My colleague Tish Grier has joked that the fastest way to get traffic to your blog is to “flame an A-list [blogger].” That’s the troll ethic in a nutshell.
Andrew Keen — a consummate smarmy snobbish gadfly and author of “The Cult of the Amateur” — definitely has his troll routine down pat. In fact, by peddling his ill-informed, poorly reasoned scorn for all things online, he’s managed to piss a lot of people off (not just geeks) and sell a lot of books.
Hey, good for him. There are harder ways to make a living.
Last night, Keen was a guest on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Don’t miss this video, it’s hilarious — and telling. My favorite exchange:
Keen: The Internet is destroying our culture
Colbert: Doesn’t the internet spread our culture? I mean I can go onto any old web site and get any old picture I like. Isn’t that culture?
Keen: That’s stealing culture.
Colbert: But it’s still culture, though. I mean, the Nazis stole culture but it was still culture.
Keen: It’s worse than that, it’s worse than stealing culture.
Colbert: It’s worse than the Nazis? The internet is worse than the Nazis, that’s what you just said sir.
Keen: Even the Nazis didn’t put artists out of work.
Colbert: Tell that to Egon Schuler.
…Note, though, that despite his avowed internet aversion Keen does have a blog. It even allows comments, to which Keen does not deign to respond.
(Thanks to Tom Vilot for the tip.)