Author Archives: lucybean

UGC for Christmas: Santa on Google Voice


When I was a kid my parents would reply to my letter to Father Christmas. Unfortunately loads of kids don’t get a faked return letter in curly handwriting and are left forever wondering whether St Nick actually has a post box at the North Pole.

Now Google has set up a Google Voice number for Santa (855-34-SANTA) where you can leave him a voicemail. There’s a website where you can set up a message that will ring any number in the United States with a personalised message from the big guy.

It asks you to input information such as your relationship to the recipient, what present they might like and a nickname to call them – where you choose from a list of options and the answers are input into a message from Father Christmas. Some of the choices are pretty self-promotional… ‘What would Paul like for Christmas’ brings up an Android phone and ‘What should Santa be doing before he delivers presents’ gives browsing Google maps as an option. But for a free tool that’ll put a smile on someone’s face I guess you can’t blame them.

Unfortunately you can only call US numbers, but you can send the voicemail via email or share on Facebook and Twitter. I put together this Christmas message for our online journalism lecturer Paul Bradshaw.


Merry Christmas!


By Lucy Hewitt

Dell’s Stephen Jio on UGC, citizen journalism & social media

Stephen Jio is Global Mobility Online Merchandising and Content Manager at Dell.

He told us that Dell’s most valued form of UGC is customer reviews and ratings on products they offer. They find that their users trust other users more than they trust a big corporate company.

He also tells us why he thinks UGC is making the media more honest.



By Kirsty Malcolm & Lucy Hewitt