One-quarter of respondents to a recent poll say they expect learning with user-generated content (learners creating and sharing their own learning materials or content) to increase.

In addition to user-generated content being used for learning, it is also influential to consumers. According to business2community, 82 per cent of consumers say they are more likely to follow user-generated recommendations by micro-influencers when making a purchase.

While writing this blog, I realized that I was using user-generated content to inform it, and that the resulting blog would be user-generated content itself. So, what is user-generated content?

User-generated content is content that an “unpaid contributor has provided to a web site. The information might be a photo, video, blog or discussion forum post, poll response or simply a comment made through a social media web site.” (searchcio)

This content is consumed daily on individual and commercial levels, whether it be browsing blogs or social media with your morning coffee, or watching a consumer review video on a product you’re considering buying.

For the training and education industry, user generated content refers to learning content that’s been generated informally by colleagues in the organization (trainingindustry), allowing individuals to spread their personal knowledge on a subject matter to their colleagues.

More and more, we’re relying less on experts and paid content to inform our knowledge and our decisions.

Like anything else, user-generated content has its pros and cons. Critics target the quality and consistency of content produced by amateur contributors, while proponents point to its democratic nature. This is because it allows anyone to lend their voice and knowledge without the influence of profit or privilege of a position in the media.…