Get Off Of My Cloud

Designer, user-centric experience architect, photographer, writer, and community consultant, Derek Powazek wants people to stop saying “user-generated content.” I say consumer generated content (CGC), myself, but Derek would likely object to that too.

Calling the beautiful, amazing, brilliant things people create online “user-generated content” is like sliding up to your lady, putting your arm around her and whispering, “Hey baby, let’s have intercourse.”
They’re words that creepy marketeers use. They imply something to be commodified, harvested, taken advantage of. They’re words I used to hear a lot while doing community consulting, and always by people who wanted to make, or save, a buck.
Think about the rest of the world. Writers produce stories or articles. Authors write fiction or memoir. These are words infused with meaning and romance. Can you imagine a writer saying “I am a content provider” when asked what they do?

Actually, I can totally imagine a writer saying “I’m a content producer or manager,” given that’s precisely what many writers are doing in this medium. Managing content.
Since language is important and specific, did you happen to notice Derek said “marketeers” not marketers? Like we’re a bunch of pirates just waiting to strike.

About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • Tom Hespos

    Um, yeah. “Consumer Generated Content” is a borderline insult, IMHO. I wrote about this recently at the tail end of my last Online Spin piece.
    “User Generated Content” is not much better. Certainly less harmful, but still meaningless and silly.