What is Crowd-Generated Content (CGC)? To better describe what CGC is, I need to first discuss user-generated content (UGC) and crowdsourcing.
UGC is content — from text to multimedia — that is produced by end users and are publicly available. It could really be anything from blogs to videos. It has been a big buzz word for many Web 2.0 applications and platforms. Many websites (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Ning, WordPress, Typepad, Flickr, YouTube, etc.) built a platform on which end users can easily create, organize, distribute and search their content — hence the words “user generated.”
Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, is “the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call” (Wikipedia). This power of the crowd has been amazing in many Web 2.0 applications and platforms as well.
So what the heck is Crowd-Generated Content? Given the right platform and tools, the crowd can produce relevant and focused content with specific intentions — the crowd becomes the unifying voice for a cause, instead of many users doing different things. It’s the difference between Yelp (CGC) and WordPress (UGC) platforms.
Am I splitting hair? I don’t think so. Where UGC is a generic term for anything an end user publishes on the web, CGC has a focused intention. And this point is very important for folks like EveryScape or Google or Microsoft, where we are creating a viable, scalable solution and platform on which the entire freakin’ world could be visually built. That really requires a serious focusing of intentions and serious focusing of CGC.
In fact, I will argue (in the following blogs) that we first need Tribe-Generated Content (TGC) first (a la Tribe Sourcing), then Crowd-Generated Content to follow. A good analogy might be that TGC is the skeleton, and the CGC is the muscles on top.