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What's in a Name? Rights and Responsibilities!

Mary Hodder hates the term "consumer"-generated content and suggests we call it "user"-generated content instead.

Robert Scoble doesn't like the term "user," though, and prefers to be called "participant."

Kevin Marks and Dave Winer, meanwhile, both like "amateur" -- as in amatuer-generated content.

Me? I like "citizen" -- as in citizen-generated content. It connotes the same non-Professional status as "amatuer," but it suggests more -- a person endowed with rights and responsibilities to others in his social domain.

Not that my vote counts for a wholle helluva lot, but there it is.


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Your use of "citizen" would parallel Dan Gillmor's "citizen journalism," which I think is an apt expression for what he's after.

I definitely don't like "consumer-generated," since it seems to strip a lot of the agency from the people involved, but it is perhaps more realistic about the power relationships.

I'm a doctoral student in Media Studies, and most of my work deals with media like blogs and wikis. I use the term "participatory media" to describe the mode of production, which could also apply to things like low-power and community radio. In my sphere, other label's like "alternative media," and "citizen's media" circulate.

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