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Saturday, August 13, 2005

User Generated Content – Not An Universal Solution

I have been covering and sharing perspectives on user generated content several time as can be seen here, here, here where the theme generally had been that user generated content influences traffic/ helps enterprise in general.

David Beisel writes after the investment in Intercasting (specializing in user generated content for mobiles) – lot of companies are pitching in with web services on user generated content. He writes that:
- All content is not created equal. Specialised/vertical areas by definition need specialist idea/content creators. The content creators themselves may be driven by multiple motivations for creating the content. This can vary from intrinsic rewards, like a positive feeling of contribution for sharing and a sense of connecting with others, or intangible and external rewards, as many blog authors are seeking fame and recognition. And in some cases,the rewards are explicit, tangible, and external - there users get paid to contribute.The need to contribute need to be assessed as this may reveal valuable insights.
- Size /Trust Matters - User-generated content can come in all shapes and sizes – from microcontent (text snippets, photos, and location information) to full-length (podcasts, vcasts, essays/articles, etc.)The nature and volume of content generation should correlate to consumption for the mechanism to be recognized as offering true value. Some areas of subject matter require certain authority to support the material. Trusting the source is imperative in nearly all types of information.
User-generated content is indeed valuable, but professional content-generation – “traditional” media – is not going away anytime soon. I completely agree with David - all types of information out there should not be user-generated. There are certain applications where user-generated content makes a lot of sense; but there are many verticals and applications where content creation should be left to the professionals.

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