DIGITAL VERTIGO

“Andrew Keen has found the off switch for Silicon Valley’s reality distortion field. With a cold eye and a cutting wit, he reveals the grandiose claims of our new digital plutocrats to be little more than self-serving cant. Digital Vertigo provides a timely and welcome reminder that having substance is more important than being transparent.”
- Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

“Unlike most commentators, Andrew Keen observes the internet as if from a distance. Digital Vertigo may be one of the few books on the subject that, twenty years from now, will be seen to have got it right. Neither blinkered advocate nor hardened cynic, he identifies the good and the bad with a rare human and historical perspective.”
- Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

“In a world of cheerleaders promoting a Randian cult of connectedness for the sake of it, Andrew Keen is a breath of fresh air. Part-William Gibson and part-Christopher Hitchens, Keen embraces new technology and all the devices that allow him to reach and listen to millions, but shows us the nagging doubt in his own mind about the long-term impact of constant self-exposure and infinite personal information: knowledge without wisdom.”
- Peter Bale, VP & GM Digital, CNN International

“A bracing read. From Hitchcock to Mark Zuckerberg and the politics of privacy, a savvy observer of contemporary digital culture reframes current debates in a way that clarifies and enlightens.”
- Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together

“Andrew Keen is that rarest of authors: one who has taken the time to understand the benefits of technological innovation before warning us of its risks. In Digital Vertigo Keen finds himself in a dizzying world where it is not just possible to share every detail of our professional and private lives, but actually expected. While a growing number of his friends — including those in the upper echelons of Silicon Valley society — preach the gospel of total transparency and cyber-oversharing, he refuses to blindly click the “accept” button. Instead he takes us on a guided tour of the history of privacy, solitude and the technology of socialization — before encouraging us to take a long, hard look at our lives before we blindly allow others to do the same. A vital and timely book that’s terrifying, fascinating, persuasive and reassuring all at the same time. And one that will make even the biggest Facebook-o-phile or Linked-in-a-holic think twice before adding another contact to their network.”
- Paul Carr, author of Bringing Nothing to the Party

“Web 3.0 has catapulted society to new technological heights, yet afflicted us individually with a profound sense of vertigo as we stand naked for all to see. It is almost too late to ask whether we would live our digital lives differently if we had known that privacy would become the scarcest commodity on the Internet. But in this timely and important book, Andrew Keen once again thinks one step ahead of social media pioneers, posing questions they will need to answer or risk facing a digital uprising. Equal parts philosophical and informative, Digital Vertigo brings us back to 19th century debates that have an eerie relevance to today’s technological dilemmas, while also laying out the latest corporate strategies being deployed to decipher and commercialize your most intimate thoughts. Better than any other multi-media expert, Keen challenges the false promise of the virtue of sharing.”
- Parag Khanna, author of How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance

“Despite the unfortunate lesson throughout the 20th Century of the dangerous allure of utopian thinking, the Digital Age has inspired a whole new generation of fabulously successful entrepreneurs who preach the revolutionary future of Web 2.0, Web 3.0,… That’s why Andrew Keen’s work is so important.  He’s a voice of informed caution, a Silicon Valley insider warning against false prophets and a future that may destroy as much as it creates.  In Digital Vertigo, he examines the fantastical claims for and astounding growth of social media, countering the vision of excited gurus with sober, reality-based queries and judgments.  The book is a tonic for individuals who are tired of the hype and coercion and display of online contact.  When Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, effuses over breakfast about how all human experience in the future will be fundamentally social and immediately shared, and Keen reminds him, ‘Some people simply want to be let alone,’ Hoffman is taken aback, apparently because such desires are inconceivable to him.  That’s the blindness of social media enthusiasts that Keen discloses, and those of us who don’t share their zeal will find in Digital Vertigo a potent and gratifying arsenal of response.”
- Mark Bauerlein, author of The Dumbest Generation

Digital Vertigo provides an articulate, measured, contrarian voice against a sea of hype about social media.  As an avowed technology optimist, I’m grateful for Keen who makes me stop and think before committing myself fully to the social revolution.”
- Larry Downes, author of Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance

“The internet is a hydra. The ghost is out of the bottle and we have no idea what this monster is about to do us. There are surely wonderful opportunities ahead, but also massive havoc and destruction to expect. This is why we so desperately need critical thinking, a new Frankfurt School, to look at the hydra from the inside out with clear eyes and without the usual standard naivety. Andrew Keen, being uniquely positioned between the pioneers of the internet world and proper intellectuality, has achieved exactly that with his formidable Digital Vertigo, the first prime example of what the Frankfurt School would have done with the internet had we been fortunate enough to have them around today. A must read for anybody seriously interested in the dark side of the internet, where the dreaded enemy is of course not at all where you think he would be.”
- Alexander Bard, Swedish philosopher, internet sociologist, and author of The Netocrats, The Global Empire, and The Body Machines, collectively known as The Futurica Trilogy

“More disorienting drivel from the enfant terrible of the digital age.  Do not buy this book as it will distract you from the truth (my views).”
- Don Tapscott, best-selling author, most recently Macrowikinomics

 ”Andrew Keen’s brilliant analysis of the internet’s impact on the human condition will strike fear in those who value their privacy and should induce caution in those who believe our lives ought to be an open book.  As comfortable discussing Jurgen Habermas as he is Mark Zuckerberg, Keen deftly cuts to the heart of the basic tradeoffs at stake in our increasingly interconnected world.  One wonders if our children will think the phrase ‘that’s none of your business’ is some quaint notion of a by-gone era.”
- James Goldgeier, Dean of the School of International Service at American University

Andrew Keen’s new book DIGITAL VERTIGO out May 22, 2012

Does Mark Zuckerberg know what the word “friend” means? Why are we all becoming so addicted to Twitter? Should everyone really be broadcasting the most intimate details of their lives on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +?  In Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen exposes latest Silicon Valley mania: today’s trillion dollar social networking revolution that is transforming the Internet. Every new online start-up, he reveals – from commerce to communications to entertainment  – is now going social in a transformation called “Web 3.0”.

In a fast-paced narrative set in London, San Francisco, Oxford and Amsterdam, Andrew Keen warns that what he calls this “cult of the social” is jeopardizing both our individual privacy and liberty. Using one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films – Vertigo – as his starting point, he argues that social media, with its generation of massive amounts of personal data, is encouraging us to fall in love with something that is too good to be true – a radically transparent 21st century society in which we can all supposedly realize our authentic identities on the Internet.

Digital Vertigo is the first substantial critique of Web 3.0. Written with his trademark humor and erudition, Digital Vertigo will make anyone who has ever questioned the purpose of Facebook or Twitter think more deeply about a social networking world in which, for better or worse, we are all now enmeshed.