Since When Is It News That Some User-Generated Content Sucks?

from the actually,-a-lot-of-it-sucks dept

The most bizarre, yet most common, criticism of just about any kind of user-generated content these days seems to be the fact that a lot of it sucks. That's really not debatable by itself -- but it's not the point either. Sure, a lot of it sucks, but there's an awful lot that's quite good as well. In fact, what's cool about user-generated content is that what sucks and what's good really depends on the audience. So what sucks for me might be quite interesting and useful for you -- in which case, that's great for you and makes no difference for me. Thus, anyone complaining about some bad content as evidence of that user-generated content has little to no value has pretty much missed the entire point of user-generated content. However, at the other end of the spectrum, there seems to be this mythology that those who commission user-generated content are exploiting those users to create this type of content. That's equally ridiculous, as shown by a NY Times article highlighting just how expensive it is for companies creating user-generated advertising contests to have fans creates ads for them. Basically, those companies are discovering that it takes a lot of work to find anything decent, and it may be cheaper to just go the traditional route of hiring professionals to create your content for you. Of course, this depends on a lot of factors, but goes back to one of the key scarcities that makes up the economics of digital goods these days: time. It takes a lot of time and attention to sort through and find quality content when there's a lot of content to dig through -- and that's a real cost. It's not really news that some user-generated content sucks or that it takes time to sort through it. It's news that anyone involved in user-generated content didn't know that going in.
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  • identicon
    dorpus, 29 May 2007 @ 8:25am

    Interesting

    for once, mike is acknowledging that there are scarcities that remain in the digital world -- he is not writing 10-page essays about how everything is "free".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2007 @ 10:17am

      Re: Interesting

      > for once, mike is acknowledging that there are scarcities that remain in the digital world -- he is not writing 10-page essays about how everything is "free".

      Yeah, it's not like that wasn't the whole point of the entire series of posts:

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070322/024237.shtml

      But you would know that if you actually read the series, which apparently you didn't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpus, 29 May 2007 @ 12:40pm

        Re: Re: Interesting

        But you would know that if you actually read the series, which apparently you didn't.

        Did he say that somewhere in his vast diatribes against RIAA? I don't bother to read that far.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Russ Stebbins, 29 May 2007 @ 8:33am

    Gate Keepers

    As much as I think that the music and movie industries are wedded to obsolete business models around control of distribution, there is one useful function that they perform that is not easily replaced.

    That role is of musical gate keeper. Spending the time and effort to sort the wheat from the chaff. As anyone who watches the early 'American Idol' shows can attest, there are many people whose musical ambitions far outweigh their talent. They may not always get it correct, and they have a bias towards mass marketable talent, but they do serve the public by saving people time in sorting through the dreck that is user generated content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2007 @ 9:48am

      Re: Gate Keepers

      if you allow for some user-generated rating system, generally the better stuff will eventually rise on those charts. it's just that it depends on people actually using the rating system. things that are also really good tend to get spread around more by people as well. so, we tend to only hear about the good user-generated content, therefore they don't provide that unique of a service. and in general, they usually suck at it anyway, aside from labels that specialize in specific genres, especially less mainstream genres.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    YogiFish.com, 29 May 2007 @ 11:08am

    It's Evolution

    Sure there is a lot that's not so great being produced, but that's always been true of all things at the begining. The internet just allows us all to see the process develop.

    We are showing our process of development online, so that the audience and contributors can be apart of this process. Why hide the fact that creativiety is a evolving process that is full of changes?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ben, 29 May 2007 @ 11:23am

    Hey Anon - do you have a day job?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Moral advisor, 29 May 2007 @ 1:32pm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I think think the article is refering to these "reader comments"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David Binkowski, 30 May 2007 @ 11:41am

    couldn't agree more

    No, really -- I couldn't. It goes beyond the issue of quality, though, in this instance -- it's a poorly thought out (or not thought out) campaign.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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