Perhaps the most odious buzzword to emerge from the second coming of the web is “user-generated content” — my objection to this term is not just aesthetic (although it’s quite an ugly term). My real problem with user-generated content is the notion of a “user.” Rishad Tobaccowala of Denuo highlighted the unfortunate double meaning in his keynote at OMMA last fall:
User Generated Content: Since when did I become a heroin addict?
Treat me as a person, not some user, consumer, addict, shallow person defined by your brand or some other form of low life.
Worse than the negative word association is that the use of the term “user” in a media 2.0 context has completely obfuscated what is actually happening in media. [Read more…]