(Madison, WI) I just wrapped up Think Week, when I catch up on trends in lifestyles, demographics, psychographics, technology, etc., and then think about how they impact our clients and our business. Think Week is luxurious - no appointments, no tap-dancing and no planes to catch. Just me, a fat pile of insight, a Moleskine and a pen. Giddy’up!
I’m reading and thinking more about Web 2.0. I’m idealistic enough to feel that Web 2.0 can result in a more informed citizenry and better democracy. I believe that a videocam in everyone’s hand is not all bad. Sure, it results in more videos of drunk college kids on YouTube (and David Hasselhoff). But common people can be trained to be good journalists and offer fair, balanced and provocative portrayals of real world issues. Veteran newsman Dan Smith told me during our June 20 show, that the tutorial on Current TV was better than journalism school. And it’s free!
But then there’s the other side of me, the side that knows the sick truth: YouTube and MySpace are proliferating truckloads of crappy content.
What do you think? Is Web 2.0 - which gives anyone with an idea or an opinion a voice - better or worse for America?
If you think Web 2.0 is throwing America to the wolves, you’ll like Andrew Keen’s new book, The Cult of the Amateur. You can read Lawrence Lessig’s analysis of Keen’s book, or the New York Times review.