“User-generated content on the internet, civic engagement and
psychological empowerment have received significant interest in recent years due to the Web 2.0 phenomenon” (Leung, 2009, p. 1329). This is probably due to the burst in social and new media platforms that users of the internet are inundated with day in and day out. These include Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Youtube and a variety of other resources that allow for users to produce and view content (Leung, 2009, p. 1329).
However, Leung does argue that amongst the variety of reasons that users indulge and continue in producing content for the web, two separate reasons have been founded during his research as being significant (Leung, 2009). I concur with Leung with these reasons, when reflecting on why I produce content via my personal blog.
The first being, the psychological empowerment users experience when engaging in producing content for the net (Leung, 2009). For example, the more content a user generates regarding a topic they are either interested in or have high knowledge about, the more they feel empowered, psychologically, when producing content on the web. The second is that in order for a user to be motivated to continue producing content, the user must feel recognised for their work whilst their social needs met (Leung, 2009).
I feel that these two theories may actually go hand in hand, in my case. I started writing a blog, only late last year as a creative outlet. I don’t always feel motivated to produce this content through recognition but more so to feel psychologically empowered. However when I do receive comments, “likes” and “retweets” of my blog, I feel both gratified and recognised as being someone worth listening to, and this definitely motivates me to produce more content.
Leung, L. (2009). User-generated content on the internet: an examination of gratifications, civic engagement and psychological empowerment. New Media Society 11(8), 1327-1347. Retrieved May 27, 2010, from https://qutvirtual.qut.edu.au/portal/pls/portal/cmd_request_p.show_item?p_item_id=158429.