Writing what you want to read
Flipping through the TV channels the other night, Jami Davis stopped at a man lamenting over the atrocities of online, ‘amateur’ content and its destructive path through the very foundation of its counterpart ‘expert’ content. This man believed the amateur would bring society to its knees.
The interview then cut to a man sitting on a park bench easily talking about the blossoming era of the amateur. He didn’t believe the amateur was stealing the expert’s thunder, but rather allowing us all to share information with each other more freely.
This is part of a long ongoing debate on how the digital revolution is affecting our society. As reported on Expatica in the article ‘Seeing ourselves through the internet’, during a debate on the influence of the internet on our society, Andrew Keen, author of 'The cult of the amateur', aggressively defends the authority of professionals and experts. Countering Keen’s ideas, Andrew Weinberger says that "authority and trust are far more complex" than the way Keen looks at it and believes that it all depends on who we turn to and why we trust them.
An amateur as defined by Wikipedia is a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without formal training or pay. Since amateurs often do not have training, amateur work can sometimes be seen as sub-par. However amateurism is also a voluntary motivation to work as a result of personal passion for a particular activity, and where there’s passion, excellence can follow.
Sites like Wikipedia have rocketed to success due to people with a passion for sharing information, both amateur and professional, and whether they know what they are talking about is again measured by other contributors, who may be ‘experts’, professionals or amateurs.
Expatica.com also sees this trend. When Editor of Expatica Netherlands Natasha Gunn pondered in one of her editor’s diaries on why the Dutch hadn’t developed the art of making great ice-cream like the Italians, she received an outpouring of responses from readers. We all discovered that yes, there is indeed good Dutch ice cream, and here’s where to find it.
Although Expatica publishes copy from professional sources and written by the experts, we'd also like your input, not only because it reflects your views and knowledge of living abroad, but because other readers enjoy reading it.
So we’re inviting you to provide your views and advice on living in the Netherlands. Tell us about your life, your experiences; your love of this country (or your discontent)…
Some of the best
We’ve selected a few of the best submissions, which are varied in topic and style, for you to get an idea of what we’ve already published:
By Ciarán ONéill
Such a flap over Eurovision contender Colin McGovern
By Paola Duque-Westbeek
Rita rocks Holland
Lousewies van der Laan
Amanda van Mulligen
The Maxima and the minima
Double Dutch paperwork pays off
Not interested in the articles above? Then send us something that does interest you. Most likely this is what other expats would like to read about too.
For those of you that want to debate with the international community, check out our forums.
Send your written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contribute by sending photos or videos. You can either send them to email@example.com or add them to our newly-created flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/people/expatica/. All contributed material will be credited accordingly.
Photos by Expatica readers: Green parrrot by Ciarán ONéill, Rembrandt park and cyclist by Alex Cima.
2 May 2008