Interactive Video Journalism

The cult of Contrarians

When you come across the same topic several times within a few days and within a different context you know something is buzzing.

Jeff Jarvis writes on his blog that he is asked to debate with Andrew Keen about his new book “The Cult of the Amateur, how today’s Internet is killing our culture“. Jeff Jarvis is not sure if he should, and he has some good reasons.

Andrew Keen also revolts against web 2.0 in the Anti Web 2.0 Manifesto published by the Virtual Platform. Some of his points are partly true, one thing is clear, he doesn’t like the amateur professional.

Tonight I found some good news for Keen. A new startup called Babelgum is trying to combine the best of both worlds. The ‘high culture’ of intelligent cinematography mixed with 2.0-bittorrent-peer-to-peer-video-distribution. A YouTube for ‘professional’ content.

I’m not sure if Babelgum is suggesting that YouTube isn’t a platform for professional content. I’m not even sure what professional content is? Do you need a special education? Getting paid for it? What is a professional? Someone who has access to equipment and knowledge? Well I think almost everyone in the western world can have access and can thus act like a professional.

To illustrate that participation culture and amateur professionals have a long way to go Richard Morse wrote an open letter to Wikipedia frustrated about ‘the truth’ in a participation culture.