Tag Archives: user generated content

Why digital advertisers should welcome the extended self-regulatory rules

At the end of last year I wrote about the top priorities for digital media regulation in 2010. One of which was the industry’s extension of the remit of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) into new areas of digital media space.

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We’re All Fans

If you do one thing today, visit We’re All Fans, the campaign site promoting the 2010 Grammy Awards. It’s a visual filter of YouTube, Flickr and Twitter by artist and one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in a while.

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A is for Advergame; B is for Banner…

Children today are growing up in a digital society. They will never know what it was like living in a world without the internet or mobile devices. They are digital savvy and their distinction between offline and online worlds increasingly blurs by the day. But being media savvy is not the same as being media literate.

 

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By removing anonymity social media has found its voice

Online communities and sites with user generated content (UGC) have been an obsession of mine since the late 90’s ever since I discovered chat rooms, instant messenger and forums. My single greatest passion is being involved in and running online communities for people to chat and share ideas and information. UGC has since been morphed by marketers into ‘social media’, which, when you look beyond the jargon, is just a more advanced platform for UGC with one significant difference: the removal of anonymity behind usernames. In my youth mine was the wildly inappropriate “FatXena”.

FatXena was a trigger happy opinionated so and so, whereas Jack Wallington was far tamer in reality. This created a split in personality between my online and offline life. I wasn’t alone either, it was always well documented how vocal people felt they could be behind a username online even when the person tapping away was a timid little mouse.

Thanks to social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and even UGC like BBC’s Have Your Say, this e-bipolar disorder is gradually being wiped out, although it still exists on forums which make up the vast majority of social media. I have many theories about the effects this is having, but for advertisers my point here is that removing anonymity means users are a more accurate portrayal of their genuine personality. One thing I’ve observed in my own group of friends is that the most social offline are also the most social online – in the past, during FatXena’s time, it was generally the absolute opposite.

There’s always been much talk among online community managers about finding the ‘opinion formers’ when in the past, the ones they found online were probably not the kind of people to drive opinion offline. Therefore, the real reason for marketers to be excited about ‘social media’ is not only because it is mainstream, but because there is a very real crossover in personalities. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what this means for your business, but to me, it’s one of the most exciting developments of our era.

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