User Generated Content = Self Expression

NYT has an interesting stroy that says:

All that material is “user-generated content,� the paramount cultural buzz phrase of 2006. It’s a term that must appeal to the technocratic instincts of investors. I prefer something a little more old-fashioned: self-expression. Terminology aside, this will be remembered as the year that the old-line media mogul, the online media titan and millions of individual Web users agreed: It demands attention.

It’s on Web sites like YouTube, MySpace, Dailymotion, PureVolume, GarageBand and Metacafe. It’s homemade art independently distributed and inventively promoted. It’s borrowed art that has been warped, wrecked, mocked and sometimes improved. It’s blogs and open-source software and collaborative wikis and personal Web pages. It’s word of mouth that can reach the entire world.

It further gives a valuable insight

All that free-flowing self-expression presents a grandly promising anarchy, an assault on established notions of professionalism, a legal morass and a technological remix of the processes of folk culture. And simply unleashing it could be the easy part. Now we have to figure out what to do with it: Ignore it? Sort it? Add more of our own? In utopian terms the great abundance of self-expression puts an end to the old, supposedly wrongheaded gatekeeping mechanisms: hit-driven recording companies, hidebound movie studios, timid broadcast radio stations, trend-seeking media coverage. But toss out those old obstacles to creativity and, lo and behold, people begin to crave a new set of filters.

TECH oracles predicted long ago that by making worldwide distribution instantaneous, the Web would democratize art as well as other discourse, at least for those who are connected. The virtual painting galleries, the free songs, the video blogs, the comedy clips, the online novels — all of them followed the rise of the Internet and the spread of broadband as inevitably as water spills through a crack in a dam. Why keep your creativity, or the lack of it, to yourself when you can invite the world to see?

 IN the tsunami of self-expression, audiences have been forced to take on a much bigger job: sifting through the new stuff. For musicians, the Internet has become an incessant public audition. What once was winnowed down by A&R departments, and then culled again by radio stations and other media, is now online in all its hopeful profusion. A listener could spend the rest of her life listening to unreleased songs. Some people do just that to claim bragging rights, or blogging rights, for discovering the next indie sensation.

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