According to the Guardian Networking blog [you spotting the theme to today's postings? Well, ok it was in the Observer] amateurs who move towards making a living from their on-line presence risk attacks from readers who make it their business to critique self-publishers [self-publicists?], who then are left burned out and blogged out. The article goes on "The backlash started in earnest last year when Andrew Keen, a former dotcom entrepreneur, published Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture, an attack on what he sees as a noisy crowd with little interesting to say."
I've little sympathy for Keen - publicly and professionally we have the ability to avoid, ignore, forget about the babble, in the same way that we can avoid Heat magazine and the dross of the Premiership if we want. However, the telling point for me is enabling our staff and students to understand how to present themselves in a context of risk that they recognise and accept, be that using Ning.com or facebook, blogger or Twitter, or Scribble. Publish and be damned.