Social and traditional media

Web 2.0 is about letting ordinary people connect, express and share their opinions with others. Sites that enable this to happen like LinkedIn, facebook, jaiku, myspace, flickr, youtube and wordpress have become hugely successful.

Enter Andrew Keen, with a strong opinion against web 2.0 in his book “the cult of the amateur”. His point is that unverified texts from users are taken at face value and even more so are abused for free by companies to generate huge amounts of traffic, resulting in extra dollars for these companies.

I share some of my opinions and express them knowing that others do the same and I benefit from other people opinions. I think I can tell the difference between an authentic and well meant contribution and a scam. For example being on LinkedIn or browsing user reviews before buying something has already given me tangible benefits. Besides connecting and sharing with people is fun to do.

So I do not agree with Andrew Keen that social media does not add value. But I do think Andrew Keen raises a valid point. Social media should not replace traditional media. Well crafted essay’s and other material appear in traditional media can challenge the ideas and shape the opinions of many people, including people that rule the country. They are key to a well functioning society.

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