Keen/Shirky Essay

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Kristen Rodriguez English 1303 23 October 2010 Internet: Valuable or not? The thought of the internet can be described in a variety of ways amongst different individuals who uses it. Two journalists, Clay Shirky and Andrew Keen introduce their views on the internet, what it is becoming, and how it can affect people. In Keen’s article, he portrayed Web 2.0 as a society “that arms every citizen with the means to be an opinionated artist or writer” which causes an abundance of mediocre content. While Keen explains his views, Shirky clarifies that information on the internet can be valuable or “throwaway material”, which is illustrates as useless junk that is not needed. Although Keen and Shirky display a strong response to argue that there is a numerous amount of mediocre content floating around the internet, I think that they overlook on how much those mediocre content can benefit individuals. In Keen’s article, Web 2.0, formerly published in The Weekly Standard on February 15, 2006, he talks about how Web 2.0 is beginning to drown the elite media by unprofessional citizens that can easily become a musicians, authors, or a movie makers through the internet. This technology that is being created will “radically democratize culture, build authentic community, create citizen media”. The Web 2.0 movement revolves around “media, culture, and technology” and it proposes that even minorities can use this program to express their qualities and find themselves through point in time. Keen states that Web 2.0 “empowers our creativity, democratizes media, and levels the playing field between experts and amateurs”, which makes everyone in the society equal. Keen testifies that we are annihilating the long-established elitist media by having an immense amount of authors publishing loads of media which would make others not realize the real professionalism on the internet.
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