Friday, September 08, 2006

On Participatory Media and User Generated Content. A multi-post series.

This is a multi-post series on the topics of Participatory Media and Consumer Generated Content.

Part 1. Talking to Ourselves
It's what people do!

Part 2. What Are We Talking About?
Defining the terms and context.

Part 3. Its Gotten Personal
The points of connection are now directly to, and between, individuals.


• • •

Introduction
As a Creative Director, it's a very exciting time to be involved in the worlds of digital media and advertising. For agencies and clients, it's mostly scary. A lot is changing and it's changing fast. The ways in which people interact and information is shared is going through a radical transformation.

The Wikipedia entry for: User Generated Content. A term that has come into the mainstream during 2005 in web publishing and new media content production circles. It refers to on-line content that is produced by users of websites as opposed to traditional media producers such as broadcasters and production companies. It reflects the democratisation of media production through new technologies that are accessible and affordable. These include digital video, blogging, podcasting, mobile phone photography and, of course, wikis. Prominent examples of websites based on User Generated Content include Flickr, Friends Reunited, eBay, FourDocs and Wikipedia. The advent of User Generated Content marks a shift among media organisations from creating on-line content to creating the facilities and framework for non-media professionals (i.e. 'ordinary people') to publish their own content in prominent places.

• • •

The death of the 30-second spot and the rise of Participatory Media and Consumer Generated Content are hot topics, but too often are used as opportunities for hyperbole and self-promotion while kicking traditional agencies now that they're down. Sure, that's fun and profitable, but it adds very little to the understanding of what's really happening.

Madison Avenue's 30-Second Spot Remover. New York Times profile of Bob Greenberg and R/GA.

There is also a growing number of passionate and invovled people who are trying to use what is going on to elevate the game of marketing. Joseph Jaffe has written a very thought provoking book called Life After the 30-Second Spot. I'm a big fan of his podcast, Across the Sound. I agree with Joseph on many, many things but occasionally feel he misses the big picture as a result of being a marketing practitioner and so deeply involved in seeing the issues from that perspective.

My goal in the following posts is to reframe the discussion and to get some clarity in areas where the thinking has been sloppy. I'll begin by looking at Participatory Media in terms of human behavior and social phenomenon, followed by an examination of the changes that are taking place and the resulting impacts on people and industries.

This is a work in progress and I intend to revise as I add to it.

I welcome all criticisms, comments and suggestions.

1 comment:

Nixta said...

Where's part 3? I want part 3!