Cult of the Amateur

9780385520805My book now not only has a title and subtitle, but also a cover.

It will be called THE CULT OF THE AMATEUR: How Blogs, Wikis, Social Networking, and the Digital World are Assaulting our Economy, Culture and Values.

I love what Doubleday/Random House have done the cover of the book. It shouts out, in the most electric of oranges, the imminence of the cultural and economic crisis engendered by the digital revolution. There's not much time left, that symbolic hourglass suggests, until our whole culture is swept away by the dire consequences of Web 2.0 egalitarianism.

Assault! the cover warns. Assault, assault, assault!!!

For more on this assault, my debate with Chris Anderson  author of the Long Tail was both published and broadcast in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle.

I have the highest respect for Chris. I think he's done a brilliant job recalibrating Wired's message and his Long Tail is an extremely smart and elegant argument that is revitalizing mainstream media's interest in technology.

The only problem is that he's wrong. He's wrong that we are on the verge of a cultural renaisssance. He's wrong that the digital revolution will provide people with more viable avenues to become professional writers, musicians and film-makers. Most importantly, he's wrong that amateurism benefits mankind.

As I will show in my Cult of the Amateur, we are teetering on the edge of catastrophe. Blogs, wikis and social networking are, indeed, assaulting our economy, our culture and our values. Web 2.0 is pushing us back into the Dark Ages.

That's a big deal. It's a message that needs to shouted from every available soapbox -- even from a loathsome blog like this. It deserves to be broadcast in the most electric of oranges.