Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do Telstra get the new media landscape? The answer is, unfortunately, no. What was Justin Milne thinking ...

When he said the below ...

"User generated content was a really big deal six months ago but it's doesn't seem to knock people crazy. The idea six months ago was that the days of newspapers and journalists had ended and that this was the age of user empowerment and everything was going to be built around blogs and so on. Wrong.

"It turns out people appreciate expertise, which is what journalists are about, and they appreciate editing. We appreciate filmmakers' skills, which are incredibly difficult, and we want someone to tell a story the right way. Seeing a whole bunch of crappy home movies that people have made is not the same as seeing a well-made documentary."

To borrow from comic book guy, there is no emoticon for what I am feeling. For a media company bigwig to say this proves our number 1 telco doesn't have any understanding of the Internet and what makes it great. It also implies professional and amateur content can't really co-exist nor influence eachother.

Justin, just because Telstra's UGC plays have failed doesn't mean the category isn't valid and bouyant.

Thanks to The Age -

1 comment:

Zac Zavos said...

Well said, Ben. The thing is that there are various shades of UGC and I think he's missed this.

At our sports site, The Roar ( we edit ALL articles submitted by the crowd, and keep a strong focus on the comments people leave.

So it's not like an unmoderated forum (which, in my view, is the online equivalent to a shopping mall with the kind of people who lurk on there all day).

The Roar has a a hybrid model of UGC; one where quality is high and UGC is combined with expert content, but the voice of real people's opinion is still heard.

Likewise on our other site, Lost At E Minor ( most of the content is submitted by our readers. But again, we moderate, format, spell check and then publish.

We have large clients advertise with us and they see great results because we have high engagement levels, but also a level of control around the UGC.

So while there are problems with the traditional notions of UGC particularly around monetisation of the page views, there are so many other ways UGC is the killer app.