Histories of user-generated content : between formal and informal media economies

Lobato, Ramon, Thomas, Julian, & Hunter, Dan (2011) Histories of user-generated content : between formal and informal media economies. International Journal of Communication, 5, pp. 899-914.

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Debates about user-generated content (UGC) often depend on a contrast with its normative opposite, the professionally produced content that is supported and sustained by commercial media businesses or public organisations. UGC is seen to appear within or in opposition to professional media, often as a disruptive, creative, change-making force. Our suggestion is to position UGC not in opposition to professional or "producer media", or in hybridised forms of subjective combination with it (the so-called "pro-sumer" or "pro-am" system), but in relation to different criteria, namely the formal and informal elements in media industries. In this article, we set out a framework for the comparative and historical analysis of UGC systems and their relations with other formal and informal media activity, illustrated with examples ranging from games to talkback radio. We also consider the policy implications that emerge from a historicised reading of UGC as a recurring dynamic within media industries, rather than a manifestation of consumer agency specific to digital cultures.

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14 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 70797
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1932-8036
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Ramon Lobato, Julian Thomas, Dan Hunter
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd). Available at http://ijoc.org.
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2014 05:16
Last Modified: 23 May 2014 09:42

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