The impact of user generated content

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The expansive world of technology has brought about many important developments, and one
of the benefits is the access to information that entails sharing and consumption of knowledge,
enabling information to revolve in every direction.

Prior to the emergence of the internet based content platforms people relied on print and other
media such as television and radio as sources of free content. Today people can access
information they previously would otherwise paid a lot of money to get their hands on.

Professionals from a wide a range of fields are dishing out quality content all over the internet in
a manner promoting the free flow of knowledge, not only on a national or regional basis but for
the benefit of all that can click their way onto an internet browser and beyond.

Web publishing continues to evolve with the emphasis on the wisdom of the crowds, as user
generated content takes center stage. It comes in many forms which include news, research,
gossip and problem processing, produced in myriad ways, e.g blogging, podcasts, digital video
and wikis.

Principally, the internet is breaking down the traditional barriers to skill building, discovery and
collaboration through open source, flexible licensing among others. However, information
emanating freely from the public domain does come with its imperfections as some tend to be
inaccurate, offensive or plagiarized.

Web 2.0 promotes interactive publishing of content from a variety or resources turning
consumers of information into non-passive audiences, and their participatory impact is felt
beyond information realms as products and services come under scrutiny.

Companies can longer offer a dismissive service and get away with it, consumer power takes on
a whole new level thanks to the advent of new media. Political figures are censored much more
vigorously as information goes ultra viral, a cover up can quickly make headline news even if
the traditional media houses turn a blind eye, thanks to bloggers and others who are eager to
make their mark.

The driving factors behind the posting mainly social content can vary from the desire for
prestige, self expression, connection with friends, dating or notoriety. Platforms such as
Stumbleupon, Leaptag and Digg are common places for simple but expressive action like linking
or copying of work pieces of choice.

The concept of citizen journalist was put into action by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
following the 2005 London bombings, as the broadcaster embraced user generated content to
drive information dissemination. And other major news networks that include CNN and Fox
News Channel also introduced user generated news projects.

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