Mike Davidson – User-driven Content – Is It Working?

Mike is the founder and CEO of Newsvine. Mike’s presentation at CarsonWorkshops The Future of Web Apps conference dealt with user generated content. User generated content is not a new concept, it is just a new buzzword. Amazon is driven by user generated content, user can review reviewers. Amazon, Ebay, Epionions have been using user genrated content for years, since web 1.0. The current examples of user genereated web 2.0 sites are MySpace and Digg. During this conference I head MySpace be used as an example every hour, I head people say things like “I want to be the MySpace of gardening.” I want to be the MySpace of fund of hedge fund software.

Mike said that “Delicious is a great way to extend your memory.” I use it as a reading list, I bookmark what I haven’t read but want to. YouTube is another often mentioned web 2.0 user generated content web application. Mike also mentioned that “the interesting thing about Second Life, is that fake products are being sold for real money in a fake environment. That is a market I am interested in being a part of.”

Scaling was the unwritten theme of the conference. Mike advised that social services need to scale. He also recommended to not develop a social network for the sake of a building a social network. People want to don’t want to join a network, they want to join something meaningful that also happens to be a social network. Flickr is not just a social site, it is primarily a great way for user to organize their photos. Some advice that I need to follow is to always leave comments turn on.

Mike mentioned the Dunbar’s number, which states that the ideal size of a group is roughly 150 people. According to Wikipedia, Dunbar’s number is the “limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships.” It is at around this number that groups function best, where the users can get to know each other and hence care for each other a some level.

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