Another soundbite from a Davos discussion on user-generated content. In something of a metaphor for the UGC phenomenon, much of the most trenchant stuff came not from the formal panel members but from the audience. Jeff Jarvis, editor of Buzzmachine.com, described three phases of interactivity on the web as practiced by large companies. Phase 1 was “we let you talk.” Phase 2 is “give stuff to us” and we’ll use it on our site. In Phase 3, the next phase, he argued, companies need to think of themselves as “a network instead of a vault.” Just like the original TV networks, large media and web companies may end up not producing or owning any content, but will instead serve to provide money, distribution and support to outside creators of content. In this model, he said, Yahoo can be seen as the last old-line media company, while Google represents the first fully distributed one.
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