actually, it goes a bit deeper than that, but here's the spiel:
"If we are all amateurs, there are no experts."
Andrew Keen's new book, The Cult of the Amateur is the latest addition to the Newsnight book club. In it, the author expresses his concern for the profligacy of online amateurism, spawned by the digital revolution. This, he feels, has had a destructive impact on our culture, economy and values.
He says, "[They] can use their networked computers to publish everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels".
He complains that blogs are "collectively corrupting and confusing popular opinion about everything from politics, to commerce, to arts and culture".
He claims that Wikipedia perpetuates a cycle of misinformation and ignorance, and labels YouTube inane and absurd, "showing poor fools dancing, singing, eating, washing, shopping, driving, cleaning, sleeping, or just staring at their computers."
He warns that old media is facing extinction - "say goodbye to experts and cultural gatekeepers - our reporters, news anchors, editors, music companies, and Hollywood movie studios."
What do you think? We've published two extracts from Andrew Keen's book on the Newsnight website. Have a read and share your thoughts - is he being alarmist about the effects of the Web 2.0 revolution, or raising genuine concerns? Are we at the mercy of the amateur? Can kids tell the difference between credible news sources and the amateur's blog? What, in any case, can be done?