While once doing work for a startup in the music space, I came across a terrific example of artistically impactful user-generated content (UGC): a visually reinterpreted Enimem music video of the hit “Lose Yourself” by a young Swedish Youtuber that goes by the moniker of Tulkas88.

For me, this song is a classic in the “motivational” genre of music (think Rocky’s theme and the like). But I would have never come to this emotional conclusion without watching the Tulkas88 version, as it delightfully reinforced the message of the song, over and over again: Don’t Give Up – This is Your One Chance – So DON’T BLOW IT!

The creative approach taken by Tolkas88 was very simplistic but powerful: a rapid fire set of PowerPoint-like slides with overlaid lyrics. Each image was precisely contextual to a given line of lyrics and mostly unpredictable. So the Tolkas version gives me many more things to discover and enjoy, all the while illuminating and strengthening the message of the song.

The Take Away: Meta and contextual information can dramatically improve the experience of art, content, or whatever, just like listening to the director’s comments of a favorite movie can conjure a greater appreciation and understanding of the original work.

(I would love to see a revised version of this that could serve as a promo for the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament).

Exhibit A: The UGC Challenger – Tolkas88
Total YouTube Views as of 2/26/2009: 4,065,052

Exhibit B: The Original - Eminem
Total YouTube Views as of 2/26/2009: 7,352,015

Disclaimer: This post purposefully ignored the related topics of intellectual property rights and age-appropriate censorship.