Someone at Yahoo Answers posted the question if the user generated content will end traditional media.
The Web was said to end print publication when it started. That did not happen. In the same way that I don’t think user-generated content will end traditional media/publishers.
User generated content has a different purpose from traditional media and publishers. It is to harness the community. It is using the web as a social gathering. As Newsweek said in a frontpage article in April, user generated content is putting the “WE” in the word “web”. Sure, it is the hottest business model on the Web right now. It is at the forefront of what they call the Web 2.0, or LiveWeb or whatever buzzword they are using to describe it. It allows the web to be highly collaborative and definitely more interactive. We discussed user generated content in our article 6 Hottest Businesses on the Web
But to say that user generated content will end traditional media, I don’t think so. User created content is oftentimes less authoritative, and some of the content are downright wrong or questionable. Think of Yahoo Answers, a leading example of user-generated content, and you can see junk answers if not totally wrong winning as the Best Answers. Think of a student researching on a topic on advertising – that student will have greater credibility if it cites the advertising bible Advertising Age magazine instead of saying to the teacher that she got her answer from MySpace.
Traditional media has to reinvent itself to catch up, sure, but nah, it won’t go away. People would rather carry Washington Post (print version) in the bus or subway rather than open a laptop and read news from their computer screen.