Helping Local TV engage users while gaining User-Generated Content

If your work is at least distantly related to web publishing you might have heard about UGC.

These three letters stand for User-Generated Content. “It entered mainstream usage during 2005, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles,” according to Wikipedia. Essentially, it’s a manifestation of crowdsourcing.

Your users not only consume your content (and, in effect, see your ads), but can also help produce it. Think: A gallery with the title “Post your pictures of yesterday’s hail,” for a news network, for example, or even mobile videos of an incoming storm. With enough creativity, the possibilities are endless as the web gets more and more social every day. But there’s a dark side to UGC. Spam and unwanted content (if you know what I mean) could be a serious issue.

Originally, UGC Frontend Uploader functionality was developed as a part of a theme for LocalTV LLC Websites. Doejo client, Local TV owns and operates about 20 broadcast television stations in the United States. Thanks to the company’s enormity, we were able to release it as Open Source after engaging Doejo to help them move from an old platform to something new and shiny (aka VIP).

Local TV wanted to increase user engagement by utilizing UGC, so we came up with galleries where visitors could seamlessly upload their photos—No sign-up needed. To moderate incoming content we added another tab to Media. It’s called Manage UGC and looks pretty much the same as Media Library page. Producers can approve media files, delete them and re-attach media items to another post or page.

The plugin is already in VIP Shared Repo, if you want to get in-depth, checkout readme, fork the plugin on Github, pull requests are welcome!