User generated content is the most significant trend in the media today. Phone–ins, blogs, email and text contributions to live radio and TV, and YouTube make you wonder if the whole world is sitting there just waiting for the right chance, or for any chance, to provide their opinion. This is one demonstration of the commercial potential of customer-generated content – its value as a free contribution to many programmes. Moon and de Souza in their article ‘Customer managed knowledge factories’, Business Information Review, 2010, 27 (2), use a range of examples to identify a transition from managing knowledge about customers, through engaging them in product improvement and development, to the proactive leveraging of customers to generate new and valuable materials, for example Apple’s App store.
A transformational example is the development of a student text book on Change Management for South African students undertaken as a course work project and as an initiative under the Global text project (www.globaltext.org). Do read about it and consider the customer knowledge potential of today’s students.