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Posted On: 19 January 2009 12:16 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Social networking sites won’t harm media

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User generated content which has become popular on the Internet like the You Tube website will not “kill” the professional media, but might help them in analysing the trend, according to a top official of prestigious Arab Advisers Group. Jawad Abassi, founder and general manager of the Arab Advisors Group, pointed this out during a panel discussion at the Media Connected: An Information Communications and Technology Forum for Journalists held at the Al Sharq Village and Spa yesterday. “The number of viewers at the You Tube is something that’s worth looking at”, Abassi said in reference to the inevitable popularity of the video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips which is now patronised by millions of Internet users around the globe. Explaining the impact of the user generated content, Abbasi emphasised how the new media like citizen generated news, web 2.0, social networking and blogging have changed the way people use the Internet for the more interactive and innovative news platform. He noted social networking website like Facebook has also become immensely popular that users also used it as an e-mail itself to interact with other people. On the other hand, he also noted cellular phone use to access the Internet had already become a trend among people in the Arab world. He said based on their study 70 percent of cellular users in Kuwait use the internet while 99 percent of the same users in Lebanon used it to watch TV. Abassi who joined four other experts in the panel discussion on ‘Embracing New Media and Connecting to New Audiences’, jointly sponsored by Supreme Council for Information, Communication and Technology (ictQatar) and Northwestern University, said the user generated content is the “most over hyped catchword” nowadays but this will not be even pose a threat to producers of movies and TV series. User generated content refers to material on websites, and occasionally other media sources that is produced by the users of the website. This is different than, for example, a website designed by a company which puts forth material produced by professionals. In user generated content, it is the amateur, in most cases, who contributes the content. User generated content has become tremendously popular even to Wikipedia, where anyone can write an article with sufficient expertise. Other users may evaluate the content, suggest changes, or even make changes.