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SXSWi 2009: User Generated Content: State of the Union

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 6:00 am

SXSWi 2009: User Generated Content: State of the Union by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Dean McCall, Founder, IdeaGin. Podcastready
Stephen Newman, CES, Mouth Watering Media
Todd Morrey, Mosso: The Rackspace Cloud
Wes Wilson, Presidentof IncSpring
Moderator: Chris Tolles, CEO & Co-founder, Topix

Chris Tolles:

Two problems with audience: how do you get them and what do you do with them when they suck.

Monetization: Different models and who is doing it right?

Todd Morrey: Mosso helps managing content.

Chris Tolles: How are we going to get paid? Who are doing the best job of monetization?

Wes Wilson: YouTube, Facebook

Todd Morrey: Twitter is NOT doing a good job. The places that create an auction that allows the best content to bubble up to the top.

Stephen Newman: I think eBay is a great example of an organization that has been profitable. I think of user generated content with a broad definition. Look at reality television, now making television is more economical because of user generated content. We need to think of it in broader terms.

Dean McCall: LinkedIn and Threadless They made a place for designers to upload their art and a way for people to buy the designs.

Chris Tolles: Do you pull the content in, or do you create it? What is the fairness of earning money off the backs of your users?

Wes Wilson: When you’re not paying for the service, it is understood that you will make money off them.

Todd Morrey: You provide a way to upload their stuff.

Stephen Newman: There is more value than just money. If you give people a way to become part of the community, then they get something from your site.

Chris Tolles: What if you decide to take your site offline?

Todd Morrey: We don’t want to get into the business of policing. Make sure you document your policies, because that gives you a legal backbone.

Chris Tolles: Users suck. Skittles website problem.

Dean McCall: I think all my users are great. You can tell a Threadless shirt because there is a mob mentality. Digg has the same problem.

Chris Tolles: How do I keep the riff raff from destroying my site?

Wes Wilson: With any UG site, there will be people who try to hurt it. You have to trust your users to police it for you. I’m against mob rule.

Wes Wilson: The tone that you set is the way your people will react. With content that people care about, you need to set it up with ground rules.

Todd Morrey: It’s important to try to get the better content in front of more eyes instead of being the first poster.

Chris Tolles: SlashDot and their Karma system can help. There is a heirarchal system. Transparency can help with that. The MORE transparent you are, the harder it is to game the system. No one out there is flaw-free. No one has been able to keep everything off there at all times. Craigslist is the best for having a small number of people who flag things.

Wes Wilson: Your community will be vocal about telling you what needs to be removed.

Todd Morrey: There are MANY ways to reward people. The have to get something of value out of the experience to get them to participate. The ratio of those that participate to those that just come to read is small.

Jemina at The Guardian: User Generated Content is an ugly word, but we all know what it means, so we’re stuck with it.

Todd Morrey: User Generated Content takes some of the humanity out of what we do.

Dean McCall: How to get people to your site? Good old fashioned PR work like with Twitter, Digg.

Chris Tolles: It’s three or four years for you to start yearning money. No one is making a whole lot of money in User Generated Content right now.

Dean McCall: I still think we are early in the industry of the User Generated Content market.

Stephen Newman: I sat in this room a year ago and Twitter was around, but not as cool as it was last year. There is still growth. We’re still in the just beginning.

Todd Morrey: I find that the content gets better the more focused the community is. I want the micro-communities to develop so we can see what is coming.

Wes Wilson: Eventually we’ll have all our niche sites to go to.

Dean McCall: Blog Catalog and Bloggers Unite! Allows bloggers to unite about a cause. Rally around a cause is an effective way to get people to care.

Chris Tolles: The most effective example was the Obama campaign. If you can get elected with this stuff, it must be good.


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