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Why Being a Content Generator is Awesome

Updated on July 27, 2012

User-generated content is a hot topic today, but when I see it pop up in news stories, UGC is typically framed as some sort of resource or data that comes from other people- some faceless crowd of strangers.

The few “content generators” that do get depicted in the media are more often than not adventurous activists, risking life and limb to provide on-the-ground reporting in the midst of a violent protest or revolution in a media-starved country.

We Are All Content Generators

In reality, nearly all of us are content generators, and creating user-generated content is very rarely something so involved as taking on the role of a serious reporter and giving everything up to share information on a cause or event.

The vast majority of user-generated content (that has just as profound an impact on our lives) is created by everyday people doing very simple things like answering questions, leaving comments, and posting status updates.

User-generated content isn't created by a bunch of faceless strangers. All of us are content generators!
User-generated content isn't created by a bunch of faceless strangers. All of us are content generators! | Source

What about you?

Do you consider yourself to be a content generator?

See results

What do Content Generators Do?

Very simply put, user-generated content is media that is created by the people, for the people, so whenever you...

  • Leave comments on articles and videos
  • Leave reviews of products
  • Leave ratings of restaurants and hotels
  • Post status updates and tweets on Facebook and Twitter
  • Upload videos and photos
  • Contribute edits to wiki sites
  • Publish online articles
  • Publish blog posts
  • Post something to a forum or imageboard
  • Publish a podcast
  • Ask or answer a question on Q&A sites

… you are acting as a content creator.

So?

Because your actions as a content generator might seem a bit mundane, you might find yourself wondering if being a ‘content generator’ has any special meaning at all. I assure you, it does!

By contributing to the greater pool of user-generated content on the Internet (which itself extends to the classroom, kitchen, board room, bedroom, etc.), you are, in your own small way, influencing modern media, education, culture, and politics.

Being a content creator gives you both power and responsibility.

Just by uploading photos from your phone or sharing your insights via Twitter, you can make a big impact.
Just by uploading photos from your phone or sharing your insights via Twitter, you can make a big impact. | Source

Content Creation and Power

You have the power to influence; to share your ideas, persuade others, contribute to a cultural tipping point, and provide fresh perspectives. Even by re-blogging and slightly altering other user-generated content you come across online, you can build upon existing trends and paradigm shifts to help them mature and gain momentum. You can become part of a much larger movement and help it reach new heights.

You also have the power to build your own movements and create your own online presence. The ease of creating and sharing content online has made it more possible than ever for people to build their own followings and brands. I’ve seen many people come online with very little experience even basic email etiquette, and in a matter of months, have hundreds of online friends and followers, several Facebook groups, a personal website, an ebook, and an online store. Obviously only a few people see wild fame and success online, but the brilliance of being a content creator is that one enjoys many of the same blue sky opportunity enjoyed by pioneers as they made their way out to the uncharted American West.

Those who do have the dedication, talent, and luck to see significant and sustained online success as content creators also have the power to make a significant amount of money. Some content creators who start out as obscure e-book publishers or vloggers end up getting their own book deals and shows. Many more see more moderate, but still significant success. Many online writers, for example, earn enough money from ad revenue on their published content to pay their monthly rent or take their families to Disney World every year.

It is your responsibility to make sure the content you share- be it video, text, photos, or anything else, is genuine and accurate.
It is your responsibility to make sure the content you share- be it video, text, photos, or anything else, is genuine and accurate. | Source

Are you careful?

Do you conduct careful background research and seek out trustworthy, valid information sources?

See results

Content Creation & Responsibility

As they say, great power comes with great responsibility, and content generators are by no means excluded from this conventional wisdom.

As a content generator, it is your responsibility to share quality, genuine user-generated content. There are quite a few content generators out there who are only in it for the money, and create thin, crummy content stuffed awkwardly with black hat SEO sawdust. These people harm the world of user-generated content by suppressing good content that would otherwise show up first in search engine results (Google Search and other search engines do their best to fight these folks, but one can only get so far in a perpetual game of cat and mouse).

Because user-generated content is often tied to very time-sensitive subjects, content generators are frequently tempted to cut corners. Everyone online- from amateur bloggers to seasoned reporters- has been found sharing information that isn’t verified and turns out to be untrue. Despite high pressures (and lack of oversight) an honest content generator is responsible for making an earnest effort to verify the information he shares. Findings should be researched, sources should be verified, and data should be solid.

Go Forth and Change the World!

Participating in the online world of user-generated content is a big deal- even if you’re just contributing the odd tweet and comment. As a content generator, you are shaping our collective consciousness and contributing to a body of knowledge from which the world benefits immensely. Accept the power and responsibility that comes with this privilege- and wield it with pride!

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    • HubPages profile image

      HubPages 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Oh no! Informational brain freeze! I get those all the time, so I can really emphasize.

      Embrace the responsibility, Thundermama! It is a wonderful responsibility indeed. Thanks for the kind words. :D

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      My brain hurts, must all of your hubs leave me with thinking headaches? I'm not sure if I can handle the responsibility of knowing that all of my words have meaning and impact. So much food for thought. Beautifully done.

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      *in Batman voice* Thank you.... greencha....

    • greencha profile image

      greencha 4 years ago from UK

      Thaks Simone,sorry its evening now I nean 'Batman',this useful and interesting........

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm glad you found it so, toknowinfo! You of all people have a lot of influence- I can say so by knowing the high quality and levels of utility you bring across in your Hubs!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      This was very motivating and inspiring. I always take the content of what I write seriously because I want my readers to rely on what I write to be true and valuable. I take pride in what I write, but I never thought of the impact I could one day make on others. Thanks for imparting your knowledge and raising us to even higher levels.

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      That's true, cperuzzi. It is sad and unfair, but because the creators of search algorithms are ultimately just out to make sure great content makes it to the top, we're confident that it shall, in the long run, prevail. Your advice is right on!

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 4 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      The basic problem is that SEO rules change quickly. Given that guerrilla online marketers try to use chameleon-like methods to get their products and services onto the screens of innocent web surfers, it is only fitting that search engine rules remain fluid. I equate this to a virus/antibody paradigm.

      In many ways, it's sad and unfair. What I believe though, is that SEO will eventually get sophisticated enough to find the bare essence of a web page, article, or hub to place it in a fair place within their rankings.

      That being said, my advice to new hubbers is to write plainly and truthfully - with enough flair to make your hub enjoyable.

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, thanks so much, rmcleve!!!

    • rmcleve profile image

      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Were you sprinkled with pixie dust as a child? Because you are AWESOME! I love your optimistic perspective and clever use of words. This hub is a great reminder that we're all content generators, even if we aren't made of metal and speak like robots.

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      It shall certainly be interesting to see how things play out, YouMeetMe!

    • profile image

      YouMeetMe 4 years ago

      Wait for few years... SEO is going to be disappeared. Content marketing will be the key for ranking... You are writing to the point.. thanks keep up...

    • Simone Smith profile image
      Author

      Simone Haruko Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow David Warren! That is so kind of you. I hope you are having fun sharing your writing online!

    • David Warren profile image

      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Fantastic hub! You inspire me to improve the content of my own writing. You truly have a gift. Well done!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      Inspirational and educational, Simone. I respect how you make it clear that generating content has real responsibility. Fantastic as always, ma'am.

      HubHugs~

    • profile image

      danielabram 5 years ago

      Love your hubs, they are so robust with pics, surveys, and information!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Simone,

      I love this conclusion to your article: "As a content generator, you are shaping our collective consciousness". With our words! Wow. Really what an awesome responsibility. Your hub is quite inspirational. I'm imagining a TV show starring each of us as guest hubbers presenting our best hub.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      Content generator- I've never heard it called that...At first, I imagined myself as a big machine with diesel pouring out, but the way you put it- I'm proud to be a CG! :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Simone I know you love working for HP but your a natural born actor and would be very successful if you ever went down that career path. This one and content generator were both very enjoyable!

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Great stuff, Simone.

    • profile image

      jlcustompc 5 years ago

      Great Post, really insightful, and a good read! I voted you up and look forward to more!

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 5 years ago

      Great Content Simone! Very beautiful and intelligent woman in the video!

    • MarcusJ profile image

      Marcus J. Guidry 5 years ago from Bayou Country, Louisiana

      A blue tooth? I believe it is several

    • jacharless profile image

      Charles James 5 years ago from Between New York and London

      Power to da Pee-Ple!

      You got it, Simone: content generation has become [my] career. Building quality, quantified content is a wonderful way to increase individual branding, develop character, adjust/modify that character and alter media -mainstream or otherwise.

      Ps, is that a blue telephone booth on the shelf behind you?

      James

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Good hub, and I loved the video. I think your emphasis on verifying resources and taking responsibility for what you put out there is important. It may take more time to fully research a subject that you're writing about, but it's time well spent. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Can I just fill this comment with SEO buzz words and call it a day?

    • j-u-i-c-e profile image

      j-u-i-c-e 5 years ago from Waterloo, On

      Great hub, Simone. I've been calling myself a content creator for months but people still give me strange looks. :D

      I think the key is to generate content about things you are passionate about. Quality is king; the better your content, the more longevity it has and the more views you will receive in the long run. You're not going to do your best work about things you have no interest in.

      And I'm glad you talked about responsibility. Content creators are not only responsible for checking their sources, but also for responding to the public and for providing the best possible experience they can, whether that means providing a more comprehensive resource than others or by providing a more entertaining form of delivery. You've certainly done that here. :)

      Following your passion and taking responsibility for your role as a content provider will go a long way toward establishing your brand. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Sannel 5 years ago

      I always make a thoroughly research before I share user-generated content, but prefer to write my articles based on quality and genuine content, because I love to put the thoughts that are formed in my mind on to a piece of paper. Okay, I may not write as many articles that way, but at least, I know the content are 100% my own and that's what gives me the satisfaction to be a writer, and it gives me a good rank in the search results. Thank you for sharing your expertise in this well-written hub.

      Sannel

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

      I'm inspired. And, I'm going back to my orginal plan of this year being a year of planning and learning. A very informative hub offering a view I at least have not considered. Create the market for the product or niche. Thank you Simone for these words of wisdom from both yourself and the collective conscious of the experience and knowlege you have acquired.

      tim

    • iefox5 profile image

      iefox5 5 years ago

      Google is becoming smarter and unique content is the best way to get a good rank in search results.