The Cult of the Amateur and The Long Tail – Two MUST READ books for BloggersBy: Guest Author
These are two must read books for bloggers that are not directly about blogging, but that have everything to do with producing your own content.
These two books offer opposing (yet counterbalancing) views of the world of user generated and self published content such as YouTube videos, and blogs.
Chris Anderson, in “The Long Tail”, is the champion spokesman for user generated content everywhere. He points out the many advantages realized by a society through increased selection when the items available for purchase and consumption are not limited to those commercially viable for the existing distribution avenues.
In “The Cult of the Amateur”, Andrew Keen points out many of the disadvantages that surface when you remove the editorial process and economic incentive from the distribution (or publication) channel. Without an editor and without any notion of economic viability, there is no longer any reasonable standard of quality to which anything is held.
These two authors present diametrically opposed points of view. In fact, I think if you put them in the same room together, you may get one of those matter-antimatter explosions that end civilization as we know it.
Yet, ironically, it appears they’re both right it least part of the time. The beauty of reading both at the same time is that it gives you a balanced point of view, and it lets you decide at what point on the continuum you feel most comfortable.
But as a blogger, i.e. someone who is contributing to the online universe which is a self published, unedited information base, I find it important to consider both points of view most of the time.
So if you’re seriously interested in the health and vitality of our online world, do yourself a favor pick up a copy of each and give them a quick read.
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