Keen out of business

Andrew Keen is a whiner. After he attended FOO Camp(Friends of O’Reilly), and learned of the democratization of the web, he decided not to participate anymore and sits back watching all of us “monkeys” typing away on our keyboards.

The new internet was about self-made music, not Bob Dylan or the Brandenburg Concertos. Audience and author had become one, and we were transforming culture into cacophony.

Why does he say this? Simply because the online music distributing business he wanted to run was sunk because internet users are now able to make, publish and share their own music. Essentially his complaint is that his music business no longer remains unique because everyone can do it, for free. He complains that the multitude of “monkeys” will only dilute the creativity stream. What he doesn’t realize is that people will actually pay for music that they like or will procure it in some fashion. People won’t pay for trash- if they don’t really  like it, they are not going to buy it, hence all of the garbage in a lot of places being given away for free. Sure there are a few interesting videos on Youtube, but for the most part, as long as they aren’t charging to see the pejorative of trash, people are going to go check it out because there is nothing stopping them. If enough people like something, then it could be turned into profit of some form. There has to be enough want in order to stem the demand for something with a charge for the supply.

If people aren’t paying for music, then how are all the big bands still making money? As far as I know, the Eagles, Bob Dylan, etc.,  and many orchestras(who are the Brandenburg Concertos anyway?) are not claiming bankruptcy now are they? Why? because people still like the music and pay to have it in some form, whether it be on CD or now in easy to carry MPEG form

Everyone was simultaneously broadcasting themselves, but nobody was listening…what was governing the infinite monkeys now inputting away on the internet was the law of digital Darwinism, survival of the loudest and most opinionated. Under these rules, the only way to intellectually prevail is by infinite filibustering.

Keen also notes that we will all be chatting but no one will listen. We didn’t listen to each other much before the internet came along anyway. Here he is just using the now open ended nature of the internet as another complaint that no one will “hear” his music business over all the other music makers out there, thereby rendering his business unprofitable. I could go on about Shakespeare’s work being compared to a 1000 monkeys at a 1000 typewriters, but I will end it here.

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