User contributed content

User contributed content, a concept also known as ‘consumer-generated media’ (CGM), ‘user-created content’ (UCC) or ‘user-generated content’ (UGC), refers to various kinds of media content that are contributed to a project by the end-users. It is also often referred to as ‘conversational media’ or ‘two-way media’, signifying that a website’s audience is becoming ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’, which is an important characteristic of ‘Web 2.0’.

Types of media used include text, images, video and audio, and the forms that this content may take include blogs, wikis, product reviews, podcasts, and eyewitness reports and photographs relating to news stories. Content is often created using open source software, in order to facilitate communication and collaboration between users. It can be made publically accessible, or restricted to a small group of fellow users.

It is often advisable for a website administrator to monitor user contributed content, in order to ensure that it is relevant to the topic(s) of the site; that it does not infringe copyright, and that it is not offensive to other users. Moderation can take place before or after the content has been published on the site.

Although some people have reservations about the quality and accuracy of UGC, it has the advantage of a number of collaborators, which can often help to verify the information that is being published, and edit any inaccuracies.

UGC can also be applied to computer games, where the more specific term ‘player generated content’ tends to be used. In particular, this relates to virtual world modelling.

Related methods include: Collaborative publishing and Virtual world modelling.

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