Customers Contribute Perspectives
Much ado has been made about user-generated content (UGC). Yet it’s often difficult to do well. There are several U.S. news organizations that have opened up blogs to reader comments and then closed them back down again due to the vituperative comments they attracted. Other news brands have been more successful in integrating readers’ perspectives and contributions. We’ve written about CNN’s I-Report, commented on MSNBC’s more recent efforts, and, two years ago, chronicled some of the BBC’s initiatives in Outside Innovation and in a longer case study.
BBC is very aggressive in promoting user-generated content. Just about every third story on their early morning broadcast includes the now familiar mantra, “let us know your thoughts on ‘Have Your Say’ at bbc.co.uk.” At the end of each segment, they read some of the more insightful comments about the day’s stories. YouTube is another great tool for user-generated content. Today’s BBC World morning news featured a story about an activist campaign that Saudi Arabian women are mounting by uploading YouTube videos of women driving cars in Saudi Arabia —part of a campaign to lobby the government to lift the ban on women drivers.