American political thought is dominated by talking heads and media personalities who get on TV and radio programs and shout inane platitude’s at their audience and each other. If you’re like most Americans, you accept these platitudes, unless they run contrary to your preferred bias in which case you then turn to American Idol and veg out . However, every once in a while a commentator will remember that they are supposed to do more then entertain and polarize. Every once in a blue moon they will think test the validity of assumptions and talking points peddled by professional screamers. The Huffington Post has a story about this clip with Chris Mathews showing the historical ignorance of wingnut commentator and popular radio host Kevin James.
There has been a ton of talk about Bubble 2.0, it started with Fred Wilson back in March of ’05, was picked up by Vulture Central in Oct of the same year and has since since spawned everything from an official blog to a Wikipedia entry. However, the only sure sign that Bubble 2.0 is in full effect is the recent launch of 5 major web sites focused on the Black audience. The last time this many copy-cat Black sites, with major backers, launched was at the tail end of the dotcom boom in late ’99 and 2000.
Back then a series of lackluster online efforts launched and failed in rapid succession. These sites were generally the brainchild of a disgruntled black executive in a traditional media firm who had snagged a white funding source. He (its always a he) would then hire a bunch of magazine writers, movie/music promotions people, traditional ad-sales folks and some witless MBA’s for legitimacy. What none of these sites had was a real problem to solve, a raison d’etre that was unique to their target audience, or a technological basis to solve that problem.
Yesterday, ChangeThis posted an essay entitled “Against You: A manifesto in favor of audience“, by Andrew Keen. Keen is famous for two things, the 18 month flame-out of Audiocafe.com and the merciless taunting of Web 2.0 boosters. The essay is a jaded, bitter and over-simplified rehashing of Jaron Lanier’s more academic essay, Digital Moaism. Channeling his inner Roger Ailes, Andrew Keen borrows the more reasoned and reasonable arguments from Digital Moaism and stretches them to the Fox extreme (its worth reading for that alone). Read the rest of this entry »