User Generated Content (UGC) is changing the way we access our media and how traditional mass media procures its content and connects with its audiences. Although it has a rather clunky and troublesome name (more on that later) it has been around as long as media itself. It is a continuation of the letters page of the paper or the call in to the local radio station.
So what is user generated content?
On its most basic level – content generated by anyone. Content is easier to create now with affordable and accessible technology such as smart phones, flip cameras, blogging tools online etc. However, UGC has developed and evolved over its relatively short life. Now we should think about big and small publishers and then users.
Big publishers -the media giants we all know and love the broadcasters, print titles and online giants such as AOL, Yahoo and MSN. Small publishers -the widest of all categories and includes bloggers, individual websites. Users that’s you! This is why user generated content is such a troublesome term as the meaning has changed since it first came into use around 2005, though we are stuck with it for better or worse.
How do we contribute?
Flickr, Twitter, Digg, Guardian CiF, WordPress, Facebook, Blogspot, Tumblr the list is endless and depends on what you want to do. We’ll be reviewing some of the best technologies for getting your content online soon!
How are the ‘traditional’ Media harnessing UGC?
This is a big theme and one that we are really interested in. So we’ll be exploring it in a lot more detail. All of the broadcasters and papers are starting to get really innovate. Real time updates on twitter are used as newsgathering sources in emergencies such as the Mumbai bombings. Channel 4 created a ‘snow map’ last year to create an accurate picture of how the country was affected. The new ‘i’ paper has a great section on your views and the blogosphere all collected via UGC. These are just a few of the many ways the ‘big boys’ are getting in on the act
What’s next for UGC?
Although we don’t have a digital crystal ball (it’s on our Xmas list), we’ll be exploring all the latest developments and bringing you updates from some big names in the industry so keep checking the blog.
Lastly, we love comments so get in touch in the comments section or any other way you want email/twitter/facebook.