Monday, January 19, 2009
User-generated content (UGC): get used to it
Newsrooms across America are wringing their hands and fretting about the dreaded question over the value of user-generated content. I have news for them: get used to it. The days of newsrooms setting the agenda are over, and in fact there are myriad examples of UGC that are more compelling than anything one might read in their local newspaper. Here are two examples, both dealing with niche topics where UGC flourish. The first is a blog written out of Washington D.C. devoted to learning the guitar (www.playalittleguitar.com) It's refreshing and wonderfully put together and relies on the wit of its author rather than its content. The second is a local Bakersfield website devoted to hard-core bicyclists. Written by retired endodontist Dr. Robert Smith, Velobob.com is far less elegant in design but nonetheless is rich in content. If you are a cyclist in Kern County, it's a must read for information on rides, product recalls and local gossip. Both of these sites live outside the mainstream media and thrive, and it's time newsrooms recognize the power of UGC and its contribution to local media.