We already know that many Internet users contribute content to the web. Take YouTube, for instance, which reportedly has around 15 hours of video uploaded to it every minute…! Not all of that video is professionally produced, business material. Most is what we’d call “user generated content”.
Already, just over 40% of all web users actually contribute to the Internet. Interestingly, around six out of ten people who use the web actually read or watch user generated content. As ever, there are more consumers than producers.
Even so, the numbers are steadily growing on both sides of the equation. By the time we get to the London Olympics over half the web will be produced by users, with almost three quarters of surfers using the stuff.
What does it all mean? It suggests that being able to contribute, to take part, to add to web sites, to udpate them, to be involved is going to become ever more prevalent and seen as a “requirement”. In other words, the days of the static, no-user-input, web page is gone – forever.
If you run any kind of online business, or use the Internet to promote an offline business, you will need to have the option for users to generate content on your site. If you don’t, you will be seen as rather abnormal and certainly behind the times.
And if you don’t know where to start, begin with a blog and allow people to comment. But whatever you do, do something to allow your users to generate content for your site. Your competition will.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+