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Spreading out, dumbing down, wasting time

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Editor's note: The following post was made by Inman News publisher Bradley Inman on the Inman News Blog. Click here to follow the discussion this post sparked or to join in. Spreading out, dumbing down, wasting time A sign that the Web 2.0 hoopla may be peaking is the number of critics lining up to challenge the value of new applications for connecting, sharing, self-publishing and niche communicating. The most controversial critic is Andrew Keen who penned a new book, "The Cult of the Amateur," which has die-hard bloggers and social networkers in a tizzy. Warning against the dumbing down of culture, Keen challenges the great democratization promise of Web 2.0. He concludes that the movement is a hairball of casual commentary and connectivity around celebrity, tech trends and the idiosyncrasies of a small number of obsessive personalities. We are dubbed "enthusiastic monkeys." In a review, New York Times book review queen Michiko Kakutani declares Keen's work "provocative" -- a star o...