YouTube & Consumer-Generated News

    July 31, 2006

According to a Guardian story (reg. req.), MySpace just took second place (vs. SecondLife) to YouTube in terms of traffic.

At the same time, news outlets near/local and far/international are recruiting viewers to submit news content to test the social media waters and learn how to do more with less.

So riddle me this. Why hasn’t a mainstream media outlet simply launched their citizen journalist initiatives in partnership with YouTube? This would make it vetted and popular. It would also be easier to pull together with content that was much more viral (read: more traffic to the mainstream outlet’s site).

On that same note, why hasn’t YouTube created the YouTube News Channel-a completely citizen journalist-based news desk? It might provide spotty coverage, especially at first. But it would also be the first news program driven completely by user interest and user content. The ad dollars would be sure to follow.

261 YouTube groups pop up when you search for news on its site. The topics range from the silly to the sublime of course. Supporting my theory, I found The Cincinnati Tube, a channel “dedicated to all content related to the Cincinnati area: news, politics, arts, life in general.”

As mainstream media realizes it needs social media, they are missing the point, and the clue train, by creating their own in-house solutions to tap into it. The equation for mainstream media’s online future is open source + on demand.

Bookmark WebProNews:

Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

Visit Kevin’s blog: Strategic Public Relations.