Don’t take too much comfort in the Zogby poll on UGC

A Zogby poll confirms what is probably obvious — most people do prefer professional journalism, especially on TV. I’m sure the Luddites will be jumping all over this one.

Careful, there.

The threat of disruption — such as from citizen media or armature content — isn’t that it will totally replace professional content. The threat is that it will gain enough traction to make professional content unprofitable enough that people start losing jobs and some outlets go out of business.

The fact that one in two Americans like content from their peers should really be a headline in itself. That’s a pretty significant number of people. It is certainly a large enough audience to take seriously. The poll doesn’t address the question of age, is certainly an important consideration if you’re making strategic decisions about UGC. We can guess that older people skew against UGC, and younger people are more accepting.
Me, I don’t prefer one over the other. I want what gets the job done.

Besides, this poll is just a slice of time right now. It doesn’t tell us about a year from now, two years from now or five years from now. It doesn’t address how people’s attitudes might change and how distributed media might evolve.

Think of it this way — if Zogby had asked the same question two years ago (and maybe they did, but I don’t know about it), wouldn’t the results have been something like 3-1, 4-1 or even 10-1, if even one at all?

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