Oon Yeoh is a columnist for Malaysian newspaper The Star. In his article dated October 16, 2008, he quoted the words of Nicholas Carr, a critic of user-generated contents (UGC):
“Forced to choose between reading blogs and subscribing to, say the New York Times, the Financial Times, the
I couldn’t help but laughed when I read the quotes. To say that bloggers are amateurs is like saying that secondary students are amateurs. Do we tell them (the students) not to write???
A very small numbers of bloggers, amateur photographers and amateur videographers who post their works to the Web eventually ‘graduate’ to become professionals. The Web serves as their training ground, much like what the school does.
For the rest of us, the Web gives us a space to express ourselves, or share our photos and video clips. Despite the hype, vast majority of the bloggers have no intention of challenging the mainstream media.
In a sense, UGC helps to instill the spirit of freedom of speech. I have been criticized by a few other bloggers, but I don’t censor their comments. My guiding principle is “we agree to disagree”.
By the way, if you think mainstream media is free from user-generated contents, you are wrong. Are you not aware that many newspapers and magazines have “Letters to Editor” columns?