Web publishers are scrambling to provide their own outlets for user-generated content.
This could be interesting to search marketers, especially if we're able to reach bloggers or amateur video makers within more defined and splintered communities.
So far, larger branders have taken the plunge. MTV invested in a company called TagWorld. Now it can produce social networking sites a la My Space, complete with audio/video sharing and chatting too.
You know the world is changing when even the Gray Lady says she'll start accepting user-generated video because it's cheaper that way. NY Times executive Nicholas Ascheim said there would be an announcement in March, as reported in Red Herring.
Whether well-known brands or not, online publishers always seek other reasons to grow their destination traffic. Sites where there's plenty of dynamic content and sharing should do best with new user-generated sources.
If sites already attract visitors for specific purposes, like passions or repetitive tasks, then there's an even better chance these visitors might stay a while longer and use other features too.
We don't think splintered communities are a sure thing, but might present an efficient buying opportunity if they do survive.