From television (YouTube and Revver) to advertising (Craigslist and consumer-made TV ads), movies (Machinima), photography (Flickr and iStockPhoto), encyclopedias (Wikipedia and UrbanDictionary), an news (blogs and citizen journalism) technology is enabling amateurs to produce and distribute high-quality product that people want to watch, read, consume, buy, and re-use. This type of media is sometimes labeled "user-generated," "amateur," or "peer-produced" content, and there has been a huge amount of discussion on why people produce it. Any number of commentators have suggested that this is a fundamental change in the way that media is produced, and have foretold a future full of people producing media for the love of it. For all the over blown rhetoric, it's clear that many established assumptions in media are now being overturned.
What isn't as clear is what happens to existing media businesses in the age of the amateur. What has been the response of these businesses in light of the rise of the amateur, and what should be their response? Media and entertainment businesses are faced with a range of business, legal, and management issues that are both new and challenging. The time is ripe to ask what to do about this and what happens next.
And so we convened this conference. It brings many of the players in this new media environment to discuss the present and future of user generated content and existing media businesses. Among the questions that we will ask are:
We hope that you enjoy this first Amateur Hour Conference. By bringing together attendees from law, business, and technology, the event promises to be educational and entertaining.