Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

San Francisco is Not London

1) San Francisco, LA, New York = we hates the "user generated content"!!�"$!! everyone tries desperately to think of a better name, we all wait for Chris A to actually do it.

2) Europe = "user generated content" is teh hot!�%$!

3) As an example of the roughly 12-18 month idea gap between the States and Europe which is still very much in full effect.

-- umair // 2:20 PM // 6 comments


Bah - humbug. User generated content is an enormous bubble, in which there is no long-term advantage to be a leader. Better to follow from a distance, and maybe get less egg on face.
// Anonymous Shug // 2:51 PM

Hey Shug,

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom. If you could maybe turn it into some kind of reasoned argument/premise, we might be a little more inclined to take it seriously.

Thx for the comment.
// Blogger umair // 3:13 PM

I've always been pre-disposed to the thought that enterprise technology starts in the U.S. and then migrates to Europe and elsewhere. However, the huge majority of requests to be in the private beta of have come from Canada and Europe. And they get it.

Fashion starts in Europe, and then hits New York. Cell phones hit Japan and Europe before entering the U.S. (if ever).

I think Europe and South America take to social sites faster because they are used to social concepts like public transportation, the piazza/plaza, or the pub while we Americans are more individualistic (isolated) with our own cars and houses with large lots.
// Blogger Bryan Menell // 3:43 PM

// Anonymous Bob Haugen // 2:05 AM

Unfortunately I agree that there is an ideas lag between the USA and Europe in the online media space.

The blogging thought leaders are in the main US-based. My consumption reflects this: Pete Cashmore and this blog are 2 of the 3 European blogs I read vs. 10 plus US bloggers.

This disappoints me as a Brit.

We have traditionally been more mobile than the yanks though, but not as cutting edge as the Japanese.

Perhaps we need to re-read how to be Silicon Valley by Paul Graham...

PS. Extremely surprised that such an elegant blog is powered by Blogger. How unusual.
// Anonymous Will McInnes // 4:03 PM

I think you pointing out that Chris A. of Wired isn't walking his talk deserves kudos. The man wrote an entire book on the idea of user generated content, but not one bit of Wired Magazine's content hews anywhere close to Chris' various content theories. Which to me pretty much begs (screams!) the question: Why isn't anyone (except Umair) calling him to account for this. It seems to me to that if he's paying this much lip service to user generated content, "someone" in a high-profile position would question his credibilty... or at least the cred of his theory.

Personally I think I know the answer. The answer is: If we follow the Digg model, user generated content means no need for a huge staff of editors--a couple of content moderators will do nicely. Chris doesn't want to make himself obsolete (smart). But meanwhile he's telling everyone else they are crazy NOT to follow the "long tail" user generated content path. Slick.

What I WOULD like to see is someone explain how all the content sources (with traditional editors and such) will survive if everyone (or most) move to a user generated content model? Sure, if you whittle your staff down to a few IT guys and a couple of moderators, the numbers work, but then you don't have money for researchers, photographers, copyeditors, etc. that generally raise the quality of the content.

So Umair, how does a user generated content world survive if everyone is just linking and doing cursory (read: Wikipedia/Google) research?
// Anonymous Mr. Me // 6:45 AM
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