Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Trust but Verify
I have a new essay up on Razorfish's content strategy blog Scatter/Gather, entitled "Blinded by Content Bliss." In it, I argue for more care in verifying the authenticity of user-generated content before incorporating it into a site. The national media showed us how not to this recently when covering the election in Iran. Since that country's government keeps a tight reign on information, the media had to resort to broadcasting a lot of user-created content in the form of Flickr images, tweets and blog entries. Of course, some of this material did prove excellent, but all too often we started seeing the media backpeddling on content they'd already aired. Not a good for journalism. And not a good practice for any of us as content disseminators either. I offer some simple principles in how to avoid reproducing poorly-sourced content - and plain old fabrications.
You'd think these principles would be common sense, but with 28% of Republicans still believing Obama may not have born in the United States--due to the spread of this very sort of poorly sourced information--well, you'd be wrong.
Two more of my recent pieces:
"Cultivating Effective User-Generated Content," With Bob Maynard, Razorfish.com, July 2009 [pdf]
"Crowdsourcing Content," Scatter/Gather, April 22, 2009