User Generated Content

A 37-post collection

Crowdsourcing, citizen journalism, and the lesson of scrapbook news

I want to further explore the idea of “scrapbook news” as a way of reframing the crowdsourcing/citizen journalism discussion. One reason mainstream news organizations haven’t embraced the concepts may be that the spirit (if not the letter) of the cit-j discussion tends to focus on the people involved »

The Coming War Over Data On The Web

If you dig beneath the surface of the brouhaha over Robert Scoble getting his Facebook account suspended for testing a new Plaxo Facebook app that mines user email addresses in violation of Facebook’s terms of service, you’ll find evidence of two increasingly apparent realities about the future of »

How Google Will Monetize YouTube Without User Generated Content

Let’s play a game. I’m thinking of a company that identifies talented people who can produce great content that attracts an audience. This company then pays these content producers to publish their content, with the aim of growing a large audience for that content and creating an editorial »

The User-Generated Content Myth

A whole mythology is emerging around the idea of “users” — consumers, fans, regular average folk — creating content that media companies and brands can leverage. It’s a compelling idea — but it’s a myth. The reality is that “average people” don’t create a lot of content — at least not »

Wrong On Hyperlocal: Google And Web 1.0 Killed Backfence

There’s been a lot of debate about what killed Backfence, the hyperlocal news site. Was it poor design? Lack of incentives for users to generate content? Bad business model? Maybe all of these contributed. But what really killed Backfence was Google and Web 1.0. One of the first »

Google Introduces User-Generated Content For Maps Without Community

I made the argument that Google’s weakness is community and social dynamics, which have become as fundamental to the Web as hyperlinks and which represent an opportunity for Yahoo or anyone else to change the game on Google. A perfect example is Google’s new “user-generated content” feature — adding »

User-Generated Content Is Not A Panacea

The Infinite Monkey Theorem (which now has an official name, thanks to Wikipedia) states that given an infinite amount of time, a monkey banging on a typewriter will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. I suppose Wikipedia has proven this true for encyclopedias, but advertising agencies that have open-sourced »

The Problem With Digg Is Anonymous Users

The Digg user revolt (see here if you haven’t heard the story) demonstrates the real problem with Digg — anonymous users are not accountable as individuals, so they have no qualms about breaking the law or forcing a company to break the law. This problem is above and beyond the »

Virginia Tech: First Thoughts

I haven’t posted yet about Virginia Tech because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it, which is difficult, to say the least. For me, Andrew Sullivan’s first take still applies: There is so much we don’t yet know about the Virginia Tech massacre, so »

The Great Media Industry Schism

The once monolithic media industry is undergoing a radical schism, dividing itself into content creation, on the one hand, and content aggregation and distribution on the other. The nature of this transformation suddenly crystallized for me when I read Tom Foremski’s piece on the new West Coast/East Coast »