I think we are going to see a real increase in the understanding of UGC and crowdsourcing in general universities like UC Berkeley are now offering executive education courses to teach it to CMO's and CSR's to use it. It is actually pretty interesting how it is being used to increase engagement on the corporate social responsibility side.
Great comment Gene. That has definitely been the case within the crowdfunding space.
Where many people had thought the industry would be ripe with fraud, they have actually found the crowd is amazing at sniffing out and crushing any fraudulent campaigns.
That is very true Blue. It is a great tool for sniffing out any discrepancies on crowdfunding campaigns.
Gene captures that optimistic side of UGC. It does indeed often work well to self correct. There is, however, a side of it that can get stuck on a bad idea. The Boston Marathon bombings illustrated that side. The crowd ultimately fixated on the wrong people. However, the moderating by the Boston police was able to pull some good ideas from the crowd.
Interesting case studies on that found here:
I think the Boston Marathon example definitely shows that a crowd can at times be one step away from a mob, and that there needs to be some understanding that the crowd is not always right and will get it wrong from time to time.
You have to start by being transparent. You are soliciting material to use and they are responding to that solicitation.
Blue's comment is exactly right. Crowds can slide into mobs. They often need to be managed or guided or curated.
You also have to have your legal department check UGC as well. If you are going to crowdsource your tagline you would run it by legal first.
You definitely have to be wary of potential liability issues when working with UGC. Copyright is one, but could also be vulnerable for many other legal concerns, i.e. slander, defamation. It is definitely important to moderate your UGC and also have the proper Terms of Service and End User License Agreements in place if you are a website.
You may also have to separate the UGC from your organization. In effect, you have an independent crowd organization offering comment on your work but they are not part of you. You see this in the computer support communities.
So what is the best way to approach user generated content? Is there a universally good approach or is it more subjective?
It depends on what you are doing. In some cases, you bring your users into the organization. In others, you let them form their own. Generally, you do want to have some influence over the results
Agree Dagier tactics and overall UGC strategy depend on the results you are trying to achieve.
I believe it is definitely more of a case by case way to handle UGC. We also try to use 3rd party providers that we trust to host some of our content, and do a little reliance on their checks and balances. We have our crowdfunding projects post their videos to YouTube. YouTube does a great job of monitoring its UGC for copyright and other issues.
Part of it deals with the quantity of material you will actually use. If you are sifting through UGC for a few items - a tag line - you generally want to keep tight control.
That being said, when it is your business you never want to rely on anyone else entirely for the content that lives on your website.
If you are trying to build a large collection of material that is used for support, you probably want to let the users have more control over its organization and keep them a bit at a distance.
What platforms are best to use to curate incoming UGC? How do you implement a moderation strategy?
Again, I think it depends upon what type of UGC you are trying to use. As I said previously we use YouTube for video. We also use a company called Disqus for our comment threads. They have a lot of great built in features that allow the community to flag inappropriate or spam comments.
Good point but I would not take down negative brand comments, rather reply with solutions publicly. There has been a lot of bad PR for brands that delete all of the negative.
We also review every crowdfunding project before it is posted to our website.
What website is that Blue?
Joy is right. For integrity and for knowing what people are saying, you do need to keep the negative comments up. However, there is a tendency to merely repeat what others have said, add nothing new and give the impression that opinions are held far more forcefully than they are. Careful moderation is good.
Our website is CommunityFunded.com
When you think of good user generated campaigns, what jumps to mind? What made those examples great?
Lego and Doritos comes to mind for me.
The Robocop statue in Detroit?