You Get What You Pay For

So I’m watching Kirstin Butler‘s videoblog, YouDigest, and she brings up the latest fad.. CrowdSourcing or UGC (User Generated Content):

society and the individual: how much for that idea in the window? from Kirstin Butler on Vimeo.

This is an intelligent and useful concept. I just did it to Kirstin…….. meaning [I just did it] to Kirstin, not I just [did it to Kirstin]…

Anyway…

What I’m saying is.. Instead of wasting my time making my own video about the topic, I just embedded hers and typed about it. That’s crowdsourcing. I used the content that she already generated to make my own post. If I don’t spend my time, I’m not wasting my money, because Time = Money. Not only am I not wasting the money I would have had to pay myself to make the video Kirstin made, but I got to spend that time making money on my own. Double benefit.

What people don’t realize is that your quality decreases along with the amount you’re willing to pay to get something done. Sure, there are the rare cases where someone really talented is trying to get their start in the business, and you can get some stuff for free that’s really good. Other than that, you get amateur garbage that you compile into something that looks like “World’s Funniest Videos” or whatever that show used to be called.

If that’s what you want for your company, to be seen as a collector of GARBAGE, go right ahead. There are really too many people in this “industry” trying to get by by cutting corners. A better idea is to get a group of regular contributors together who create quality content on a regular, scheduled basis. Of course, the problem with this is you’re going to have to shell out some ducats to get them to post to YOUR site instead of their own. If you’re not going to get PAID for something you do, you can AT LEAST get the social cred from it, or google juice or SOMETHING! 😀

I suppose the question is whether this situation is going to “turn the corner”. Is providing UGC going to be a benefit to any of the content creators?.. ever?? 😀 I can understand it for people that have no other means of distributing their content and are trying to “break in”. To me, it seems like something where you want to get in and then get back out ASAP. Make your content, distribute it, make connections and then get on with the REAL business you meant to do.

I don’t have a good perspective on the “Why”s of randomly contributing UGC, because I have my own site, my own shows, my own blog posts, my own hits, my own demographics, etc etc so I’m mentally removed from the “How Can I Be Down?” mentality. It seems to me that some standards need to be developed as far as what UGC is worth. Until that time, there will always be calls for free materials from people that spent their time creating it instead of making money for themselves, thus DONATING to your show by sending you that material.

The reason you can hand out money for the funniest video of the week is because you didn’t have to pay ANY producers to produce your show and you didn’t have to pay ANY editors to make the individual clips that you’re showcasing. As long as the amount you give out in prizes < the amount you would have spent on actual staff, you can demonstrate ROI... so long as ROI can be derived from random entries from random people with no particular skill or concept of quality when it comes to making videos. If your goal is to be seen as a viable and respected content creator, you might want to rethink the "get it for free" UGC model entirely..... ~ Bill Cammack

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4 Comments

  1. As you know there are and will always be the people that take advantage of the dollar menu. As the system marketing has been devised, it will always sell on the basis of free, 99 cents, etc. A great deal of ROI has been generated on the basis of this concept. It is surprising that the masses think that you can get the ROI that the 99cent store gets with millions of dollars spent in advertising for free. . .

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