Your Words Have Worth in more ways than one.
This article is letter (U) of our “Culture” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Culture” examines how digital influences culture. Find links to more articles in the series below.
Just like pizza, even when User-Generated Content is bad… it’s still pretty good. Say hello to all the mishaps on videos, funny low-res images, and heart-touching authenticity of texts telling true stories.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is simply fancy, marketing industry lingo for “anything online created by a person.” Which is quite a lot when you think about it.
Right now, AI-created content is a rare novelty and new innovation. Until that becomes widely used, every article you read, each image you “like,” any mesmerizing GIF you see was touched by human hands.
In short, User-Generated Content creates culture.
Content Creates Culture
We are living in a great time where we create culture for ourselves. No longer is there a stuffy gatekeeper with their nose stuck-up and looking down at “the masses.” Enough confusion and feeling inferior for not “getting” what a bunch of shapes on a canvas have to do with tragedy, ecstasy, and doom.
That was when culture, and everything else, worked according to a top-down model. There were big, hefty institutions that made the rules and we obliged because they were the authorities.
“Why can I only watch my sitcom at 6pm?”
End of story.
Today, things are much different thanks to the rise of the internet. We interact in a peer-to-peer-network, a sharing economy. We trust strangers to pick us up in their cars more than we do a taxi service. Projects are funded by online kickstarters, not loans. If you want to watch your sitcom at 4pm instead of 8pm, then darn right that sitcom is waiting for you in your Netflix queue at 4pm.
Time and time again, UGC is what successfully generates the most traffic, views, and shares. UGC is content created by people, for people. If you find something hilarious or heart-touching, most likely, other people will feel the same. Have enough people share that feeling online and your content “goes viral.”
Content Creates Value
Online users set the pace for the cultural conversation. Marketers listen to what people are creating and saying online because it tells them what people want or don’t want.
UGC is so deeply valued that marketers have a toolbox of tactics to encourage people to engage online with their brand. (Did you know? Only 1% of online users create UGC. The other 90% lurk. So even if all you do is follow us on Instagram, then congratulations! You are in the top 10% of online users.)
Content creates more than culture. Culture also creates a real, marketable value and social value.
Content is so valuable, that online platforms will harvest your content. They then take your content and sell it to advertisers. Your content is valuable to advertisers because it is invaluable insights and information into you, the consumer. This allows advertisers to sell more to you by personalizing ads they think will catch your fancy.
Instead of online platforms harvesting our content, what if we had full control over our content? We choose who uses our content and which bits of content they can access.
Content has a social value too. Content is actually how we create, exchange, and distribute trust and credibility online. We create content to communicate and form digital identities and maintain a reputation. The creation and sharing of content fills social needs and creates social currency, too.
Word Up: Content Lifestyle
“Why don’t I see the value of my content directly?” Good question. The folks here at Swomi are aiming to fix that. Our mission is to provide the technology that allows people to receive the benefits of their online content. We call this the Content Lifestyle. Your content brings marketable, social, and cultural value to the table. It’s why we like to say, Your Words Have Worth.
To learn more about our vision for the future, visit our About Us page here.
We hope you gained some insights into your Digital life. Thanks for reading!
This article is part of our “Culture” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Culture” examines how digital influences culture.
Click below to read more articles in the “Culture” series: