More and more people have access to the Internet and share photos and their knowledge. This is the new media channel of the generation Web 2.0. It is important to know what is this concept of sharing and what are the pro’s and con’s of this theory.

Description of the theory:

UGC (also called consumer-generated media CGM) is the term used to describe any form of content such as video, blogs, discussions platform, images, audio files and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to others consumers.

This new concept is increasing because “everybody” has access to the Internet and there are more and more online distribution channels.

Moreover, posting or creating content is easy and cheap and the engagement is simple, straightforward and sustainable.

There is a table that identifies the different type of user-generated content. This classification divides the platform base on group platform and individual platform and the psychological motivation for engaging in User-generated content creation. It is separated in the rational (with a knowledge sharing or advocacy)and the emotional motivation ( Social connections or self-expression).

Con’s:

  • Quality of amateur contributors can be inconsistent. It is a question of credibility because you can not know exactly who answer to your question in a forum for example. You have to be able to detect and choose the right information.
  • Hackers are exploiting user-generated content features of social media websites. In fact, user-generated content and PHP-based applications are prevalent on the web. Some personal information is on the web but you didn’t know it and someone can use it against you. In the USA there were some trouble with information about military and the government.
  • One question who come often in mind is who owns all this contents? Because the Intellectual property laws regarding the Internet is a big issue here.

Pro’s:

  • Unpaid contributors (business models for media organization)
  • As said in the description of the theory, it is easy and cheap to post or create content. Most, today a lot of people have access to the Internet and there are more and more online distribution channels.
  • User-generated content gives to people a voice and a chance to say what they have to say about a subject.
  • Can help in marketing campaigns.
  • People can share their knowledge and other can find information that they were looking for. In fact they can have access to more information from different sources and different geographical regions. All information is generated by the customer and for the customer.
  • This kind of platform help people to talk about public debate.
  • The United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) encourages broadcasters “ particularly from the developing countries, to interact with their viewers and listeners to enhance the quality of the User-Generated Content through improved Media and Information Literacy of their audiences and, more specifically UGS producers”.

 In Marketing:

I’m studying Marketing and UGC take place in the Marketing glossary.

In fact, we can find some User-Generated Content Campaigns. Advertising agencies and brands are trying to use the authentic and original content of their fan or customer to power their marketing campaigns. If they need inspiration for the next marketing campaign, they can look to their customers’ reviews, they can also integrate fan photos and videos with their advertising campaigns or incorporate user-generated content in their next competition. Moreover, start discussion on social media is a good way to test what their customer wants to see in your next campaign. And finally they take advantage their community’s creativity and feature user-generated content on their website.

One example is the Lego Iphone Case on the website Belkin where customers created the coolest and most customizable iPhone case in partnership with Lego. It was asking to customer to show their creativity and post on instragram a photo with #LEGOxBelkin.

lego

For Belgium:

There are 2 project websites created in 2008 by the Free primary schools Meulebeke in Belgium : “I animate and I communicate” & “I integrate”. This two project are in relation to a eTwinning project.

I animate and I communicate”: There are two twins ( @ni and m@te) who want to travel around the world and they visit children’s classroom, school, city… Then children from all over the world can create animations to present their culture and their way of life. They turn into @ni and m@te and choose a view of the country where they live as background of the animation.

In the project “I integrate”, children dram about the future and try to build a better world. One team discovers a problem, makes a wish and the other team works out a solution. Children can create animations to show their ideas and solutions to problems. The topics of problems are famine, pollution, children’s rights, racism, and protection on nature…

References

ASHFORD W., Research shows danger of user-generated content, 24 may 2012, available online: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240150785/Research-shows-dangers-of-user-generated-content

DOU W., KRISHNAMURTHY S., Note from special issue editors: advertising with user-generated Content: A framework and Research Agenda, 2008, available online: http://jiad.org/article99.html

MEDEA Awards, I animate, I communicate, I integrate,2009 available online: http://www.medea-awards.com/showcase/i-animate-i-communicate-and-i-integrate

SCOTT M., Guidelines for broadcasters on promoting user-generated content and media and information literacy, October 2009, available online: http://www.cba.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Guidelines-for-Broadcasters-on-Promoting-User-generated-Content.pdf

Tayanne Schlesser – NEW MEDIA @ VIVES University College Kortrijk – 2014-2015

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