User-generated content (UGC) refers to a variety of media available in a range of modern communications technologies. UGC is often produced through open collaboration: it is created by goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product or service of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike.

The term entered mainstream usage during 2005, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles. Today it is used for a wide range of applications, including problem processing, news, gossip and research, through a variety of media: question-answer databases, digital video, blogging, podcasting, forums, review-sites, social networking, social media, mobile phone photography and wikis. In addition to these technologies, user-generated content may also employ a combination of open source, free software, and relaxed restrictions on intellectual property and flexible licensing or related agreements, in order to further reduce the barriers to collaboration, skill-building and discovery. UGC has also gained in popularity over the last decade, as more and more users have begun to flock to social media and content-based sharing sites.

In my University I’m studying Business administration and I think we can apply UGC in our business. First of all we need to understand what user-generated content is and after that to use it in our advantage. Due to the fact that the internet is free and anybody can write everything on social media could be a disadvantage. If a company that competes with you wants to do a bad advertisement to your business they can write bad things about your products and services on blogs, on your Facebook page and maybe some people will believe it and they will think twice before buying from you. A good and a bad thing with the internet is the fact that the information gets very fast to the people. Sometimes people launch news before knowing exactly if is true or not and due to the speed of the internet you can have wrong information. If you can make a good commercial to your company it will go viral on the internet. People will start to share it , to talk about it . Sometimes they will try to make a song about it so in that case you reached a bigger audience then you wanted to.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest in your marketing campaign you can make by yourself a short clip in which you present what you have and put it on YouTube. This can be in a funny way so people will remember it and share it or can be in a professional way. If you chose one of those methods it will cost you nothing.

In the past companies were using newspapers, radio and TV to advertise their products. Now they take advantage of what this century offers them. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WordPres, Blogs are just few example of how social networks and blogging sites can affect your products. If your product is good and somebody likes it they take a picture of it and uploaded to Facebook or Instagram. His friends will see that and some of them will try the product. Also people can write their experience on the blog, where they have been in the past few months, what countries they visited and so on.

Facebook helps companies to maintain the relationships with customer. This relation can be maintained only by interaction with your client. Companies can achieve customer satisfaction by answering the queries of the customers by providing them the information that they need. All they need to do is to create an official Facebook page, post the latest news and to answer to messages of the customers.

The advent of user-generated content marked a shift among media organizations from creating online content to providing facilities for amateurs to publish their own content.

The media companies of today are starting to realize that the users themselves can create plenty of material that is interesting to a broader audience and adjust their business models accordingly. Many young companies in the media industry, such as YouTube and Facebook, have foreseen the increasing demand of UGC, whereas the established, traditional media companies have taken longer to exploit these kinds of opportunities.

Realizing the demand for UGC is more about creating a “playing field” for the visitors rather than creating material for them to consume. A parallel development can be seen in the video game industry, where games such as World of Warcraft, The Sims and Second Life give the player a large amount of freedom so that essential parts of the games are actually built by the players themselves.

A lot of people started to criticize this User-generated content. The criticism to date has addressed issues of fairness, quality, privacy, the sustainable availability of creative work and effort among legal issues namely related to intellectual property rights such as copyrights etc.




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