Thursday, 26 April 2007

User-generated discontent

In the second session of the afternoon, John Naughton asked whether the current "euphoric wave" for user-generated content was really "just an illusion". He added that rather give us more freedom, the shift towards amateur content was "actually still under the control of the companies who provide the sites." He added: "Its not freedom is the literal sence of the term." He went on to wonder whether "people are going to wake up and say they are being ripped off?"

James Cridland (Digital Media Virgin Radio) shrugged off the concerns stating that he felt that there exist a set of sufficient rewards for users to continue creating content for big media companies. Mike Taylor (Sky Movies Networked Media) was more candid, citing the sudden whelter of footage Sky News was now buying from members of the public (£250 a pop is the going rate). But, he warned, "people are putting themselves in dangerous situations." During the Buncefield oil depot explosion of 2005, the police told Sky that they had seen people runnig towards the blaze in order to get better pictures. "It will take a major disaster before people really begin to wonder whever this is a good idea."


SarahC said...

great summary of a broad discussion. i felt a big part of the debate was missing - about the distinction between the desire to 'leave a trace' of oneself in these 'user-generated content' sites and actually participating in these platforms for the sake of (other / non-monetary) reward. after all, you might be a recognised amazon reviewer because you've written a lot of book reviews, but not necessarily because you're very good at writing book reviews. user-generated-content sites vary enormously in terms of their filters, and that's what we should spend more time talking about - the filters - and the value of creativity in and of itself.

James Cridland said...

Sarah, I'm not sure I agree about this being a good summary. I didn't "shrug" off anything - quote the opposite, in fact.

Quality is in the eye of the beholder, but I agree that the 'filters' need work - as I also blogged about. Quantity doesn't equal quality, of course - though quantity is much easier for computers to deal with than quality.