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Monday, October 15, 2007

Andrew Keen: The Chicken Little of Web 2.0

I couldn't believe what I was reading this morning in AdWeek. Web 2.0 is going to kill advertising across all media, according to "author" Andrew Keen.

Here's some of Keen's rantings:

Web 2.0 advertising is like user-generated content: inane, ephemeral and annoying. In a word: worthless....

But the supposed "freedom" of Web 2.0 is creating inferior and often corrupt content, which in turn results in fewer credible advertising opportunities for discriminating buyers...

It can be measured everywhere, in falling CPM and the failure of social networks to develop viable business models.


Keen could have been talking about cable TV and reality programming's potential to disrupt network TV -- too much choice, low value content, and an erosion of ad dollars.

He has no clue. Yes, user-generated content, blogging and social networks should be valued differently today than mainstream media, and yes, they are stealing market share. But they are filling a need for content (for better or worse) from consumers that must be met, and old media is doing its part to cash in as well.

Advertising around web 2.0 is in active labor today, with all of the pain, mess (and beauty) that comes with the experience. Ad buyers and agencies will have to work harder through decentralized publishing networks to reach their target audience. But through interactive and targeted content, the link between advertiser and consumer can be made stronger, just as online community has brought publishers and consumers together as never before.

So you can listen to Keen and be a fuddy-duddy crying into your single-malted scotch about the good old days, or you can see the new disruptive opportunity for what it is and teach the new kids on the block a thing or two based on your experience.

Advertising won't die. But it will never be the same.

By John Gartner at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

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