"Is user-generated content out?" Newsweek recently asked (four days before profiling a user-generated magazine as a "brave new magazine model"). The trend piece lists a few companies that pay writers and editors, then call them a trend, ignoring that user-generated sites like Wikipedia and YouTube still have climbing traffic. I'm gonna go Twitter about this, but here's a quick outline of Newsweek's double-talk about the "trend."
- March 2006: Cover story "Putting the WE in WEB" praises Flickr, YouTube and others for letting ordinary people create things online — years after these sites became popular.
- December 2006: Trend piece declares 2007 the "year of the widget." It wasn't.
- 2007: Profile of hot new user-generated-content startups.
- February 2007: Interview with Jimmy Wales, who explains why his site Wikipedia is the future.
- January 2008: Story about Flickr users organizing photos for the Library of Congress. Newsweek calls them "the unwashed masses," and I wish there was a way to punch a magazine.