Monday, April 10, 2006

Long live Authentic Media

Powazek: Just a Thought: Death to User-Generated Content: "Dear internet,

Can I make a suggestion? Let's all stop using the phrase 'user-generated content.' I'm serious. It's a despicable, terrible term. Let's deconstruct it.

User: One who uses. Like, you know, a junkie.

Generated: Like a generator, engine. Like, you know, a robot.

Content: Something that fills a box. Like, you know, packing peanuts.

So what's user-generated content? Junkies robotically filling boxes with packing peanuts. Lovely.

Calling the beautiful, amazing, brilliant things people create online 'user-generated content' is like sliding up to your lady, putting your arm around her and whispering, 'Hey baby, let's have intercourse.'

They're words that creepy marketeers use. They imply something to be commodified, harvested, taken advantage of. They're words I used to hear a lot while doing community consulting, and always by people who wanted to make, or save, a buck.

Think about the rest of the world. Writers produce stories or articles. Authors write fiction or memoir. These are words infused with meaning and romance. Can you imagine a writer saying 'I am a content provider' when asked what they do?

Lately the notion that the web is about 'user-generated content' has been getting more traction. With the success of MySpace and Flickr, pundits are looking for..."

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