In a report on user-generated content strategies for media sites, it states that one half of online users participate in content creation. Also, about one-third of user-generated content users see such content as a differentiating feature on media sites.
There hasn't exactly been a barrage of comments to my story but it seems just having the option to comment makes it somewhat more pleasing to readers that come from the Facebook and MySpace world. And speaking as Facebook addict, I agree. One of the key findings in another of Parr's reports is "One-third of online users are interested in social networking features for media sites." (From the report Social Strategies for Media Sites, published May 9, 2007.) Perhaps there will be a day to come where we can have personal profiles and links to friends and join community events and groups, all on a newspaper's site... it's an interesting thought.
But if you have some new concepts on how to use digital media to communicate the news, check out the details on how to enter Knight Foundation's News Challenge at newschallenge.org.