UContent: The Information Professional's Guide to User-Generated Content

A New Vehicle for Self-Publishing

UContent’s chapter on Project Gutenberg (aka PG) focused on the procedure the user must follow to contribute content to Gutenberg’s large depository of works in the public domain (PG now holds 40,000 titles including free eBooks for Kindle). The contributed content, however, is rarely the original work of the contributor.

Barbara Quint recently reported PG has expanded its role, and launched its portal for user-generated content (self-published works). PG’s “Self-Publishing Portal” went public on July 4, 2012.

Self-published authors are able to upload their works as PDFs (or MP3s for spoken word), and share them. Moreover, authors retain all rights (e.g., they may withdraw their works if, for instance, a commercial publisher takes an interest) and, of course, true to PG’s generous mission, the authors can use the Portal for free. On July 20 the Portal held 693 works, and as of August 16, 2012 it contains 768 books. That is an 11% increase in one month.  In light of this, the pundits writing for Advertising Age and The Daily Beast, who have declared that user-generated content has seen its day, may want to revisit their appraisals.

About Nicholas Tomaiuolo

Nick Tomaiuolo earned his MLS at Southern Connecticut State University where he was named a Scholar of the School of Library Science and Instructional Technology, inducted into Beta Phi Mu (the International Library and Information Studies Honor Society), and has been designated a Distinguished Alumnus. He teaches online research skills courses for both Central Connecticut State University and the University of Maryland University College. Likes: database searching, literature, marottes, Stratocasters, theater, and travel. Dislikes: hubris, martinets, opportunists, and technology for technology’s sake. His first book, The Web Library, was published in 2004. His second book UContent: The Information Professional's Guide to User-Generated Content was published in January 2012.

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