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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Does this form production affect your profession or industry? How?

October 7, 2007 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Impact | 4 Comments

Ben posted the notion of the death of Artists and Video Art because of UGC. I question what other fields and feel impacted by the decentralized and “free” production of content. We often talk about news and entertainment, maybe software development, but what other forms of production is UGC impacting, and how?

I fundamentally think that UGC (or whatever term is better) will not erase any pre-existing forms of production, nor the institutions that distribute/produce content. This is just adding to the mix. Those established institutions will just need to renegotiate their terms and coexist with this new form of production/distribution. Some are riskier than others and venture to test new integration approaches, some deny it and try to regulate it and some other just sit back and let others figure it out. What do you see happening in your field/profession?

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