One species that has flourished in the world of Web 2.0 is the pundit. Change happens quickly and hard evidence has trouble catching up, leaving a certainty vacuum that can readily be filled by anyone with an air of authority.
While Net, Blogs and Rock’n’Roll is aimed squarely at the Web 2.0-prognostication market it’s far from being the worst example of this: David Jennings draws on plenty of personal experience as well as interviews and systematic research to paint a picture of the way music will be changed as a result of social changes brought about by web technology. Even so, this is fundamentally an attempt to gaze into a very hazy future, and while I found in it some good inspiration, nothing in it felt especially certain.
A particular problem with this book is that it goes on too long, without enough structure to make the purpose of much of the text clear. The last third of the book didn’t seem to add much value and felt more like an overly-extended summary than anything else, and was very hard work to get through.
If you’re in the music industry or a part of the web industry that overlaps with music, then this book is certainly worth reading as part of gathering a wide variety of opinions. There are plenty of insights to be had, if you approach them critically. If your interest in the future of music is more casual then you’re probably better served by tracking events as they happen on blogs rather than spending effort trying to divine the future.