…What bothers me is the mind-numbing omnipresence of this topic almost every where I go these days. I feel a little like a lemming who hasn’t quite gone over the edge of the cliff yet, who has a sudden awareness that the cliff edge is coming, and at the same time realizes there are so many lemmings pushing me forward that I can’t hold out much longer and I’m destined for the long drop.
This morning as I was walking over to my last day of Fluid Engage (http://fluidproject.org/projects/fluid-engage/) at the University of Toronto, enjoying the sunshine and 90 degree weather at 9 am in the morning I came upon an analogy for why I’m concerned about the topic of user-generated content. What popped into my tiny dinosaur brain this morning is the idea that user-generated content is like “self-satisfaction” (that’s a euphemism by the way). User-generated content makes the person generating the content feel good and it accomplishes several goals of museums (to allow the visitor to give something back, to feel like they are a part of the institution, the information provided is frequently relevant and useful to museums). Ultimately though users generating their own content is not as all consumingly satisfying as having an intimate, emotional connection with another person about content that both parties are passionate about. I’m hoping for a world where interesting user-generated content meets engaging museum-generated content and we all get a big bang for our buck.
And…if you would like to see a list of other euphemisms for self-satisfaction (and you have a sense of humor and aren’t easily offended) try this link: http://www.p7a77.net/mums/mumsterms.html.