Friday, October 31, 2008

User-Generated Contents

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 Atlantic, and The Economist, I will choose the latter. I will take the professionals over the amateurs,” [Carr] said.

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?


  1. Kudos, KS. Well-said. Some people fail to realise that blogs are becoming an important and unecessary tool for big corporations to reach out further and wider. Blogs are dynamic and keep people updated besides being interactive. Great post.

  2. yeah i agree that blogs are more like a training ground now, apart from some who turn into 'pro', the rest of us still having fun at the ground and exchanging opinions

  3. I read that even The Star took pictures off blogs and use them in their papers - without proper consent from the blogs owner.

  4. happysurfer
    Yes, you are right. Even Google makes unofficial announcement through its blog.

    Having fun is not something bad, right?

    Ooh... I didn't know that. That's copyright infringement!

  5. Still remember the stupid MP who gave bloggers nasty names... but after March 8 he went on to join the nasty gang he once called! ROFL

  6. hi there, I have an award for you. Pls collect it from my blog here

  7. Agree, Blog is a good stage for ppl to share their life. Even if he has no any reader, he still get to express himself. Better than hide everything in heart and no way to release.

  8. There are plenty of talented bloggers out there.

    If professionals were so talented, they would not have gotten us into this sub-prime mess. =p

    For those stock recommendation done by the so-called expert analysts, many turned out to be wrong. Imagine some of them suggesting a buy with $5 target price today, and recommending a sell with $0.50 target price a month later, these guys deserved no respect.

  9. kyh
    That MP's comments were amateurish, LOL...


    I always remember this story:
    Before he directed his first movie, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee wrote his scripts, without knowing if anyone would read them.

    A very good point. Pros may not be better.

  10. agreed! freedom to write and express ourselves! :D

  11. the world is moving to user generated content... and one needs to keep up on that.

    bloggers are quite well informed. in fact sometimes faster than the real media.

    read both is best :)

  12. i would say, buy some assets.. this way, money is 'locked up'. assets can be shares, properties, etc. but one must learn a bit before buying :)

    ill also add, try to do some part time thing - big or small. side income is always good! :)