BG Mahesh | Mahesh | mahesh.com

User Generated Content In India: Its Evolution & Opportunities

On November 16, 2011 VCCircle had organized an event “VCCircle Digital Content & Investment Forum 2011” in Bangalore. I was asked to moderation a session on User Generated Content. The panelists were,

  1. Hari Nair – CEO, HolidayIQ
  2. Suresh Reddy – CEO, Ybrant
  3. Kiran Gopinath – CEO, Ozone Media

User Generated Content In India: Its Evolution & Opportunities

This was the first time I had ever moderated a session. I will summarize the points that I had prepared for the session,

In simple terms content that is generated by end users, translates to ‘free content’. Some best examples of UGC are Wikipedia, Blogs (rarely updated),  bookmarking sites like reddit, digg.

Why is UGC needed?

Scale is important. UGC is one way to scale but I don’t think quality UGC exists in India ‘yet’.  By having UGC you get to see different points of view instead the monotonous views written by the same set of authors (you can predict what he will write tomorrow).

UGC also helps you to bring the much needed differentiation to your site.

Usage of Wiki and editing of Wiki can be a barometer of “serious’ content usage in India. Wiki doesn’t make money, hence Indians are ready to contribute to Wiki.

Consumption of content is bound to increase – thanks to mobile devices (including tablets). I don’t think 3G has helped yet, more of hype.

Points discussed during the session,

Status of UGC in India

Many content based portals claim they have a huge percentage of UGC because it helps in increasing their valuation. That is a bad idea. At Oneindia.in, we do have UGC (which is “free”, we don’t pay) but by no means it is a huge percentage. If one wants quality content, I think we need to pay (however small or big).

There is no point in having a lot of UGC on your site if it isn’t quality stuff.

Voting, feedback too are considered UGC. Classified sites too can be considered as UGC as the content is from the end user. While Facebook is the best example of a UGC site (valued at $100 billion!) we should limit ourselves to Indian sites with UGC.

Few reasons for UGC not being where it should be in India,