User generated content has become synonymous for cheap, unedited stuff. More and more newspapers have blogs. The same holds true for directories, with user ratings and reviews. But user generated content is actually having a more radical impact on publishing itself.
Easy-to-use, enabling technologies such as mashups, wikis, tags, RSS, popularity counters, self-publishing, just-in-time publishing, and storage software and devices have made publishing as (potentially) personalized and easily archived as music on iPods – and much more dimensional. Publishing’s transformation by technology was testified to by speaker after speaker at the Software and Information Industry Association’s Content Forum May 14-16 in San Francisco.
“The definition of user generated content is changing; it is now the product of acting in one’s own self interest,” said Looksmart CEO Dave Hills.” People save pages, and meet people who save those pages.”