In a recent post on John Udell's blog on InfoWorld, he discusses an essay he wrote explaining why a particular industry buzzword particularly annoys him. His term of choice -- "user-generated content." You can read more about his reasoning here.
But, in the spirit of constuctivism, after he explains the problems he sees with the term "user-generated content," Udell also offers a couple interesting alternatives. One, "lead-user innovation," comes from Democratizing Innovation's Eric von Hippel:
In the publishing world, the prevailing notion of user-generated content is that you can get lots of people to blog, or comment, or annotate, or otherwise freely contribute "content" that you get to "monetize." The problem, though, is that lead users -- i.e., the most innovative and influential readers (and advertisers) -- are also the ones most willing and able to publish effectively on their own. Enlightened 21st-century publishers will create value by further empowering, and then collaborating with, those lead users.
To briefly summarize Willinsky's argument, there are two prerequisites for effective reading: motivation, and context. Life circumstances either do, or don't, provide the necessary motivation. When they do, it comes down to a question of context. Education either did, or didn't, supply the necessary context. If it didn't, that context can be acquired by means of what CJ Rayhill calls on-demand learning.
Much of own work -- in tagging, in intelligent search, in screencasting -- aims to empower readers, listeners, and viewers to create context and learn on demand. Enlightened 21st-century publishers will create value from that kind of empowerment too.