User generated content is worthless!

User generated content is worthless!

Michael Arrington published an interesting article yesterday, concerned about the sheer amount of UGC being generated, ‘spewing’ out onto a world where the signal to noise ratio is being lowered daily.


We have evermore tools allowing users to create, capture and clutter the Internet, all of which is forcing the attention span of consumers down to seconds.

Consumers are bombarded with messages and streams from feeds and sources which at some point along the way were picked up and are now spewing out of every conceivable crevice. All competing for attention, but the louder they become the easier they are to ignore.

But the essence of Mike’s desire is this: “we need open standards and businesses to emerge that help people link all their disconnected content together into a single online identity”, he goes on “to enhance real world social interactions”.

Aggregating all this spewing data solves the disjoint information problem sure, but this does nothing to curate all that data down to the most interesting nuggets.

I would argue that simply aggregating data into a single online identity is not going to enhance real world social interactions, but instead decrease our attention span even further.

Instead what will be successful are tools that curate all this noise in unique ways, ways that save us time, guessing what we need and predicting when we need it, then serving it on a plate like the morning paper.

Read next: Video: Nova Spivack "Making Sense of the Semantic Web"

Shh. Here's some distraction