Making Money with User-Generated Content

Very many sites (including the ones I spend most time on), have content which is mainly or entirely generated by the users of the site, not the owners. Does this user-generated content have monetary value? Or any other kind of value?

Nick Reynolds, who used to moderate h2g2 when it was owned by the BBC, offers two interesting essays on the values such content has:

Facebook, for example, is in a very different market, financially, to both h2g2 and Stack Exchange. And Wikimedia isn’t interested in financial considerations at all.

Incidentally, over on h2g2, Mr606 points out that the financial figures Nick mentions for Twitter are lower than reality: they have been massaged so that Twitter can declare its profits in Ireland instead of in the UK.


A Creative Catharsis

Ireland’s creative community got together to release a lot of pent up anger and sadness through the medium of the A3 poster, all in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more took time out to dress up their favourite worst feedback from clients, transforming quotes that would normally give you a twitch, into a diverse collection of posters.

The work was exhibited by the kind folks at The Little Green Café, Bar and Gallery. The exhibition ran from November
2nd – 7th, with A3 prints of all entries selling for only €10 apiece, with all proceeds going to Temple Street.

I rather enjoyed this collection of very snarky posters illustrating the strange things clients often say to advertising people and designers. The good folk at Buzzfeed had fun with them too, adding even more snarkiness in their comments on the posters. It’s the touching faith so many people seem to have in the power of Photoshop that gets me.


Quick analysis of an advertising scam

“We asked over 3000 doctors to review 5-hr energy and what they said is amazing. Over 73% who reviewed 5-hr energy said they would recommend a low-calorie energy supplement to their healthy patients who use energy supplements.”

Wow, that’s a lot of caveats. The doctors would recommend “a low-calorie energy supplement”, not this supplement specifically; they would recommend a supplement to their healthy patients; specifically, they would recommend a supplement to their healthy patients who use supplements.

And there’s another little trick there too.  How many doctors said this? I have no idea. Three thousand doctors were asked. Over 73% who reviewed 5-hr energy gave the above responses. My guess would be that the vast majority of the doctors asked refused to answer the question at all.

My guess would also be that those doctors who did answer it were goaded into giving a fairly non-committal shrug of an answer. Bryan Allain explains how this would work. Simple, and devious.


Boycott OMM!

I’m linking to this article mainly for its first line:

One Million Moms, a hateful collective of a few thousand insufferable busybodies, has once again called for its members to break out the torches and pitchforks and attack JC Penney. At issue is a single page in the department store chain’s May catalog that depicts a lesbian couple doing horrible, abominable things like smiling, hugging, and wearing wedding rings.

Penny’s other sin, of course, is having Ellen DeGeneres as their spokeswoman. But apparently showing non-heteronormative couples in their catalogue is even worse.


Proposition 8 Lies

Yes, I know this is an old campaign now. I don’t care. I’m still interesting in making records of the lies of the Religious Right.

Here’s an advertisement in favour of California’s Proposition 8. It’s been annotated to point out five blatant lies.

  1. The voter-approved initiative from 200 was ignored. It wasn’t. It was the heart of the debate. It was found unconstitutional.
  2. Acceptance of gay-marriage is mandatory. Nonsense. No one can rule on what you, personally, have to “accept”. And religious organisations are as free as they ever have been to perform only those marriages they approve of. (Religious freedom is enhanced by allowing those religions which do accept same-sex marriages to now perform them, though the video does not make this point.)
  3. Reference to a completely unrelated case under a civil rights act.
  4. Reference to completely unrelated tax laws.
  5. Reference to completely unrelated education concerns.


Spam Levels Go Down

There has been a precipitous drop in the number of spam e-mails sent per day. No one’s sure why, and the lull may not last.

Incidentally, to make sure that your computer isn’t part of a “botnet”, using your resources to churn out thousands of spam messages, make sure you have an up-to-date anti-virus program. It also helps to use something other than Windows, though that is no panacea.


The Reasons People Lie

Proctor & Gamble are in league with the devil. Did you know that? They aren’t, of course, but it’s a surprisingly popular urban legend, even though it’s transparently false. Slactivist has written about why people pass on stories they know to be false.

As usual with Slacktivist, the many comments are also well worth reading.