Friday, July 21, 2006

User Generated Content

User Generated Content (UGC) – has caught the world by storm – not unlike “portals” some time ago. It seems everybody needs one. I’ve chaired an Intellect Convergence Conversation on the subject and also been to a couple more – notably the one organized by Mint Digital, in London recently.

I still ask the lingering question – is it too late to be thinking about User Generated Content? And the answer is probably yes, if you’re looking to make a quick buck on the 15-24 age group audience. About 30 businesses are ahead of you in the queue – notably MySpace (Now News Corp, looking to recover about 600 million dollars), YouTube, MTV, BBC and Flextech (Trouble) and many more.

Is there any point thinking about it then? Yes, resoundingly yes. And here are some of the things worth thinking about:

a) how do we get adults to participate in UGC activities? What motivates adults? How do we reward them?
b) How do we slice and dice the undifferentiated markets into specialized communities? This may be the key to a) above. For example, a focused community of property professionals?
c) The Enterprise Market – UGC may well be the next layer on Enterprise Knowledge Management systems – say engineers from Automotive Testing & Service businesses sharing info on specific types of problems/ faults and their resolution. How to enable this?
d) How do brands deal with this? How do they get the same kind of feverish participation which YouTube and Google Video enjoy? How should brands react to users spending more and more time on YouTube, or its equivalents? Should you advertise on YouTube or build your own UGC concept?

Television companies believe they have the lead in this – because they can bring TV audiences and 15 seconds of “real fame” for their users. Internet companies believe TV has had its day. Clearly Television has the benefit of existing audiences and a mature and accepted channel. But it is hampered by the excessive rights issues around Broadcast, and also the more stringent regulations/ dos and don'ts on TV. And as somebody rightly suggested, the moderation of the same can become significantly large activities. here's the Wikipedia link on the matter I liked this contra-view on UGC by Powazec mobile blogging Mint Digital's new tool for creating UGC sites.

More to come....


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