Some more on web 2.0 and user generated content

by oneafrikan on June 21, 2006

I’ve been writing a bit on user generated content (waiting for editorial consent!) lately for e-consultancy and there seems to be a real thread moving around the blogosphere where the emphasis seems to be on real writing for real people, not writing for the sake of advertising clicks or for what you think your audience wants to hear, but actually connecting with people – when you do that, it’s the purest and possibly easiest to do. The knock on effect is that you do develop a community around whatever you’re interested in…

So, without further ado, here’s some bedtime reading for you:
Jeff Veen on People writing on the web
Vanderwal on Still Thowing Out the User
Scoble on The Screwing of the Long Tail

They’ve all got interesting points, so I’m wondering whether anyone actually working on a user generated project is listening?

The way I see it, user generated content (for want of a better word) is only really going to work when it offers value, or it takes away a pain that someone is having – so you can’t fake it or create something and just hope that it will catch on, relying on advertising to bring in the big bucks… and so this is why I see vertical niches as the way the internet is moving. We all have our own vertical niched interests above and beyond what we all share in common (we all might read BBC news for example, but do we all have an interest in 1950’s Japanese samurai movies?) so it makes sense to tackle something that you’re passionate about – not sit in a corporate boardroom, suck your big thumb, and say “hey, we’re going to do user generated content in a big way, and we’re going to focus it on “name your celebrity here” – we’re sure to make it big!”. If you do, you’ve got rocks in your head, and you’ve obviously never implemented something like that… Web 2.0 isn’t going to be the silver bullet that makes something like that successful, not in the slightest…

Anyways, rant over ;-)

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