Consumer generated content (also known as user-generated content or consumer generated media) is “any material created and uploaded to the Internet by non-media professionals.”  The earliest forms of CGC were discussion networks in the 1980s and in the late-1990s, rating sites became popular. Nowadays, CGC is flooding the internet with the popularity of websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Wikipedia. Consumer generated content consists of review sites, wikis, blogs, forums, social networking sites, content sharing sites, and more. With faster internet connections, people are now able to upload more files, pictures, and videos onto the internet.
This growing popularity of consumer generated content has caused good and bad consequences. Consumer generated content has allowed a larger information base on the web. The consumer can now create content and share information and opinions. Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook make it easier to network with professionals and keep in touch with friends. However, despite the benefits of CGC, there are a few problems that are concerning to media professionals. A problem with CGC is its reliability. CGC can be created by anyone with an internet connection. Sources may not be credible and information may be biased2.
Consumer generated content, whether good or bad, has its effects on advertising. Advertising has become more interactive as opposed to one-way messages1. Advertisers must be careful, because there is less control over CGC. Therefore, ads are incorporated with little clutter, becoming just another opinion in the mix. Advertisers are still unsure how to go about CGC ads, but they will be forced to learn because not adapting to this change may bring on worse consequences1.
 “User Generated Content, Social Media, and Advertising—An Overview.” Interactive Advertising Bureau. Apr 2008. <http://www.iab.net/media/file/2008_ugc_platform.pdf>.
Paul Chin. “The Value of User-Generated Content, Part 1.” Intranet Journal. Mar 2006. <http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200603/ij_03_07_06a.html>.