User-Created Content

User Created Content

Resources provided by the Horizon Report 2007


Topic and Introduction

Title: User Created Content an Introduction
Creator: Sabbab (ISD) PM for UCC
Description: This is an overview video for this trend. It includes footage from VIS and PLC. Thank you to Mustafa, Mrs Stefanics, and Clare for their contributions.

" We are no longer consumers but producers as well", said Thomas Freidman the author of the book The World is Flat. This means that now the users of online tools can also contribute information as well and access it which has revolutionized the whole way we thought about the Internet, as previously it was referred to as a source of information and not something where one could contribute as well. As the topic of this wiki suggests users can now create their own content online i.e. contribute information to the web and download as well. These contributers are now finding new ways to contribute, communicate and collaborate using a variety of tools. A few examples of such tools are Web 2.0 technologies example Google docs, social networking sites, blogging and social bookmarking sites such as Flickr and

In the image above, which shows possibile uses and data flow of User-Created Content (UCC), they refer to UCC by UGC (User-Generated Content)

Blogs are, of course, the biggest example. According to the recent Nielsen/ NetRatings study, blogs have grown more than 30% since January, and almost 20% of active Internet users visit blogs regularly. Traffic to MSN Spaces grew almost 10 times during that period, while Blogger got 45% more visitors since January. The most popular blogs (like the raunchy news humor site, which grew 63% this year, according to the study) resemble professional Webzines, with advertising revenue and staff who are compensated for their work. But the overwhelming majority of blogs aren't businesses at all. For example eduspaces formerly known as is used for educational purposes mostly, well at least at ISD.

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Thus the largest and fastest growing websites that are run on the Internet are making use of this latest approach and is revolutionizing the whole way we think about web and how it might be applied to different aspects such as learning, commerce, government and politics, art etc.

Online businesses are increasingly finding revenue in capturing content from users like you. Companies are making money by providing tools and services that let you write stuff, take pictures, organize your information, and publish it to the Web.

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Background and History

The term user created content came to existence in the year 2005 when there was a great flourish in collaborative projects globally. It reflects the expansion of media production through new technologies that are accessible and affordable to the general public. This includes ideas such as blogging, podcasting, digital video, wikis, mobile photography, social networking and social bookmarking. Other than these mentioned technologies user created content can also refer to free open source software, free software available online and flexible licensing. Whatever is the technology, the main objective is to improve collaboration by diminishing barriers to collaboration and taking it to a global standard by overcoming the institutional boundaries.

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Current News

1.Participation overstated

recent study found that the latest generation of websites where users contribute their own text, and make their own videos has far less participation than what has been commonly assumed. The study showed that a tiny .16 percent of visitors to Google's video site and to You tube are by users who upload videos for others to watch. So most people just watch instead of making and uploading videos.
Wikipedia, the anyone-can-edit online encyclopedia, is the one exception cited in the Hitwise study: 4.6 per cent of all visits to Wikipedia pages are to edit entries on the site.

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2.Citizendium by Wikipedia
A new idea of an online encyclopedia called Citizendium has been created by the co founder of Wikipedia. This is a different kind of encyclopedia because it allows the public to add to it and be able to create the whole thing. It may be strong but it can also be weak because anyone can contribute but it will allow everyone to contribute making it more likely to contain loads of information.

3. User created content is coming to your cell phone
User-created content on the internet will be fueled by mobile phones and MP3 players that are equipped to access the online clips, photos and music files. Until now most people could only enjoy UCC by connecting to the Internet with a computer, because few UCC websites were set up to download files to portable devices. But now UCC is available on some cell phones and MP3 players. Reigncom, the maker the iRiver MP3 player, is working on a file downloading service in cooperation with UCC site Mncast. The two companies will launch the service to allow iRiver users to download free files from Mncast this month.

4. CNet shows interest in user created content technologies
Recently CNet has some strategies that it plans to implement. As it has been going through a few losses for the past few years, it has decided to foster its business by implementing technologies involving user created content. such things could be blogs, web 2.0 etc. The company realized that the ucc tools would definitely take it to a profit. In fact an example would be its own site
One of CNet's biggest successes in recent years has been, a site that attracts 19 million users a month and is powered almost entirely by user created content. There is a built-in advertiser base of TV networks and an incredibly low cost to run the site. Other than that CNet has also shown interest on a variety of topics such as getting its own blogging site or being a 50% partner of a growing blogging site. Well how about a user generated music site? A gadgets site? Users can connect in areas that are important to them - that's what web 2.0 is all about. To its credit, it looks like CNet is starting to do this with its new FilmSpot site. But the company should be running 100 miles an hour in this direction, not taking baby steps.

5. Japanese- Number 1 blogging language
A recent survey tells us that Japanese is the most common language for blogging. This is amazing as we all knew that English could have been the only possible language that people use for blogging and of course Chinese. But the survey tells us that Japanese is the most used one. Well should not be very much surprising as we are all very aware of the technological advancements in Japan and it is not of a doubt that they would rule the cyber world with their language, as "blog" of course, is a term that can apply to anything from company home pages to serious muckraking to photos of a new pet kitten. There is seemingly a blog for every human experience.

This video clip has been taken from you tube. It compares blogs to news media. The video ends by saying that blogs offer to us a more personal media where the bloggers are the media. Chuck Olsen is the creator of this video from blogumentary.

6. Economic impact :
User-created content is already an important economic phenomenon despite its originally non-commercial context. The spread of UCC and the amount of attention devoted to it by users appears to be a significant disruptive force for how content is created and consumed and for traditional content suppliers.
The shift to Internet-based media is only beginning to affect content publishers and broadcasters. At the outset, UCC may have been seen as competition as:
i) users may create and watch UCC at the expense of traditional media, reducing advertising revenues.
ii) users become more selective in their media consumption (especially younger age groups).
iii) some UCC platforms host unauthorised content from media publishers.

Example: "The Backdorm Boys – two students create video clips of themselves miming to their favourite songs and post the clips on a website. The clips quickly became a cult hit, forwarded to millions of people via email, 6 months later major soft drink company signs up backdorm boys for marketing campaign." Source

Overview of Areas of Impact

Impact on Education

Team Members: Clare R (PLC), Nelson (SAS); Sabbab (ISD)

Education is something which must be an interactive process. This surely means that students must not only receive information but also contribute to it. For example if in a class the students are only handed out piles of notes on a particular topic and not discussed anything about it then they would just learn and forget whatever they were taught immediately and the whole process of teaching become pretty much useless. Thus we have a process of testing or examinations to get a feedback on what the students actually learned. Thus keeping this in mind that feedback is necessary the cyber world which is a great source for information that are used for educational purposes, the whole idea of using its resources which are available becomes useless and literally boring if we could only access information from it rather than accessing and contributing something to it. Thus blogging or social bookmarking , in other word letting the users( in this case students and teachers) create their own content would obviously be a wise thing to do.

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Using tools for creating and tagging contents teachers can foster collaborative work not
only among students but also among colleagues and students from other parts of the world.
Tools like Flickr, and blogger has no classroom boundaries. Besides the whole process is so easy as commentry and feedback is provided from a wide audience from all over the world. Sites that allows students to easy upload of the students' works such as their home assignments, corrected test papers or any projects will allow the student to compare their work against the other works that are available online. Other than that they would get a wide range of feedback from different experts of that particular field. Comparing their own work against the work of others can give students a valuable perspective on their own abilities and inspire them to try new ideas or technologies. Thus they would now become global competitors and what had happened since ages that is inter-institutional competition would be revolutionized and would globalize the education techniques.

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Inter-institutional collaboration has also become common these days. For example here at ISD for our ITGS lessons we use wikispaces and Eduspaces for any class news or any class assignments. All our class announcements that are done always goes up onto our community blog and any new work we do goes up to the ITGS class wiki. Besides providing classroom application, these tools also lend themselves a space where work begun in classroom can be easily done outside of the class. Other than that nobody would miss anything out if they were absent from the school for a valid reason as everything would be either in the class blog or the wiki. They would just need check what is going on.

Click here for more details on the Impact of education.

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Impact on Employment; Impact on Politics and Government

Team Members: Salvi (ISD), Kun Young (SAS)

Nowadays, the world is based on the internet and as the use of the internet is increasing so are the number of user-created content on the web. Students, teacher, colleges, universities etc are all using user-created content to communicate. Blogging or social bookmarking , are letting the users( in this case students, teachers, universities, colleges etc) create their own content which is helping a lot in studies. Even people who are not a part of the educational field are still using UCC sites, for example, people blog about the things that happened in a particular day or memorable things which they would like to share with the rest of the world. But these are things that are seen by the world and is given more importance. But people should keep in mind that there are real people who are working to manage the sites and to make this collaboration tool simple and easier to use. People who actually work for the sites so that the site can be updated, managed, help reduce problems etc whenever needed. This is creating a platform for people who has no work to have a job and also is helping to reduce unemployment. This has a major impact on employment as thousands of people around the world are employing people for UCC sites.
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Future Of User Created Content

Video By Salvi Ali, ISD

The video talks about the current impact of user created content on employment and also the future impact of UCC sites on employment. There is an example of how people would use user created content to help them get employed in the near future. The video was created with the help of cam studio which shows examples of blogs and wikis which will help people to get a job in the future.

Acknowledgement: Special Thanks to Mrs. Julie Lindsay for the resources.

Future of User Created Content: Government and Politics

Video by Kun Young Lee (SAS)

Impact on Arts, Entertainment and Leisure

Team Members: Ji Seong (SAS), Sourov (ISD)
The world is changing rapidly; many of us don’t realize that but those of us who do, our life changes. Few years ago, people had limited access to “arts” entertainment was limited to televisions and movies. In today’s modern world, people are more becoming more active in terms of technological skills. At first the idea of keep a journal online might sound a waste of time for some people but it is possibly the best was to store journal entries as it gives the user greater privacy and the assurance of not having to worry about loosing it. In today’s world we do not need to be famous to display our artistic and creative work, we can share it through the use of technology and this can be done through websites such as,, ifilm, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Myspace, AnimeEpisodes.Net, Badjojo, Blastro, Blennus, many other websites give the users the opportunity to put up their work for free. You tube alone had 63million visitors and an average of 100 million video streams were viewed per day in July 2006 so the statistic lets us know that the technology has way more audience than an art exhibition or any other ways to present our work,




Created by Sourov (Naimul) of ISD

Impact on Science and environment and impact on health

Team Members: Mustafa A (VIS) and Ty B (WW)

Ever since science fiction awoke imaginations to the promise of real, shared virtual spaces, technology has been chasing this dream. However, despite the enormous technical advances of the last decade, the concept of a broadly appealing online world has not yet been realized. At the same time, the rise of massively multiplayer online role-playing games has brought millions of players into online, persistent state worlds, where they spend tremendous amounts of time and money each year living, trading, fighting and dying. Players learn how to customize and to create within the online spaces, as well as how to extract this value back into the real world. Interestingly, this behavior exists even within worlds that don't explicitly allow user created content and in those that explicitly ban economic gains. The pervasive nature of user created content and free markets, while at odds with the desires of online game developers, demonstrates the opportunity for a different kind of online world.

Resource Documentation

  • Collaborative Tool-

Sabbabs delicious book marks' last links


    Resources used on the wiki can be found on our account.

    Related Information

    The Marketing Message Blog

    Discussions for user created content.