Non-Text User-Generated Content

The internet may have initially been created for exchanging raw data between researchers, but in 2013 we’re using the internet to share a lot more than scientific information. Text, images, music, and videos for better or worse the internet has become a mainstream place for ordinary people to distribute user-generated content (UGC).

In Week Five’s lesson we learned that non-text content on the Internet, which includes anything that users put or support online that isn’t in textual format, has been growing exponentially over the last few years.  Laura Olin, President Obama’s social media strategist, suggests that non-text content can often be a very powerful to  convey a message; when speaking to NMR about the success of Obama’s social media campaign Olin explained that “images will beat just text or video embeds almost every time.”

As noted in our “lecture” this week these image are often tagged  with user generated keywords to create easier access to the content. A popular site for sharing tagged photos is Flickr, the site has aggregated its user tags to determine the most popular tags of all time. The size of the text indicates the poplularity of the tags I find it interesting that the two largest tags are “iphoneography” and “instagramapp”, both of these tags note photographs taken on smart phone thus demonstrating the connection between advances in technology and the creation of UGC. From this it would appear that the photos most often tagged and disseminated on Flickr are uploaded directly from user devices and are meant to be shared socially. I wonder how these tags will evolve in the future.

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