We can spot significant changes from watching live music on television over the last few years. Lighting and special effects have become more dramatic and flamboyant whilst broadcast video and audio quality has complemented the technology in our homes. But probably just as noticeable, we have seen a rapid increase in crowds holding rectangular devices at live music events, creating a sea of LCD displays all capturing the spectacle ahead.
So what has caused such an up-rise in user generated content? Well some research has categorised UGC creators into two subjective groups; the implicit and the explicit. Those with explicit incentives can see tangible rewards for capturing and uploading their content. The culture bred within the larger video hosting websites encourages users to capture viral content that creates a large amount of hits, growing prospects of financial reward through advertising or simply internet stardom.
The first category however, classifies those with implicit incentives, consisting of content creators who seek no tangible award, except the opportunity to share something fairly significant with their online community.
2011 has been a momentous year for both national and international headlines, offering an abundance of opportunity for the public to capture their first-hand experiences as social events unfold. Probably the most notable being the capture of Muammar Gaddafi, filmed on multiple mobile devices and delivered to news broadcasters all over the world. In fact, the Arab Spring in general will be an event remembered for its strong reliance on UGC, to report fast unfolding events occurring in distant areas.
In the UK however, it was the England Riots that saw the largest single creation of implicit UGC. The UGC platform Stream CrowdSourcer that enables broadcasters such as the BBC and The Guardian to receive mass amounts of media content, saw its highest usage of the year during this period, a time when a large majority of news was portrayed by videos and images submitted by the public.
After the Royal Wedding, Capture of Bin Laden and Gaddafi, The England Riots, phone hacking, numerous protests and the Arab Spring, 2012 may struggle to compete with this year’s calendar of events. It will however see UGC and its creators in bigger numbers than ever, ready and waiting to give society’s side of the story.