Andrew Keen Loves Twitter
We all know Andrew Keen as the Anti-Christ of Silicon Valley. Like a fanatic Don Quixote, he fought the windmills of Web 2.0 with his controversial book The Cult Of The Amateur. But now, Keen is back. A new book is coming up and, guess what, Keen is promoting it on Twitter. He explained himself tonight at The Next Web Salon, a dinner session from the organizers of The Next Web Conference. Keen is one of their keynotes. Whoever thinks Keen totally hates Twitter, is wrong. Actually, he is pretty positive about it. Not completely, but hey, it’s Andrew Keen!
The dinner session was an informal one, so I didn’t write down Keen’s introduction to his new book. Lucky for me (and all of you too), he blogged about it on Internet Evolution:
“The reason why I’m on Twitter can be expressed in significantly fewer than 140 characters: To understand social media, it is necessary to participate in social media. Just as I published a blog in order to understand the blogosphere for my anti-Web 2.0 polemic Cult of the Amateur, so I’m now on Twitter to investigate the cultural, economic, and, above all, ‘social’ ramifications of the social media revolution. Not being on Twitter while writing my narrative about the social media revolution would be akin to writing about the social and cultural consequences of the 19th century industrial revolution from a candlelit cave.”
Although Keen had some good old pessimistic remarks, he looked much more positive to me about the recent changes in new media. Twitter is the best example of this change. A second posting on Internet Evolution clearly shows how Keen sees the future:
“The next big thing has finally arrived: Twitter’s ascent marks the end of the Web 2.0 period (1999-2009) and the beginning of what I would call, without any originality, the ‘attention economy.’ The term ‘attention economy’ was invented by the futurist Michael Goldhaber, who wrote a remarkably prescient piece in December 1997 in which he described a new arrangement in which the “flow of attention” replaced money as the currency of the Internet.”
Is Web 2.0 dead? And is the Attention Economy the new reality? Andrew Keen only touched this issue briefly in the appartment of our gentle host Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. He liked Twitter as a platform for experts, but sees it as ‘the profundity of banality’ too. To those who want to know all ins and outs, Keen says: “That question will, of course, be answered in my 250,000-character, non-fictional narrative about social media, which will be published next year.”