UGC

Stands for "User Generated Content." In the early years of the Web, most websites were static, meaning each page had fixed content that did not change unless it was updated by the webmaster. As the Web evolved, dynamic websites, which generate content from a database, became the norm. Now, in the Web 2.0 era, many websites now include UGC, or content created by visitors.

Many different types of websites contain user generated content. One example is a Web forum, which allows users to discuss topics by posting comments online. Another example is a wiki, which allows users to directly add and edit website content. Wikipedia, for instance, contains information written and submitted by thousands of authors around the world. Social networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, are also UGC websites that allow users to create personal profiles and share information with each other. These websites simply create a platform for users to add and share content with each other.

While wikis, Web forums, and social networking websites contain nearly all user generated content, many other sites now contain both original content and UGC. For example, blogs often include a section where visitors can post comments about the author's articles. News websites typically allow visitors to post their feedback below the news stories. Often, these hybrid pages eventually contain more user generated content than original content. Thanks to UGC, the Web is now a more interactive medium, allowing users to actively participate in the creation of website content.

Updated January 19, 2012

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