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So welcome. My name is Mary Hodder and I am moderating tonight's session and I think that I was asked because I have a company called Dabble, its dabble.com video search and discovery sight. We aggregate video or aggregate the pointers to video and create a search in and discovery system where the users actually do the programming and discovery pieces. And so to some degree we are allowing people to do the kinds of things that in a moment Andrew will describe in his book that he has a pretty provocative and a strong thesis about. So anyway let me go ahead and just introduce them and then I will have them introduce their books. So Andrew Keen is the author of The Cult of the Amateur and Ori Brafman is the author of The Starfish and the Spider and of course both of them are both books are available over there and let me hold them up so that you can see them. So Andrew is the author of the book but he has also done some other things that I actually think are really interesting. He was the founder of a company in 1995 called Audio CafÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â© or Audiocafe.com. And most recently he is the founder and Chief Executive of After TV which I think if I interpret it right is a marketing consulting firm that gives advice I think to companies and entities that are trying to navigate, sort of the post TV world online. And then Ori is according to the Book Jacket, a life long entrepreneur. He has built a wireless company, a health-food advocacy group, and a network of CEOs working on public benefit projects and he also for those who cares, since we are in Berkeley and very close to the campus startles the sort of Cal-Stanford rivalry, having attended both schools, once for at Berkeley for under graduate and once at Stanford for graduate school. So very quickly I wanted to just mention an idea that I think is very interesting and the dichotomy between the two books and the thesis that each of them put forth. And they will explain really what the thesis are but you know, I think here in the Bay area we tend to really be attracted to the idea of the democratization of media that the internet provides. We are able to produce anything we want and there are no gate keepers or filters that would prevent us from doing that because of the tools and technologies that the internet provides in the various publishing mechanisms. And then of course the search tools that allow those published pieces to surface. So you know, a lot of people think that's a really terrific thing. I actually think that that's a terrific thing. But I also know in building my company that there is a lot of bad stuff out there, what could be called "bad". I think often times its actually really personal media that people are publishing for their friends and its not necessarily meant to be something that would be on par with say, a New York Times article or a kind of what people call sort of a Pro-Am kind of publishing that people engage in, who may not be paid for paid by a publisher but they are engaging in a semi professional or may be a fully professional type of or style of media production and so anyway, that said I would like to have each of them introduce their books and then we can kind of get to discussing with you all what it is the these issues kind of relate. And shall we have may be Andrew go first. Yeah, thank you. Thanks very much for is this working? Thanks very much for coming; I appreciate on a nice Friday evening. My book no this isn't that. I don't I don't own a copy, I gave them all away. The Cult of the Amateur is a I think the best way to describe it as a subversion of this the original subversion. So it's a web 2.0 style attack on Web 2.0. Its it suggests that the so that the democratization of the internet that the ideal of democratization actually doesn't result in real democracy. I think the argument I am trying to make is that the argument I think I am trying to make is that the so called democratization of the internet, the explosion of user generated content does two or three corrosive things. Firstly it undermines mainstream media which I think is generally a bad thing because I think mainstream media does relatively decent job in terms of generating reliable information and entertainment. And over the last 50 or 100 years it has actually created an extremely lucrative and viable series of economies around information and entertainment. Secondly I think that the explosion of user generated content actually reduces the value the essential values in our culture, undermines media literacy and creates cultural chaos. And author, a fellow called David Weinberger who I have been involved in debating, recently also wrote an interesting book called Everything Is Miscellaneous. I think he is right. And I my book is a criticism of that. I don't think it's healthy when everything becomes miscellaneous. When the internet becomes this chaos of user generated content, where there are no essential standards, no truths. The core of my book suggests that this user generated economy doesn't generate particularly viable independent content. The ultimate result of the web.2.0 revolution is a media in which we will have one long commercial break rather like YouTube. The flattening event of media results in the confusion of content and advertising and the undermining of of the creative class the very creative class that has created independent media. I also have a suspicion that behind the democratizers and the radicals of the web.2.0 movement is a new oligarchy. But that oligarchy is anonymous. And I think that oligarchy is actually potentially rather invidious. In other words behind the so called wisdom of the crowd internet web.2.0 activists who spent their time gaming various so called democratic search engines and taste makers. So my book is really a it's a conservative it's a subversive conservative defense of the traditional structures, organization and values of traditional media. And it's an attack on both the the ideal of Web.2.0 and what I see as its reality. And I will say more about it but why don't we why don't Ori talk about his and then we go backs and forward. Actually, quickly let me ask, does everybody understand the concept of web.2.0? Let me just explain it really quickly so that we make sure that everybody understands the jargon that we are using. So there is a concept that was just named by John Batelle and Tim O'Reilly who run a conference called the wWeb.2.0 Summit. And the reason they termed this what they called the second generation of the web, it's not an actual software upgrade, the way that you would think of you know, going from Photoshop 5.0 to 6.0. It's actually sort of a sea change in the way that the web with the way that we interact with the web is and so the point that they were making was that Web 1.0 was the static web, it was a web where people would publish websites and those people were typically web developers. It was very difficult to publish a website; this websites didn't change very often and then sites like Google which would search them would index those sites and things were not terribly social in other words. They were it was more of a like a library kind of a concept which is why Google is successful in the way that it operates, because it functions around information like a car catalogue would except in an electronic form. The social web, Web.2.0, is a concept that incorporates both publishing and the interaction that people engage in around those published things. It can be a photo, it can be a blog poster, it can be professional news content but the idea is that there is a social interaction and that the social interaction generates even more media than the original pieces of media that that is being talked about or discussed online or interacted with. And that this second generation of the web because of ease of publishing tools anybody can do it and the ease of interacting around and the collection of those interactions creates a whole another level of behavior in and in the media productions, so. I might have a shot at it as well. I think you might contrast Web 1.0 over Web 2.0. The Web 1.0 period was the period, say between the early 90s and 2000 with a specific moment in 2000 I think was April or mid April 2000 when Web 1.0 finished with the NASDAQ crash, Black Friday in April 2000. The first period I think can be imagined as a way in which traditional media saw the internet as way of putting its traditional content, particularly music and news online. It wasn't really as revolutionary as we imagine internet to be now. It was purely a new channel for the distribution of traditional content. Web 2.0 is more revolutionary. The company that bridges 1.0 and 2.0 is Google, that was founded I think in 1998. What's different about the typical Web 2.0 company is that they their product their product is a technological platform that enables anybody to broadcast on the internet. So a typical Web 2.0 company would be a company that sells blogging software or sells video software like YouTube that enables you to put your videos online. So the Web 2.0 companies are not content companies. The are vehicles that enable anyone to become broadcasters themselves. And my critique is that, whilst this, in some ways it's very exciting and there is obviously, companies like YouTube are quite dynamic and interesting in many ways. It's not enabling real content, professional content produces. Web 2.0 is essentially empowering amateurs, that's why I called my book The Cult of the Amateur, its empowering people who aren't professional writers or movie makers or musicians. And generally then the the consequence of Web 2.0, of these platforms for the distribution of content is amateurish content. So and then here is Ori and so well, go ahead. So I want to go back in time a little bit to I think about 12 years ago, I was just here a little bit earlier, I was walking around the campus and I remembered my College Advisor Joe Neelands, who is this really cool guy in the Biotech Bio-Chem. Department and I was sitting at Joe's Office and the time I was a student on UC Berkeley and I was running a vegan non-profit and I talking to Joe about how those all these different non profits and they are not coordinating with each other and there is a lot of noise especially in Berkeley of all these different voices. And Joe kind of looks at me and sits back and he says, well you know Ori, it's a field of a thousand flowers and let them bloom. And I don't think I really understood what Joe was talking about, fully till about 4 or 5 years ago. So let's fast forward to 2001, I just graduated from Business School, and was running was working on a company that did wireless technologies in court houses, charging lawyers to use all the services and stuff and and 9/11 happened. And my co author Rod and I started talking and sort of reflecting how the world had changed and that we just wanted to do something to be able to help. And we understood two fundamental things. We understood business and we understood we thought we understood social networks. So we started a non profit of CEOs working for peace and economic development. And because it's of CEOs it really didn't want to have to have anyone in charge. They really wanting to self fund the entire thing and had little circles of 10 to 12 individuals each all over the world working on different projects. And my mom who is Israeli kept on calling and said, Ori what do you do? What is this thing? And I said, well you know, this guys talking to each other and they produce some great dialogue and we are really excited about it. People kept on thinking what is the their there here. And eventually some of the circles achieved some remarkable results specifically in India Pakistan circle, worked very heavily on opening flights between two countries. There is a group in Africa that started that helped a non profit working on giving micro loans to very, very poor women. And all these circles are starting to get real attraction; people came to us and said, well, how did you do this? And we said, well, it's not really us, it's the circles. It's the power of letting people really, if you were to use Joe's analogy, it's the power of the field of a thousand flowers and that some of the circles achieved some remarkable results. And as the people kept on coming to us and saying, how do you explain the success of this network, we the only one metaphor we had was Alcoholics Anonymous and the quick story about Alcoholics Anonymous is back in The Great Depression, this guy Bill W. was sitting there reservedly, holding a kind of beer and knowing that he's going to die in six months unless he stop. And he tried every single program in the world and none of it worked. And finally one of his friends said you know, I went on a trip to Europe and there is this new model of just sitting in a circle and sharing with each other about our addiction and helping each other. It seemed kind of like a really weird flaky thing to do but he said, well I don't have I don't have an option. Let me just try it. And long before we all know that Alcoholics Anonymous worked wonders and is actually the most effective way of comparing addiction. And Bill had this really important decision to make, he said, I can either hold the model here or I can let any one replicate Alcoholics Anonymous, anyone in the country. So all of you out right there wanted to start a group there in Berkeley you can and if you guys wanted to start something in San Francisco or New York, you can and if Berkeley goes out of business then that doesn't really affect New York. And so for a while we were talking about how we are kind of like Alcoholics Anonymous until we encountered a marine biologist who said, well it's really the difference between a starfish and a spider. And the core difference between a spider and starfish is that if you look at a spider and let's say, spider would loose one of its legs and you are going to have a crippled spider on your hands. And if the spider is actually going to loose its head, you are going to kill the spider. And starfish if you cut off the arms of a starfish, most species will actually grow a new arm back. Not only that but there is a lot of species where the arm will grow an entire new body. And the reason that the starfish is able to do this is because each one of its major organs are replicated throughout the species. There is no head that's in charge, in fact scientists don't even know how starfish move, just one arm decides to go here and one arm decides to go here. And it's a chaotic but it's a very robust and efficient system for getting stuff done. And we you look at the world today you realize that the internet is really a great enabler for starfish. There is host of Starfish organizations from, Wikipedia to Craigslist to YouTube that really allow anyone to participate and really allow a lot of flexibility and freedom. Some of the learning if you will, from observing just these groups are, first the knowledge tends to reside at the edge of the network. So if you are running an Alcoholics Anonymous circle here in Berkley - will have probably have a better knowledge about the community than someone way back in New York. If I am working on the ground and say a hurricane situation, I am going to have a better knowledge than someone in Washington DC making the decision whether or not to give money to Katrina for example. So, the question; how do you get the knowledge to come up to how do you collect that knowledge, how do you gain from that knowledge and how do you filter that knowledge because some there is going to be a lot of variance in starfish types organizations. The Second element of starfish is that it's really about freedom and mutability and ambiguity, that when there is no one charge anyone can pursue a something on YouTube or on a video site and it's up to the users really to start filtering that out. So the responsibility falls down to the users rather than having one person in charge saying, yeah you are naive for this article, for this video. And the more I have looked at the world, kind of with starfish-spider lens, the more you see starfish regenerating starting all over the place. My favorite one of my favorite new examples is this organization called Couchsurfing.com which has 200,000 people across around the world. And their mission is to just provide free places to crash. So you can whether it's a spare room, a spare bed, inflatable mattress, whatever and it's a non-reciprocal system. So anybody can crash and end up as house, it's really up to the members to decide who can you know, if you want to invite someone into your house or not. And you are not really expected to get anything in return. From my perspective I think that's a really beautiful thing because it's allowing members if you were the amateur, to have more power in terms of building community, in terms of having a voice and in terms positively influencing the world.