Keen vs Colbert

I have just been to see Andrew Keen and Richard Sambrook in discussion at The Frontline Club. Keen came across as sad. I don't mean that patronisingly. I was genuinely feeling melancholy on his behalf. He seems to see the worst in everything both the internet and the people who inhabit it. While saying he is not a conspiracy theorist he comes across as someone scared of something, maybe even himself .... His arguments are emotive and he clearly feels strongly but Richard gently pulled him apart by picking him up on his arguments and their many inconsistencies.

I regretted having paid to feed a troll.

[Added later in a comment]

He came across as someone who had seen an opportunity to piggy back on publicity being attracted by people who he was personally annoyed by. I didn't think his arguments were convincing and certainly didn't reflect the views of many of the people he was attacking most of whom I know personally.

He fell into the trap of seeing web 2.0 as a thing and one being driven in a certain direction. Those of us excited by the prospect of more people having a voice aren't anit-elitist - maybe more anti protectionist! He talked a lot about authority but this is the biggest weakness in his argument. Web 2.0 doesn't remove the need for authority it just distributes the way it is conferred more widely. Likewise it doesn't negate expertise or excellence it just widens the net as to where it might emerge.

As to the sadness this was just an impression I got from his demeanour. He swung from looking vulnerable to coming across as pretty nasty and sneering. Maybe what happens when you know you are pushing your luck and feel guilty about taking others for a ride?

[Lloyd puts it much better here]