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What is USER-GENERATED CONTENT? What does USER-GENERATED CONTENT mean?

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Published on Jan 19, 2017

What is USER-GENERATED CONTENT? What does USER-GENERATED CONTENT mean? USER-GENERATED CONTENT meaning - USER-GENERATED CONTENT definition - USER-GENERATED CONTENT explanation.

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/... license.

User-generated content (UGC) is defined as "any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasts, digital images, video, audio files, advertisements and other forms of media that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites". It is also called user-created content (UCC). The term and concept entered mainstream usage during 2005, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles. It is used for a wide range of applications, including problem processing, news, entertainment, advertising, gossip and research. It is an example of the democratization of content production; whereas during the 1970s and 1980s, traditional "gatekeepers" such as newspaper editors, publishers and news shows approved all content and information before it was aired or published, in the 1990s and 2000s, as media production through new technologies has become more accessible, user friendly and affordable to the general public, large numbers of amateur individuals are able to post text, digital photos and digital videos online, with little or no "gatekeepers" or filters. Additionally, user-generated content may also employ a combination of open source, free software, and flexible licensing or related agreements to further reduce the barriers to collaboration, skill-building and discovery ("'UGC'") has also gained in popularity over the last decade, as user bases have grown on social media and content-based sharing sites.

UGC may constitute only a portion of a website. For example, there are sites where the majority of content is prepared by administrators, but numerous ancillary submissions are made by the site's users, such as product reviews or comments, and UGC cannot be used commercially. UGC may be monitored by website administrators to avoid offensive content or language, copyright infringement issues, or simply to determine if the content posted is relevant to the site's general theme. There may be little or no barrier to the act of uploading user-generated content, such as memberships or fees. As a result, there are inordinate amounts of UGC that, in addition to creating a corporate asset, may also contain data that can be regarded as a liability. The University of Illinois concluded from its 2012 research that one-third of all UGC web reviews were fake, either with the purpose of boosting or denigrating a product.

The advent of user-generated content marked a shift among media organizations from creating online content to providing facilities for amateurs to publish their own content. User-generated content has also been characterized as Citizen Media as opposed to the 'Packaged Goods Media' of the past century. Citizen Media is audience-generated feedback and news coverage. People give their reviews and share stories in the form of user-generated and user-uploaded audio and user-generated video. The former is a two-way process in contrast to the one-way distribution of the latter. Conversational or two-way media is a key characteristic of so-called Web 2.0 which encourages the publishing of one's own content and commenting on other people's.

The role of the passive audience therefore has shifted since the birth of New Media, and an ever-growing number of participatory users are taking advantage of the interactive opportunities, especially on the Internet to create independent content. Grassroots experimentation then generated an innovation in sounds, artists, techniques and associations with audiences which then are being used in mainstream media. The active, participatory and creative audience is prevailing today with relatively accessible media, tools and applications, and its culture is in turn affecting mass media corporations and global audiences.

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