Tag Archives: youtube

GOOGLE GOES GAGA!


Google has a history of user-generated interviews – Authors@Google has been running for a while, where watchers can submit questions and be answered. But this took on a whole new level with one Stephanie Joanne Angelina Germanotta: the unstoppable force that is Lady Gaga.

Legions of her fans posted video-questions on her YouTube page and then got to see her responses. And the whole thing was streamed and uploaded onto YouTube itself!

It’s a nice take on the interviewing technique, especially for someone who’s as fan-conscious and social network-savvy as Gaga. This way, her devotees can put their own faces to their names and convey a little more about their situation in life and how they feel about her.

One of the questioners talked about Lady G’s support for gay rights, adding that he lived in the relatively LGBT-unfriendly Houston, TX. Others shared their experiences at concerts or asked about particular aspects of Gaga’s performance or aesthetic that related to them.

But the real strength was in the commitment and passion of the fans. They asked questions that a journalist might never think of asking, no matter how well briefed they might be.

The ‘Little Monsters’ who submitted their questions are unswervingly, wholeheartedly loyal to the Gaga – and as a result, their questions are heartfelt and incredibly well informed. These are people who follow everything that Gaga says or does in the media and absorb it – as the user above shows, they remember comments in interviews from years ago. That sort of commitment just wouldn’t happen in a showbiz journalist, no matter how dedicated.

So is this the future? It certainly works – reviews for Google Goes Gaga have been positive and the Mother Monster came across as sympathetic, funny and committed to her music and to her followers. Maybe it’s time the bands started bypassing conventional interviews and throwing themselves on the mercy of their fans?

SAM BRADLEY

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

User-generated news: pitfalls and possibilities


User-generated content is becoming more and more central to news-telling. But over at MaYoMo.com they’re building a community of mobilised, networked users that they hope will create its own global news agenda. Your2pence spoke to Christina Bozhidarova, a community manager at the site to see what their endeavour teaches us about UGC.


 

The site was founded in 2009 by two enterprising Bulgarians, Hristo Alexiev and Ilian Milinov. MaYoMo and stands for Map Your Moments, and fittingly, one of the site’s main features is a giant map of the world with pegs linking to the latest news-related video content.




UGc vs. Citizen Journalism

Bozhidarova says the site was envisaged as an online platform where ‘ordinary people without professional journalism skills would be able to share mobile video and photo content’. This tallies with how Matthew Eltringham from the BBC Hub defines UGC – something made ‘accidentally’ by ‘dentists, doctors and shopkeepers’.

But Bozhidarova says the site’s main contributors are ‘civic activists, freelance journalists, bloggers, journalism students, photojournalists, filmmakers & NGO’s from all over the world’. So, they aren’t all ordinary people – many are aspiring or even practising journalists. And the videos are listed under the tab ‘Citizen Journalism’ implying something more conscious, conscientious or even constructed.

If we follow Eltringham’s definition, MaYoMo’s videos are not UGC, but citizen journalism. Bozhidarova, though, doesn’t see the two as mutually exclusive: ‘citizen journalism is a form of UGC… made by non-professionals’ she says. But of course, many of MaYoMo’s contributors are professionals, or on their way to being so.

It’s easy to get into a pickle over this. Drawing a distinction between an ordinary user and a citizen journalist becomes impossible at MaYoMo because the site plays host to both. But it’s interesting that MaYoMo originally wanted to be a place for an ordinary users, but, by its own admission, became a place for aspiring and professional journalists. As a specialist community rather than a mainstream media outlet, MaYoMo can hardly expect to attract many people who don’t already have an active interest in video journalism.

Anti-establishment

The non-mainstream nature of UGC means MaYoMo has attracted a specific type of content. Bozhidarova cites ‘the political protests and demonstrations in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon’ as particularly popular videos. Marches and demos make up a large percentage of the content, perhaps because MaYoMo market themselves as champions of ‘freedom of speech and expression’.

Watch the video of protests in Albania

The prevalence of this sort of material is in many ways a result of access; protests can be filmed  easily and often have serious, violent consequences but they rarely make headline news in countries other than their own. MaYoMo, as an international platform, fills this gap.

We also see MaYoMo’s place among the demonstrators in its coverage of the 2009 UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen. The summit attracted a large number of activists and protesters and MaYoMo created a ‘virtual rally‘ online inviting users to ‘voice their opinion’ on the talks.


Bozhidarove insists that ‘everyone was free to express their views, thoughts and beliefs without the means of news propaganda’, making the channel a vehicle for climate-skeptics as much as eco-activists. I found only 2 climate-skeptic videos (here and here) out of about 500. Clearly the activists had the upper hand with so many people on the ground, but this again shows how UGC here leans towards a people-driven, anti-establishment mode.


do we care about quality anymore?

Hardly any of the footage on MaYoMo is of broadcast quality, Most of it is mobile phone or handheld camera quality. The films are shaky, grainy, and often unedited. But footage from MaYoMo has made its way onto The Observers, a UGC-led site and TV programme on France 24,  The Huffington Post, Now Public and into the hands of the BBC. Clearly for these news organisations, shoddy camerawork is not a problem if there’s no high-quality footage available and a film shows events from a privileged, front-line position.

But Bozhidarova goes a step further. She says MaYoMo encourages their contributors to send raw, unedited material. ‘Raw, original video is very valuable nowadays’ she says, ‘it gives the impression to the viewers as if they have witnessed the event themselves’. Peter Berghammer said back in 2007 that ‘the audience for low resolution, small format video is exploding’ despite the growth of High-Definition, and he held user-generated content to blame.

The low resolution, small-scale video of YouTube provides an intimacy, immediacy and inspiration… that exists because of its low resolution.
Peter Berghammer

Berghammer said that low quality UGC provides ‘intimacy’ and ‘immediacy’. It creates a sense of being right in the heart of the action but only shows a limited perspective – a far cry from the Sky News helicopters. UGC is cheap, fast, fresh and focused. It will never replace the mainstream, but with help from sites like MaYoMo, it’s finding it can offer something different and more and more essential.

HARRIET BIRD

 

 

Interview with Matthew Eltringham – UGC at the BBC


Your2pence speaks to Matthew Eltringham, founding editor of the BBC UGC Hub. He discusses UGC’s defining moments at the BBC and his theory that the future of UGC is increasingly in the power of ‘sharing’…

What news story has UGC had the biggest impact on?

What stories work best for UGC?

Does UGC risk softening news?

Has it helped re-engage your audience?

What more will the BBC UGC Hub be doing to connect with social media platforms?

What is the future of UGC?

What are the limits of citizen journalist\’s participation?

EMILY ARCHER

Can UGC topple the regime?


For almost a week now the Egyptian protests have  dominated the news agenda.

Non stop rolling images of burning trucks, marches and adrenaline fuelled Egyptians (while the army and police look on) have taken centre stage as  tens of thousands take to the streets to protest against Hosni Mubarak’s thirty year presidency.

Courtesy of Egyptian citizen and friend Islam Harouf

Old protest v New protest

Social protest in Egypt and the wider Middle East is nothing new, but this time the internet and UGC has played a vital part in organising protestors and relaying real time images to the world’s media.

In Iran in 1979 for example the proliferation of tapes of Khoemini preaching did much to whip the Iranians into a frenzy. In 1990, the Gulf War was the first time satellites were used to produce real time images of fighting and conflict. In 2011, social networking sites, particularly twitter, facebook and youtube as well as camera and video phones have been instrumental in keeping us up-to-date as well as organising protesters.

Courtesy of Egyptian citizen and friend Islam Harouf

The April 6th movement for example, by far the most active and well known of all the protest movements has used blogs, facebook and twitter for years to spread the news of the protests and mobilize people.

And Sherine Barakat, interviewed on BBC news said of Egypt, “Today every person is a journalist.” It is no secret that Egyptians love the internet and that postings of film, images and twitter made by ordinary Egyptians armed with camera phones has appeared on the pages of the BBC, al-jazeera and other news agencies and channels across the world as well as keeping friends, family and other loved ones in the loop.

Courtesy of Egyptian citizen and friend Islam Harouf

In fact the internet has proved to be so dangerous that the government disconnected it on Thursday evening. Thats 80 million people offline. All April6th correspondence ends then.

What does this mean? Several things. The Government is scared.  Mubarak has realised that pictures are powerful.Violence could erupt – after all who is left monitoring unfolding events.

Or it could be the final nail in Mubarak’s coffin. The Egyptian people don’t look like they are backing down, but so far neither does he.

masr inshallah kulu qweies (Egypt, god willing all will be good)

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