|NICHOLAS BREALEY PUBLISHING|
the guardian Fri 17 October 2008
Keen was once a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, but has since undergone a Damascene conversion and now views the so-called Web 2.0 of YouTube, MySpace, Wikipedia and millions of blogs as culturally corrosive. This is a celebration of traditional media and the experienced professionals who provide reliable information and classy entertainment. By dispensing with these elite experts, creators and gatekeepers in pursuit of "democratisation", Keen argues, Web 2.0 licenses the talentless to show off and the unqualified to give their views; forcing bookshops, record stores or newspapers to close as sales decline or advertising is switched. Keen does overpolarise - he only grudgingly concedes that not everything served up by new media is trashy, paints an over-rosy picture of mainstream news providers and includes Hollywood studios in his list of threatened pillars of civilisation. But most of his points are well made, and he comes up with thought-provoking solutions, including government intervention to curb excesses.