Local Interactive Strategies

The evolution of UGC: sites, blogs, Facebook, then what?

Interesting piece in the NYT this week, Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter, which looks at how young  people’s self-publishing efforts have migrated from blogs to Facebook et al.

The money quote: “I don’t use my blog anymore. All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”

Not to wax nostalgic, but this took me back to the ’90s, when lots of us in media were trying to figure out “user generated content” (what a term!) – or more specifically, how to persuade those users into generating that content for us.  Seriously, we thought it would be a win-win, not media taking advantage of users.

Didn’t matter. Those users are a slippery bunch, and they wouldn’t play along.

The most interesting group was teenagers. They were the first ones to build their own websites to show off their art, or music, or their programming skills. They used flashy HTML tricks, like blinking text. So we tried making a contest for them to show off their websites. They weren’t interested. Then we discovered they weren’t even building websites anymore. They had blogs.

More recently working on, I went looking around the web for how young people are talking about music. I found lots and lots of dormant blogs, each with a link to the user’s Facebook page.

It makes sense for a whole lot of reasons: it’s easy, it’s interactive, it’s immediate, and like the guy said, “All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”

Still, there’s a pattern here. You have to admit Facebook has a pretty solid hold on everyone’s attention these days, but still, what will be the next thing that kids move to, after Facebook?


February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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