I've been documenting examples of a trend recently that I call Content Co-Creation. Turns out other people have spotted this too, and have written some interesting posts on the topic:
Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users calls it sharing:
Sharing knowledge, lessons learned, product reviews, tips and tricks, links/bookmarks, and even photos
She points to Tim O'Reilly's definition of Web 2.0, where he labels this the architecture of participation:
Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences.
Co-Creation in Action
Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. The Lance Armstrong Foundation has created a donation site where you can upload a photo of someone who has battled cancer into a mosaic. You can be part of the creation of something special that a lot of people will see. It's much more personal and more connected than simply sending a cheque in. As the copy on the site says, "we want you to be part of it". [Thanks to Jennifer Rice for bringing this to my attention]
Tremendous energy is going into anything and everything that lets people become part of the conversation. If your brand is only doing one-way communication, you are missing out on an opportunity to become part of a richer dialogue with your customers.
Risky? Maybe. But if you want to differentiate -- and you do want that -- you can't wait until everyone else is doing it to get started.
Let's Try a Little Co-Creation: Send in Examples
Seen a good example of this trend? Please post ideas, links, thoughts...