Changsu Kim, Ming-Hua Jin, Jongheon Kim, Namchul Shin


User Generated Content (UGC) is a rapidly emerging growth engine of many Internet businesses and an important component of the new knowledge society. However, little research has been done on the mechanisms inherent to UGC. This research explores the relationships among the quality, value, and benefits of UGC. The main objective is to identify and evaluate the quality factors that affect UGC value, which ultimately influences the utility of UGC. We identify the three quality dimensions of UGC: content, design, and technology. We classify UGC value into three categories: functional value, emotional value, and social value. We attempt to characterize the mechanism underlying UGC value by evaluating the relationships between the quality and value of UGC and investigating what types of UGC value affect UGC utility. Our results show that all three factors of UGC quality are strongly associated with increases in the functional, emotional, and social values of UGC. Our findings also demonstrate that the functional and emotional values of UGC are critically important factors for UGC utility. Based on these findings, we discuss theoretical implications for future research and practical implications for UGC services.

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November, 2012