Yesterday evening I was again present in the home of Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, as a guest of the Next Web Salon. Also present, next to the usual suspects Patrick de Laive and Arjen Schat, was Andrew Keen.
In his first book, Andrew makes mash potatoes of all driving forces behind 2.0: pro-am, citizen journalism, long tail, power to the masses. And he still does.
Yesterday, he claimed Web 2.0 was dead and looked towards the next big things. He loves Twitter, because it takes away the anonymity and there’s a natural selection process on following and followers. I still fail to see the big difference though: wasn’t web 2.0 all about natural selection as well? You choose who to follow and who to ignore, thus making only a few blogs really well read?
Now his new book is coming up and he will deliver a keynote at The Next Web conference. Subject: the web vs. the ever increasing loneliness in society. He doesn’t blame tech, but is worried about the dangers that come these innovations.
I haven’t been that positive about Andrew in the past. And still I lean a lot more towards the Cluetrain Manifesto/David Weinberger/Clay Shirky -camp than to pessimistic views. But I have gotten more nuanced after last night, most of all because he has become so as well. Although arrogant, he showed yesterday he is a self critic by pointing out the flaws in his first book. Through his appearances, he pushes us optimists to be so as well.