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Bad Names For Good Things

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Derek Powazek makes an excellent point in Death to User-Generated Content:

Calling the beautiful, amazing, brilliant things people create online “user-generated content” is like sliding up to your lady, putting your arm around her and whispering, “Hey baby, let’s have intercourse.”

They’re words that creepy marketeers use. They imply something to be commodified, harvested, taken advantage of. They’re words I used to hear a lot while doing community consulting, and always by people who wanted to make, or save, a buck.

Think about the rest of the world. Writers produce stories or articles. Authors write fiction or memoir. These are words infused with meaning and romance. Can you imagine a writer saying “I am a content provider” when asked what they do?

I couldn’t agree more.

The things I put on Flickr are photos. And the stuff on my blog? That’s writing (or ranting, in some cases).

Nobody has ever commented to me about my “content”, but they do mention my pictures or writing from time to time.

Why do we need new, less precise, terminology when the existing language seems to work just fine?

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

Bad Names For Good Things
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