Web 2.0 by Andrew Keen

Zachariah James Watson

Andrew Keen begins his article by using classical literature (Socrates, Homer, etc.) as a means of making comparisons between the levels of strength that people used to have in regards to temptation and seduction. He is referring specifically to “those utopian visions that promise grand political or cultural salvation” (Keen). He then goes on to discuss the Web 2.0 movement, which he basically describes as a “fusion of the countercultural utopianism of the 1960s and the techno-economic utopianism of the 1990s” (Keen). He asserts that it as a false ideal that “will lead toward utopianism.”

Keen later goes on to discuss the identity and structure of the Web 2.0 movement. For instance, he describes it as an ideology based on ethical assumptions about media, culture, and technology. That “it worships the creative amateur: self-taught filmmakers, dorm-room musicians, unpublished writers, etc.” (Keen). In other words, Keen suggests that it is a vision/idea of a democratized digital realm in which “everyone” has free reign,”empowers” our personal creativity, and “levels of playing field between experts and amateurs” (Keen). His overall position on the matter is that it is an illusion that has seduced our modern society into believing that this “digital utopia” is the next great revelation and means of cultural, social, and/or political salvation.

He also elaborates on the idea that we are now able to become both producers and consumers when it comes to our place in society and our relationship with new media.




Discussion Questions:

1) Do you agree or disagree with Keen’s position on the discussion of Web 2.0? Why?

2) In what ways are you convinced that the “Web 2.0 Movement” is either improving and/or dismantling our culture and society?








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