Tag Archives: Flickr

Top of the UGC Pops


Everyone loves a good count down so here are the top 15 most popular 2.0 websites (that’s user generated to you and me). Compiled by eBizMBA (The eBusiness Knowledgebase) in March 2011 it comes complete with their estimated unique monthly visitors. And some of these are seriously good websites. You have been warned. Enjoy!

15 | Wikia – 21,1000,000

At number 15, Wikia, “written by community members that are passionate about subjects ranging from video games, TV shows and movies to food, fashion, and environmental sustainability.”

14 | deviantART – 21,500,000

Commonly abreviated to DA, Deviant Art is a sharing site where people can post and comment on art. As of August 2010 the site has over 14.5 million members, and over 100 million submissions, receiving around 140,000 submissions per day. In addition, deviantArt users submit over 1.4 million “favorites” and 1.5 million comments daily. In 2009 DevianART even went on a world tour.

13 | HubPages – 24,500,000

HubPages is a website designed around sharing advertising revenue for user-generated articles and other content on specific subjects. Users (known as Hubbers) submit magazine-style articles posted as individual webpages (referred to as Hubs). Users retain all intellectual property rights to their Hubs and can delete them at any time. In May 2010, HubPages was recognized as one of the “2010 Hottest Silicon Valley Companies” by Lead411.

12 | TypePad – 26,000,000

Typepad is a blogging service launched in 2003. TypePad is currently used by many large organizations and media companies to host their weblog, including ABC, MSNBC, CBC, BBC and Sky News.

11 | digg 27,500,000

Digg is a social news website set up in 2004. It lets people vote for stories, literally ranking them and allowing the stories to go up or down (hence term Digging) on a scale of popularity.

At the “Bigg Digg Shindigg” in 2010, which is part of the South by Southwest Interactive Conference – see the last blogpost – Jay Adleson, the CEO of the company, talked about the need to constantly change and update the way the website is run. Despite this, it’s said Digg has run in to difficulties after the latest version Digg v4 was launched in 2011. The site was uncontactable for weeks after the launch, so much so that disgruntled Digg users declared August 30, 2010 as the ‘quit Digg day’. Despite this it still makes the top fifteen at number 11.

10 | eHow 43,000,000

Ehow is like a dictionary of skills. Touch a button and instantly you know how to change a doorknob, teach good oral hygiene to your kids (it’s American of course), how to know if someone is lying, how to make a home first aid kit and the list goes on. The site has more than 1 million articles and 170,000 how-to videos. Ehow has a number of freelancers who write the articles, ehow members can network by building a profile, creating a network, comment on articles and interact on the online forums. It’s worth 1.8 billion.

9 | Blogger – 70,000,000

A blog publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs withtime-stamped entries.

It was one of the earliest dedicated blogger publishing tools, launched in 2003, and dedicated with helping to expand blogging. Started by Pyra Labs, it was bought by google in 2003 which modernised the format. Fact: blogger has been banned in the following countries: Fiji, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Myanmar, Cuba, Turkey and Kazakstan.

8 | Photobucket 70,500,000

Photobucket is an image hosting, video hosting, slideshow creation and photoshowing website. It allows people to share and hold their own private photo albums, but also lets them share them publicly if they wish.

7 | flickr 75,000,000

Another image and video publishing site and online community now owned by yahoo! It is also used by bloggers who use the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media. In september 2010 it was said that 5 billion images were being hosted by flickr. Flickr offers two types of accounts: Free and Pro. Free account users are allowed to upload 300 MB of images a month and 2 videos. Pro accounts allow users to upload an unlimited number of images and videos every month and receive unlimited bandwidth and storage.

Flickr asks photo submitters to organize images using tags (a form of metadata), which enable searchers to find images related to particular topics, such as place names or subject matter. Flickr was also an early website to implement tag clouds, which provide access to images tagged with the most popular keywords.

Another little fact…In May 2009, White House official photographer Pete Souza began using Flickr as a conduit for releasing White House photos.

In October 2010 it was reported that Flickr, along with Facebook and other social networking sites, is being monitored by the US Department of Homeland Security.

6 | IMDB 80,000,000

Internet Movie Database does exactly what it says on the tin. It keeps information about shows, movies, actors, production crews. Started up in 1990 IMDb originated from a list started as a hobby by film enthusiast Col Needham in early 1989. One of the most used features of the Internet Movie Database is the message boards that coincide with every title (excepting, as of 2010, TV episodes) and name entry, along with over 140 main boards.

5 | WordPress – 88,000,000

Our blog is run by wordpress as are 13% of over 1,000,000 biggest websites. Another great fact right? The brilliant thing about wordpress is how easy it is to use, it’s quick to get up and running and simple to navigate. And this is important when more people are blogging then ever before. Between the 5 Your2pencers we have more than 9 blogs up and running.

As of February 2011, version 3.0 had been downloaded over 32.5 million times.

4 | twitter – 89,800,000

A microblogging site, the most you can say in one go or ‘tweet’ is 140 characters -the same as a text message. Set up in 2006, it’s estimated Twitter has 190 million users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day. Woah there, I know, a lot to handle.

In Feb 2011, it was worth around $3.7 billion.

People on twitter include news agencies, public figures and governments , celebrities…who could forget the Liz Hurley/ Shane Warne tweet flirts… and of course journalism students.

Follow the people behind Your2pence at @HarrietBird @thedesertfox @sjhbradley @caronbell @bellrebeccabell @ltowersoflondon

3 | craigslist – 90,000,000

Known by me mainly for flat hunting purposes Craigslist is a sort of centralised network of communities, it allows people to post adverts for jobs, flats, gigs, services and forums.

Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 after moving to San Francisco and feeling a little out of the loop. He observed people helping one another in friendly, social and trusting communal ways on the Internet via theWELL, MindVox and Usenet and so set up his own.

A little fact for you: On June 16, 2009, “Weird Al” Yankovic released a song entitled “Craigslist” which is a parody of the website, done in the style of The Doors.

2 | Wikipedia – 250,000,000

Calling itself a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project, Wikipedia is the largest and most popular reference work on the internet. Launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia has 18 million articles (over 3.5 million in english) and can be edited by anyone who has access to the site.

Good fact wikipedia comes from the Haiwan word for quick (wiki) added with pedia from encylopedia. Clever hey?

And at number one, the Top of the User Generated Pops goes to…

1 | YouTube – 400,000,000

The video sharing site has only been around since 2005 but now boasts 400 million hits a month. Users can upload, share, and view videos.

It’s made cult heroes out of the ordinary every day person – who can forget david after dentist, light sabre boy and charlie bit my fingure – the most viewed user generated video on you tube. And its worth a fair bit – bought by google in November 2006 for $1.6bn. Wow.

So there we go the big 15. I’d really urge you to take a look and discover how to use some of these sites. I’m going to go and ehow a lot of stuff now. Many thanks to Wikipedia for being my excellent reference library.

The Rise of UGC – a Timeline


Check out a timeline I’ve built on Dipity charting the growth of UCG and associated technologies since the mid 1990’s. It all happened so quickly! (And in the true spirit of UGC, if I’ve missed out any massive milestones, let me know!)

CARON BELL

How do you get contributors? How can you deal with tricky ones?


Daniel Bower, creator of welovelocal.com, speaks from personal experience to give his advice on how to set up UGC content on a social media site.

In the summer of 2006 from our offices in London we were thinking about how social media might change the way people find small businesses: a plumber, a florist, a restaurant or bar. It seemed blindingly obvious to us that the Yellow Pages model of listing everything in your city from A-Z by sector and then asking the businesses themselves to pay for more exposure was not only a massive environmental issue, but frighteningly out of date. Our premise was that people want context, they don’t just want an ad. They want to know what their friends think of a service, they want to hear directly from the owner, and see other options that are nearby. Similarly businesses want to tap into the growing social media trend, they want a profile in the same way they could have one on Facebook and they want a way to interact with their customers; welovelocal.com was born.

Building the website was the easy bit, and like many people we quickly realised that you couldn’t just ‘turn on the social.’ Just building a site that allowed people to login, add reviews, mark favourite places didn’t mean anyone was going to bother using it. In the 9 months that followed we learnt a lot about building a business that centres around social media, here are some of the more intuitive points:

Make friends with the bloggers. No matter what your area of interest there are already bloggers out there having conversations with each other about the topics that interest them. These people are the connectors that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in The Tipping Point, if you can engage them you they’ll spread your message, but doing this isn’t easy. At welovelocal.com we kept lists of all the different bloggers that operated in our space, how they knew each other and the things they liked to write about. We were really delicate when contacting them and if we felt it was appropriate we offered prizes for their readers.

I’ve already alluded to this a bit. You shouldn’t be afraid to incentivise people to contribute. This doesn’t mean you hand out money in exchange for peoples input, obviously this would taint the quality of the contributions you receive; however rewarding people for their time, and making it clear that you do that only encourages your members. At welovelocal.com we ran a regular review of the week feature on our blog, the person with the best review that week was treated to something nice based on their profile information. That small gesture went a long way towards encouraging new people to join the site.

The users are revolting! It’s likely to happen.  But try and think of it as a good problem: you can’t have a revolution without having members in the first place. Every large social site goes through times when it’s members jump ship. Facebook seemingly has them most weeks, Flickr after they sold to Yahoo and Digg as a result of their redesign. For us it was a number of users regularly posting joke reviews who then got annoyed when we took them down. For us, it was easy to know how to react to that. Does condoning this sort of behaviour affect our product? Yes. Then we need to take it down. More broadly we felt confident that we were providing enough of a service to that user, and our users at large, that they wouldn’t just abandon us because we gave them a slap on the wrist.

The above point brings me on to my final bit of advice. Set out some guiding principles for your project and reference them in everything you do. At welovelocal.com this was a style guide for writing reviews and included a variety of points that we hoped would make our reviews helpful for all. If a review couldn’t be held to this guide we took it down and told the user why, referencing our style guide as we did. We annoyed people, but it made the product better in the long run and created a self-regulating system for the website as members kept an eye on each others contributions.

We sold the site after only 9 months which meant we were able to see the project out to the very end. However in the short time that we did run the site we’d seen the points I’ve discussed above make some real strides towards building an active social media project – with any luck they’ll help you do the same too.

REBECCA BELL

UGC Snow Story


As the snow begins to fall journalistic cliché blankets Britain. We’re a nation obsessed with talking about the weather, yet we still manage to be embarrassingly unprepared for it. The snow barely has time to settle before the news headlines ‘treacherous’ travel conditions and dangerously low grit supplies.

This is when the role of the citizen journalist really comes into it’s own. When it’s impossible for the reporters and TV crews to get to the snow-scene unscathed, it’s up to snow’s victims and enthusiasts to do the storytelling.

Screengrab from Sky - Your Photos. Photo by Nina Power - "Frosty the snowman and friend Nathan. Taken in the back garden

The BBC UGC Hub receives thousands of stills and videos on the days it snows, interestingly far more than during heat-waves, and the Channel 4 Facebook page has set up an album especially for its viewers snowy scenes.

We no longer have to rely on meteorologist’s changeable predictions alone, but on those than can physically see the snowfall from their window. Twitter users can create a live snow map of the UK by tweeting their postcode and snow rating to the hashtag #uksnow. Ben Marsh, #uksnowmap’s creator, says that from November 23rd to December 31st the site notched up half a million hits and 85,000 reports from 150,000 tweets.

"Heathrow T3 looks like a war zone - debris, foil blankets & camping passengers" @PaulLomax

But UGC’s finest snow hour came this weekend when BAA banned TV crews from entering Heathrow airport during the snow chaos that caused thousands of passengers to miss their flights. Newsrooms began calling out to passengers for news on their experiences. Along with Flickr, Twitter and YouTube there was soon an influx of shocking stills and videos of people camping out in foil blankets – more akin to a warzone than an airport terminal! Some posted videos of themselves as reporter and interviewer, questioning other passengers about their experiences.

BAA might have been able to keep out the professional broadcasters, but what difference did it make? They underestimated the growing power and proficiency of the citizen journalists, who proved more than capable of getting their story told to thousands of viewers and listeners.

When it comes to a snow story UGC tells it best.

"Not a toilet seat but a plane window and yes, that is snow" @DaisyPoppets

EMILY ARCHER