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user generated contentUser generated content (or UGC) is a term used by brands – including media companies – that refers to people, consumers and customers  that produce content for them.

This content could include:

  • Selfies with the brand’s product
  • Reviews
  • Blog posts

Really, any content that is related to the brand. For media companies, user generated content also refers to pictures from potentially newsworthy events, write-ups and other related pieces of content.

In the sense of authentic storytelling, a lot of content is technically user generated. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe we are all our own brands.

Confusing. 🙂

Seriously, I don’t like the term user generated because it’s not very community minded. I prefer to deal with community members – as opposed to users.

Users also sounds more transactional. I use your product – thus I’m a user – and you are now use the content I generate with your product in it. So, if I generate a photo with your product, that’s user generated content. It makes me think twice about wanting to share my new cool and shiny product I just received.

As you know, I want people to share their authentic stories publicly. It’s even nice when they can make some money off them. Yes, it’s OK to be paid for your authentic stories – especially when they are picked up by brands, filmmakers and others who make money of them.

Community members might be OK to let other community members use their stories. Users might want to get paid for letting their content be used commercially. I would recommend that most users ask for payment.

There can be exceptions, of course. Sometimes publicity can be helpful to users (or community members) and be payment on its own. Sometimes.

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