Tag Archives: web 2.0

SXSW 09 Panel on how to manage User Generated Content (UGC)

Social media blogger John Eckman has proposed a panel for 2009’s SXSW.

His reasoning behind the panel goes as follows:

The age of content being managed only by authorized professionals is over. Users expect to contribute to, rate, review, recommend, filter, tag, and moderate their experiences on the web. What does this mean for designers and content management professionals? How do you encourage appropriate behavior and discourage spam and vandalism, without completely reverting to non-participation?

Granted, this should be (really) old news to any decent content producer going to SXSW, but the panel discussion promises to provide some practical tips on how to get the best from those crazy ‘read/write’ contributors all us editors shake our heads and tut at now and then.

Vote / add your comments to John’s proposal page right now.

Would you ever visit a retailer’s web zine? Like, a second time?

Jeanswear brand Levi’s had moderate success with Antidote, its customer publishing website and print magazine.

Such successes explain why fashion labels and retailers continue to use customer publishing – an example being Topman’s TOPMANZINE (for the love of god).

The question of what value customer publishing provides to who is way too old (and dull) a debate to have here. But the fact remains, the web now offers new opportunities for brands to develop a destination – and one which isn’t limited to broadcast / top down magazine content.

Ben Sherman’s content aggregation model is a good example of how fashion brands are providing customers with genuinely valuable offers beyond the usual ‘read this edgy article and please buy the t-shirt we mention’ approach. It’s about going beyond TOPMANZINE’s useful ‘Trends’ features. Fashion tips provide genuine value to the customer, but the site as a whole doesn’t go far enough.

The Telegraph goes a bit MediaGuardian with top viral videos

This is the oddest thing. Is this the kind of stuff we can expect to see from the Telegraph’s newly set up R&D editorial and UGC lab?

Placed on the home page, just below the paper’s popular Matt and Alex cartoon links is the Telegraph’s new Screen Break section.

The blurb on the site says: ‘The funniest viral videos, games and stories on the Internet, plus the best Telegraph games and puzzles. Because computers aren’t just for work.’

‘Because computers aren’t just for work?’ Is that right? What does the average reader of the Telegraph – most likely a senior executive or MD – think about that? Okay, the Telegraph is trying hard to attract younger readers and granted, the average age of the Telegraph’s website is likely to be younger than the paper’s, but is this going to help attract older members to the web? Won’t they just see this as worthless pap? The Telegraph’s other slow-time sections like the Matt cartoons are fun and a brief respite from the news. They’re intelligent and in some cases, they even make us feel slightly superior. Viral web clips might make us feel superior, but for all the wrong reasons. And just how do older users perceive user generated content?

And isn’t this all a bit MediaGuardian? Okay, we’re all in our thirties, we read the Telegraph, we’re web savvy and we like to browse through the web’s curiosities on a Friday afternoon. But web clips as selected by the Telegraph? Come off it.

Well done for trying, but the whole thing just feels a bit…groovy parent.

Of course, we could be completely wrong if all content has been submitted by real users. But if it is, and it’s by readers for readers as per monkeymag.co.uk, then this could be given more prominence in the strapline: ‘The funniest viral videos, games and stories on the Internet, as voted for by you…’

That said, we’d love to be proved wrong by some web stats.

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Plaxo.com – social network and email aggregator

Jemima Kiss on the Guardian newspaper’s suggests Facebook is sniffing round it but just how popular will Plaxo be?

Sure, it’s annoying having to create multiple profiles on this week’s most popular website, but after a while don’t people just stop signing up to new sites and stick with one simple one they love. And what’s Plaxo’s value going forward? It needs to keep working with tomorrow’s next big thing just to stay relevant – and not all sites will comply (Facebook being an example).

Hats off for bringing a simple version of an RSS aggregator to the masses (get over it – the majority don’t know or want to know what an RSS reader is / does). But it may not have the draw it needs in order unless it works with everyone.

10 (REALLY OBVIOUS) reasons why brands should think like publishers

Okay, the bit about looking into branded desktop apps smells like the branded baseball caps I used to get while a new media journalist, but Mitchel Ahern provides some good advice on iMedia Connection nonetheless.

Reading this, I realised how little clients fully exploit social media and supposed web 2.0 platforms. The basic mantra of ‘go to where your customers are’, whether that’s IM or social media platforms should be a no brainer. Hoo-hah. As someone playing a blind man once said.

Read ’10 Reasons Brands Should Think Like Publishers’ in full.

Relaunched FHM to become ‘Arena’

EMAP’s FHM magazine – relaunched today – is thought to be focusing on a content strategy described as ‘Arena meets Men’s Health’.

Relegating its traditional recipe of z-list babes and shock pics to EMAP’s web vehicles, new editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera is thought to be building on his success with niche interest and high end features in the likes of Arena magazine.

As well as gadgets, PC advice and technology, health and fitness will also feature following succcess with the increasingly popular Men’s Health magazine.

A new twist on the agony aunt – 100 year old men advising readers on the finer elements of life.
Arena is now thought to be changing its focus to go more high brow, targeting GQ audiences.
Noguera took over the reigns at FHM in February this year after editor-in-chief Ross Brown left after 10 years at the helm.
The new magazine features a cover which boasts of being ‘Under New Management’. By this, we assume this means Brown is not the only member of staff to no longer be with the magazine.

‘After three months of late nights that saw the destruction of 5,000 chocolate digestives and a 30% increase in shares of Nescafe, we’ve cracked it,’ reveals the FHM.com website.

A new broom if ever there was one. All eyes are on Noguera.

Yahoo360 brand to disappear and become Mosh?

As tipped on contentcontent back in June, we could be about to see Yahoo decommission its Yahoo360 social networking brand and merge it into something called Mosh.

TechCrunch tips that Mosh (avaible only to Yahoo employees at http://mosh.yahoo.com/) is likely to the final resting place for the portal’s social networking platform Yahoo360 – which was demoted from the home page a little while ago.

Screen shots, if genuine, are very drak and green. Looks like they’re going for the messy MySpace route instead of the ‘clean’ Facebook or Bebo design.

Read more at TechCrunch

User generated content drives offline retailer sales

I’m not normally one for posting washing powder like testimonials (‘I used this word in my SEO campaign and my traffic increased ten fold!!!’), but…this is a nice case study on how UGC can work nicely offline.

Ever been to Borders book shops and read the hand written reviews of books written by shop staff? Now take this nice touch and open it up to your entire customer base online.

Read the full article by Marketing Sherpa.

Facebook and privacy concern alert

Today I saw a user post on Facebook which recommends users explore the Privacy section of the site to ensure they de-select participation in something called the ‘Facebook Development Platform’.

The email asserts that Facebook is using the data, including user’s photos.

Is this the case? Can anyone shed any light on this?