shows — that's one stereotype of Brits.

Commentators on his own blog said he came across as "an elitist", "a simpleton and a jerk", "a complete arrogant elitist", "an arrogant douche", "smug pompous ass", "a bitter talentless hack with a fake british accent", "born out of bitterness", "a stiff Euro no-name", "another cheap whore" and a "grumpy old man".

One said they'd buy the book.

One said:
Sir ... Your entire enterprise, by which I mean your book, this site and above all the arguments you espouse, could only be redeemed if it were, in its entirety, a satirical project.
It's not (ahem) but any 'project' is looking a bit holed below the water. Which is a shame, because Keen's book does raises points which should be discussed. But they're not because of Keen's parade of straw-men. It's the messenger hard-selling his book (and his publishers full-bore oppositionist PR) which is polarising debate.

He's gone back on the provocative book title - "I should have defined amateur more clearly" - and below admits he's beaten in argument. What's left?

Maybe a future with MSM? See here how ABC News backgrounds his comments with clips from their, completely unbiased of course, view of what User Generated Content is.


On his blog Keen says he was "walloped" by Guardian Unlimited boss Emily Bell in an email exchange this week:
I've finally been nailed. Till now, I think I've come out at least even in all my debates with Web 2.0 boyz like Chris Anderson, Kevin Kelly and David Weinberger. But all good things come to an end. I've finally been outdebated. By a lady -- and an English lady at that.
Keen suffering a touch of the Boris Johnson's.
In my Guardian newspaper debate with Guardian Unlimited's digital supremo Emily Bell, she outwitted me and then took me to the cleaners. My hunch is that I went in a bit cocky, stuck out my chin and got a good walloping. She's a tough bird, that Emily Bell. I'm not debating her again.
A 'lady' and now a 'bird'? Love the macho fighting talk. I'd pay to see Emily actually wallop Andrew.
Speaking of being outwitted and taken to the cleaners, I'm appearing on the Colbert Report this Thursday (8/16). So those of you who want to see me get the mother of wallopings should tune in then. No doubt he'll make me the central comedy on Comedy Central (serves me right for idealizing mainstream media).

Some of Bell's counter-points (my emphases):
The internet challenges us all to up our game - it exponentially increases our audience, but it exposes frailty.

If the internet is so full of amateurish dross then it is no threat to the polished professional - but what you know Andrew, is that it is full of people who are potentially as good as, if not better than, those who have been fortunate enough to reside in a distribution bottleneck - and that is why you are scared.

Thank you for your praise for The Guardian and Guardian Unlimited, but without the internet we would not have reached a worldwide audience of more than 15 million a month. We have an exciting opportunity to invest in journalism for the future and build not just a national but international presence for liberal news and comment. Without the web, our particular future would look extremely different, and not in a good way.

Tell me who, under the age of 25, agrees with your golden ageism arguments? Nobody who grew up with the internet feels your sense of deathly cultural foreboding. Many of them are creating new art forms online which you would shudder at. That's the point. This is their rock 'n roll, and maybe yours has run its course.

I was snagged by your assertion that nobody under 25 had anything to contribute on issues of the new economy or, alarmingly, on Iraq. Or even on anything. I believe Colby Buzzell was 26 when he was posted to Iraq - maybe that extra year gave him the edge - but his blog, and the book that it yielded, My War: Killing Time In Iraq, is certainly more insightful than anything you or I could have written about the conflict.

There are plenty of valid and good reasons for wanting anonymity which I would not presume to question. But it means authenticity might be harder to establish. Or does it? I find myself turning up the authority on technorati searches - but it is not the authority of paid professionals, it is the authority of others who blog in the same area. Take, for instance, the blogroll on Jay Rosen's site: for someone interested in the development of the media it is a goldmine of interesting nuggets. I trust Jay not because he is a skilled academic but because he has blogged for years in an area which I am interested in and have some knowledge of. His posts are informed and attract informed opinion. If an anonymous blogger posts a damaging fallacy, how much resonance does it really acquire? More t

Amateur is not going to fully replace professional - it is idiotic and misleading to suggest it will. But it will supplement and expose mainstream media - in fact it already does.

Postscript: Keen's blog entry about doing the Colbert report.

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