How to monetize UGC?

November 3, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Impact | 1 Comment

Benkler, Jenkins and Lessig are all big fans of UGC because of how it enables people to be a more active part of the cultural production of our world. None of them argue that it will eliminate the commercial production, but that they have to adapt (Lessig’s: “hybrids”, Jenkin’s “convergence”), and they seem all excited about content production out of social necessity rather than commercial.

This is great (and super important point), BUT we cannot ignore the monetization trends out there. Wikipedia started raising some money, FB is about to bombard us with “relevant” ads, and Google has made it easy for millions of blogs out there to generate some cash with Google Ads. Many of us blog or produce YouTube videos, and at some point — whether is reach, tenure or fame — you think: “Hey can I make money doing this? And can I make enough money to live on it?”

Problem is, the funding models out there are OLD. Advertising is based on your ability to congregate people (impressions, eyeballs, clicks, etc) your content is only valuable if you can have a lots of people or a specific type of people. But in a always more fragmented world, only a few sites will have the real potential to drive big bucks from advertising. And in any case, when those sites make money (i.e. YouTube) do the users that generated content get some share of the money, even though they were the ones that created the value of the site?! NO.

So, if the UGC is about distributing the cultural production, how can we distribute the money it drives better? OR is Monetizing UGC bad?

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1 Comment »

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  1. Ironic, but the answer appears to be published in your “Google News of UGC” column today (12/2/2007). It’ll probably disappear shortly, so here’s the title and link:

    Pure Verticals’ Patent-Pending Technology Revolutionizes Monetization of User Generated Content (MUGC) –
    http://www.pr-inside.com/the-unique-mugc-platform-allows-end-r321019.htm

    User control over who and what they advertise – direct product/brand endorsement – focused on social networks (virtual communities where “like-minded” groups share their passion), and it appears delivered in a manner where business serves the consumer, they do not run the system (read: the social community’s integrity is maintained).

    It’s about time! 🙂

    Well done Pure Verticals.

    Steven


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