The “Value” of User Generated Content #4: Final Report

July 17, 2013

A while back I wrote three blog posts about research being carried out by my friends Simon Hopkins and Sarah Turner for OFCOM on the subject of “The Value of User Generated Content”.

Their final report was published a couple of weeks ago by OFCOM. Here’s the press release. Here’s the report.

One thought struck me as I looked at it again.

Social media is just digital media for people who aren’t paid to make digital media. When you start to pay people to do social media it changes into something else, call it what you will: journalism, marketing, communications.

Social is supposed to be about sharing and the power of personal recommendation. This gets tarnished as soon as it becomes inauthentic. I might think less of my friend if it turned out he was being paid to promote things to me. Sharing is about altruism, not getting paid.

If you’re going to pay them people to do social, what they do still has to be authentic. Your organisation will have to be loved or at least respected by its employees. Which is rare in an age of outsourcing and corporations with no soul.

Maybe the most valuable thing about social is the thing that can’t be valued.

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One Response to “The “Value” of User Generated Content #4: Final Report”


  1. […] of H2G2, Sophie Walpole of the V&A and Nick Reynolds from the BBC Internet Blog, who’s had some things to say about the report on his own […]


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