Alootechie carried an article a few days back by an anonymous write with respect to UGC , and how most of it sucks- http://alootechie.com/news/2736.asp
The article spoke essentially on the irrelevancy of UGC and focused on networking sites , Blogs etc. The article attracted a lot of comments , more hostile than positive and in in typical style more emotional than thought – out
I agree with the writer in what he says , what he fails to do however, and this is why the hostility, is to suggest that , generically, UGC is crap and though big is , or rather should not be, a significant part of this industry.
What i believe he was trying to say was that a majority of UGC is nonsense , not that there is no good UGC at all. People will get exposed to 10 instances of nonsensical UGC’s before hitting a good one leading to a prejudice against that platform. People who know where to look will not have this problem.
To involve Networking sites into this argument in my opinion might not be fair. An Orkut is not UGC in its literal sense , i will not classify a “helloz will you be freindship with me” message on orkut as UGC , neither a profile picture not even a sane exchange of scraps. However i do concede that it difficult to rule them out alltogether either keeping in mind a site like Linkedin with it Answers platform. In my experience networking sites need to develop niche direction to really start making a meaningful impact. I agree i managed to meet a lot of “forgotten” pals through them but at the same time i probably got a 1000 scraps for friendship , whether i was married , and if not would i marry…
Same thing with Q & A sites – If people need information say on Shimla and come away with less than satisfactory info , on the other hand if i have got 1 hour to kill and i decide to log on and pass my time reading on Relationships and have a blast doing it why not. One is happy one is not , who holds more weight?
Video sites are a big reservoir of UGC and again the same applies , there is a lot of nonsense out there , especially on sites which are not as disciplined in content regulation as others. Look at suckoobai.com Vs metacafe.com and you will see the difference. Metacafe has ensured the quality of content coming in – Producer awards, Candidates, Payout’s to uploaders and in about 2 months has become one of my top sites. Suckoobai on the other hand holds a sizeable quantity of porn and some “had nothing to do” stuff.
The other question which comes up is – what is good UGC. I am not going to take into factor blank sites / one paragraph sites etc but lets assume a certain quantity of content level while trying to answer this. Say hypothetically A site has 60 % porn and B 35%…is B necessarily better than A? Most will probably say B , based on the fact that they dont like Porn. The flip side could be people who like porn taking A as preference…… so that leaves us where?…………….. That the quality assigned to a UGC platform is never absolute but perception based , its just unfortunate that the site has a higher % of porn hating members that not , if the ratio was the other way around it would be good UGC…
I will also conceed that there might be some websites which dont allow for arguement – that they really do suck big time. The article cites examples of sites such as Ibibo , Indiatimes etc. I wont comment on these and risk over – emotional Techie comment poster’s finding their way to this Blog. What i can give is a fresh example – Take a look at the following screenshot from expressindia.com
Now the top 3-4 entries are not even questions , they are literally classifieds and the other’s which have got cropped were classifieds in the form of Questions – Would you like a bigger…””.
The same also applies to Blog’s , i mean despite the intelligent, 🙂 , outflow of information on this blog there will probably me a lot who dont like it and some might. Blogs have an additional problem of advertising – Anyone and everyone creates a blog , installs ad sense does not write content but keeps logging in 220 times an hour to keep clicking.
So yes i do agree with him , but not on the argument that “All” UGC sucks. A lot is perception based , and then there are examples both ways , be it video, blogs or some other platform.