Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Is Google stumped? The user generated content headache

By Jon Paget

We all know people we trust and respect. For instance, most of us know someone to call if our car breaks down or have someone to ask advice if we can’t decide where to go on holiday. We all have our own little network of experts.

Of course with the development of online platforms (Google Knol sticks in my mind at this precise moment) encouraging user generated content, it's never been easier to share our views online.

The implications of this are great for all users (both big and small).

I think most of us would recognise that hype generated online by word of mouth is alive and well (I’m sure you receive lots of recommendations to read, view or attend something every week just like I do) and the more we trust the person recommending us something, the more likely we are to follow up on it.

Essentially, we’ve started to use our respected personal and professional networks to filter content for us –helping to ensure we only digest information we find valuable.

However, we don’t rely on this exclusively and search engines are a daily tool for many of us. Google, for example, had over 6% of the global traffic online last year.

As we move towards an online environment with real time information (being drawn from an ever growing number of sources) being used as search result criteria, it’ll be interesting to see how Google (and the other engines) differentiate between user generated content, particularly content that’s generated on multi-user platforms.

As we start to see this develop (Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google has told us we’ll see this in 2010) there will be major changes to how organisations view the opportunities online.

Want to know more? See my next post on the user generated headache.

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