Participation and User Created Content in the Time of Web 2.0

The publics like to use the word “Web 2.0” to describe the modern Internet. Comparing with Web 1.0, Web 2.0 is more complex and interesting because there are many things can do in the time of Web 2.0: apping, blogging, mapping, mashing, tagging, searching, shopping, sharing, geocaching, socializing and wikkiing (Munster & Murphine, 2009). With technology development, the human could use more devices to enjoy social media rather than only use computers to experience the Internet. Also, there are not only one platform in social media, so must people use more than one platform in daily life. Web 2.0 exists in everywhere of human’s lives because most organizations use social media platforms to promote their broad.

O’Reilly’s concept of Web 2.0 demonstrate that user contributions are the key effect to market in the Web 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2005). Therefore, users are the important part in the time of Web 2.0. For many social network websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, participations are the most important. Without oxygen, human beings cannot alive in the world. For social network websites, participations are oxygen.

Until the end of 2014, the numbers of users on LinkedIn and Twitter are about 277 million. There are 1.2 billion users on Facebook, and 540 million users on Google+ (Greg, 2014). However, people register most social network websites are free, so how do social network website make money?

Using platforms to do promotions is a normal way for all organizations because the features of Internet are releasing news faster and broader than using traditional platforms. Since, more and more organizations have their social network pages, social network websites would make money from advertisements, such as the promoted posts, sidebar Snip20150527_1ads, sponsored ads, or the ads before each video. Take Facebook as an example, the fee of sidebar ads is about $1 per click, the fee of sponsored ads is $0.15 per click, and the promoted post fee is $5 per every 1000 people targeted (Business Management Degrees). Hence, when more participation registers Facebook, Facebook would earn more money from organizations. At the end of 2014, every Facebook account contributed $5.32 to Facebook. Moreover, users cost this spending under a situation that they never know it (Greg, 2014).

For every user, he/she is a potential customer for the organization; even he/she does not buy the products from the advertisement. For the YouTube advertisements before each video, some of the ads cannot skip. From YouTube statistics, people watch more than hundreds of millions video, and there are more than one billion users (YouTube). For cars manufactories or food companies, they have more than one way to take customers’ attentions. Even if you do not buy the product, the rest people of one billion users would have demands to buy products. One Twitter manager said that, “Our ability to attract advertisers to our platform and increase the amount that advertisers spend with us” (Greg, 2014).

Users online experiences are changed from user generated content (UGC), in which users share/follow the content made by others, to user created content (UCC), in which users created their own content (Sam & Iarissa, 2013). UCC is the main communication method online in modern social media platforms. Users use different platforms to post pictures, video, or opinions. Also, users use UCC to communicate with their offline friends. For example, people like to post their travel photos on Facebook page because it is a way to build and maintain their offline relationships (Sam & Iarissa, 2013). When their friends see these photos, they would make comments or click “Like” button. Sometimes, UCC not only might keep offline relationships, but also help the public to solve problems. If one user posts about the health issue, some people who concern about this topic will give the answers. The results of conversations between those people would help more publics.

As UCC popularize into people daily lives, citizen journalism is emergence in social media. Sam and Iarissa describe citizen journalism in their book as “it is fundamentally about the collision between traditional news reporting and participative media” (Sam & Iarissa, 2013). Differ from traditional news reporting, citizen journalism does not have the limit on news type, publish devices, and publishers. Therefore, all citizens could use their camera of phones to shot video or photo, and post in different platforms. Sometimes, citizen journalists would help the professional journalists to collect news and publish news on time. Also, it is very convenient because mobile can finish all process from collect to publish. However, citizen journalists do not have professional training, so they are easy to break a story because they do not know the interview skills and they do not have professional view to analyze an issue.

        Online activism is another way to represent UCC. A group of people who have the same opinion on the public issue will get together by using platforms to express their opinion. When MH370 accident happened last year, the Facebook page of MH370 Families was founded. The purpose of this page is collecting the newest information of MH370, and all victim families could get the newest information quickly and easily. Victim families would post activities photos, their feelings about Malaysian government and airline on this page. Also, all victim families could use this page to communicate with each other. Related departments would see this page and give some responses.


What I learned?

From this Chapter, I learned about the development of online content. In the beginning, the Web 1.0, users just choose what they are interested. Then, in Web 2.0 is coming; users could create their own blogs, video, and photos online by using different platforms. This is the change processing from UGC to UCC. Also, in Web 2.0, users could use UCC to help other users’ problems. Moreover, to found of non-profit activism groups also could give the governments pressures. In the past, it was difficult to protest a law or a policy for activists because they might use the parade to show angry to the government. Right now, activists could use online method to found some pages on the platform. Therefore, people who are interest in this topic could follow this page.

More users use a platform means this company would earn more profits. Therefore, users are the important part of all social media networks, so how to earn more users is a problem that each website need to solve. Giving users more freedom and space to create, and combine their offline friends with online networks are good ways to earn more users.


Hinton, S & Hjorth, I. (2013). Chapter 4 Participation and user created content, Understanding social media, p56-76. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

How Does Facebook Make Its Money?, Business Management Degrees. Retrieved from http://www.business-management-degree.net/facebook/

McFaralane, G. (2014). How Facebook, Twitter, Social Media Make Money From You? , Investopedia. Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/stock-analysis/032114/how-facebook-twitter-social-media-make-money-you-twtr-lnkd-fb-goog.aspx

Munster, A and Murphine, A. (2009). Web 2.0 is a doing word, Fibreculture Journal, 14.

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Model for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html.

YouTube. Statistics. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html


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