Is user-generation a myth ?
User generated content seemed to be something we take for granted as “content generated by users” . But is this really true ? Few would dispute that less than 1% of visitors are actually generate content in most user-generated sites. Does this mean that about 1% of “ordinary visitors” generate content ?
Our experience is that this is untrue. Users do not generate content – enthusiast do. Online content generation seem to be a direct product of:
- Lowering of barriers to entry (eg. digital photography and vediography)
- Availability of forums in which content is cricked and appreciated and sometimes monetized
- New and niche content opportunities
But the content creators are not users. Neither are they professionals. They are a new category of people whose interest and expressive ability is being enabled by the web.
User generated forums have become welcoming places for those who harbor pet ambitions that were not fulfilled through their professional or carrier choices. Very often they are self taught and self motivated. They are now being referred to as semi-professionals.
It is therefore, extremely misleading to call content generated by them – user generated content – as it implies that normal users generated content, which is not the case. Its this extremely small, yet dedicated and passionate group of people who are creating content -not users.
User Generated Content may be then just a social network based online content sourcing activity attracting a new breed of content creators.
Filed under: Personalization | 3 Comments