I’ve always felt that user generated content has been ideal when making purchase decisions or places to eat, and brands have already well leveraged this by influencing main guys with positive reviews.
But when it comes to hard facts or event details, always take it with a pinch of salt. Every major event is flooded with tweets and Facebook updates, but which are real and which are not? Wikipedia is not a reliable source to code in school even is it has had all the footnotes of where the information was taken from.
But all that might change now with various user generated content sites changing the way content is being read and distributed. Wikipedia for example is using its function WikiTrust to “color code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page”. Digg, social bookmarking site, has started a “rel=nofollow”tag for sites which it doesn’t trust.
For now Retweets and Liking a FB status are probably the best way to measure how accurate the information is and sorting the truth out of the millions of useless information.
My question now is will additional verification on user generated content sites such as Wikipedia and Digg be an accepted and reliable source for hard facts?
Educators, journos and PR folks, would you be willing to let take a reference from Wikipedia or a blog post which has been bookmarked countless times and use it for your articles, thesis or publications?
The floor is yours..