It occurred to me while driving yesterday that there have been many offline forms of user-generated content (UGC), besides the traditional letter-to-the-editor prototype. For example, a favorite commuter game of mine is to decipher cryptic vanity license plates while traversing heavy traffic in southern California. A visually striking plate that caught my eye was on the car of an Ohio State football fan with the following UGC “message”:



Though UGC is often imperfect, vanity plates are a reminder to me how uniquely personal, passionate and creative “user-generated” perspectives can be.

As a personal exercise, here are example types of UGC that quickly came to mind:
Online: blogs; comments; reviews; videos; photos; links; user profiles; discussion boards; polls; surveys; avatars; answers; etc.

Offline: vanity license plates; sporting event signs; letters to the editor; man-on-the-street interviews; welcome home signs; home videos; protest signs; questions to speakers; bulletin boards; personalized t-shirts; birthday cakes; etc.

Let me know if you have any especially creative UGC types or examples you would like to share. Thanks.