Monday, 27 April 2009

User Generated Content: Understanding its Impact Upon Contributors, Non-Contributors and the BBC

This is just too tantalising for words:

The main findings of the research were that:

  • There are 5 main types of "UGC" and they fulfill 6 different roles within the BBC
  • Journalists and audiences display markedly different attitudes towards the five types
  • Technology is changing the volume, ease and speed of gathering news material and sources, but traditional journalism practices still important
  • "UGC" at the local level is particularly interesting
  • Overall there is support from the audience for the ways in which the BBC has been using "UGC"
  • Specific calls to action are most useful for news gathering and when eliciting high-quality relevant comment
  • only a small, select group of people submit "UGC"
  • UGC should never be treated as representative
  • significant barriers to participation: digital divide, social economic background, lack of impetus, and - most interesting for me - negative perceptions held by general audience of contributors
  • contributors want a real world impact for the contributions - eg. "If it was going to be read by Gordon Brown, then of course I'd submit it..."
The study also identified a typology of audience material:
  • audience content
  • audience comments
  • collaborative content
  • networked journalism
  • non-news content ("photos of snowmen")
I hope we find out more.

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