|Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrjoro/|
All good things must come to an end. So goes the saying. And is the end of user generated content heading that way?
I think it probably is exactly where user generated content is heading. I believe that as social media, blogging, twitter and review sites have become more and more mainstream, it has is becoming less and less powerful, insightful and helpful. This is because instead of a few really passionate people with deep understanding and knowledge of a topic or area carefully crafting and writing about a topic, there has been and is a growing trend for people to either "gush" or "vent". This makes for less powerful and less helpful advice and comment to guide and to get help from.
Some friends who run a Guest House in Cape Town, who are usually the #1 or #2 rated in hotels in that city, are finding (for example) that TripAdvisor.com is becoming less helpful and powerful for them. This is because the reviews now tend to be just as I described above: a few words gushing about how lovely it is or a few lines on what they hated. The reviews lack substance and lack depth of content. Unlike years ago where more geeky and passionate people would invest time in their commentary, reviews and try and be more helpful and informative.
I have found when trying to research a problem - or find out about an area I need some help with -be it how to chose the right Apple Mac or solve a problem that you have to wade through piles of "stuff". There is a lot of noise that has to be waded through, and much of it is not very helpful (or accurate) ideas and suggestions. Increasingly you need to find experts with history and time of doing things.
I have found that my various blogs and even my videos of travel and hotel rooms on YouTube are growing in traffic and usage. I have been running them since 2005 and so there is history and so people (I suspect) are coming as they know there is depth there.
I think that the huge explosion in social media and everyone posting and commenting is the new SPAM! Just like it ruined email, it is ruining user generated content. Increasingly it is clogging up the system, and opening ways to a new way to emerge. More likely more validated and expert screening, and emeregence of more monitored and expert content.
What do you think? Post a thought and comment in the blog.
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