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He observes that as advertising dollars migrate from newspapers, magazines and television news to the Web, organizations with the expertise and resources to finance investigative and foreign reporting face more and more business challenges.And he suggests that as CD sales fall (in the face of digital piracy and single-song downloads) and the music business becomes increasingly embattled, new artists will discover that Internet fame does not translate into the sort of sales or worldwide recognition enjoyed by earlier generations of musicians.
By stealing away our eyeballs, the blogs and wikis are decimating the publishing, music and news-gathering industries that created the original content those Web sites ‘aggregate.’ Our culture is essentially cannibalizing its young, destroying the very sources of the content they crave.” Keen quotes social philosopher Jürgen Habermas about the internet and related technologies: "The price we pay for the growth in egalitarianism offered by the Internet is the decentralized access to unedited stories.
He warns against a future of "when ignorance meets egoism meets bad taste meets mob rule." The New York Times ran an article by Michiko Kakutani calling the book "a shrewdly argued jeremiad" and also saying that the book "is eloquent on the fallout that free, user-generated materials is having on traditional media." She wrote that the author "wanders off his subject in the later chapters of the book" but broadly "writes with acuity and passion". Sanger said that "The book is provocative, but its argument is unfortunately weakened by the fact that Keen is so over-the-top and presents more of a caricature of a position than carefully reasoned discourse." He said that it was hypocritical for Keen to express support for Citizendium, for incorporating expert opinion, when the inherent point of the project is to supply free content, which Keen so opposes in principle.
Sanger stated that the book "combines several different criticisms of Web 2.0, incoherently, under the rubric of `the cult of the amateur'" but the book "is a much-needed Web 2.0 reality check".
The book was based in part on a controversial essay Keen wrote for The Weekly Standard, criticizing Web 2.0 for being similar to Marxism, for destroying professionalism and for making it impossible to find high quality material amidst all of the user-generated web content.
Keen argues against the idea of a read-write culture in media, stating that "most of the content being shared— no matter how many times it has been linked, cross-linked, annotated, and copied— was composed or written by someone from the sweat of their creative brow and the disciplined use of their talent." As such, he contrasts companies such as Time Warner and Disney that "create and produce movies, music, magazines, and television" with companies such as Google.