How keen is Keen?
I think Andrew Keen, author of the cult of the amateur, made some really good points, but are his media predictions of the future going to come true? Is printed newspaper really going to disappear? What about magazines? If not, how are the reporters, editors, and publishers going to make money when all their readers and advertisers are doing their business online? As Web 2.0 technologies give amateurs and experts an equal voice our economy, culture, and values are being destroyed. At least that is what Keen thinks. I do not necessarily agree with Keen that these things are being destroyed; I believe they are neither changing for the better nor the worse (as of now that it).
Right now it seems like we are stuck in a transition where new media is taking over (with endless amounts of user-generated content), but I do not see it to be such a bad thing. Although newspapers, magazines, record companies, television, and other media institutions are taking a financial hit, new media institutions such as Google and Yahoo are flourishing. I am not saying that is quite a good thing, I am just stating that there are media companies that are doing more successful than ever. And why is that? Because they have adapted to accommodate our populations (through the internet and Web 2.0 technologies). As Charles Darwin says, " It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. "
As our culture changes through technology and our world becomes more "flat", as Thomas Friedman describes, traditional media institutions need to adapt as well. You cannot expect a bird to fly the same during a clear, sunny day, or during a tornado. In order for traditional media institutions to stay alive, they have to adapt and move online (and we are seeing most of them doing so). There are a few questions that arrive: Are future generations going to want to have traditional media part of their everyday lives, or is traditional media not going to be efficient, and purposeful? And are new media institutions going to allow for traditional media companies to adapt, or are they going to provide the same service for free? I guess we will wait and see what the future brings.