What is Employee Generated Content?

Here is my definition of Employee Generated Content, as well as brief explanation of how it differs from user generated content (UGC) and social content (social media).

What is it?

Employee Generated Content (EGC) is a variant of User Generated Content (UGC). Both refer to material produced by the users (or employees) of a website (or intranet), but the main defining difference is that EGC is created, published and accessible within the walls of the company. It is intranet content that stays within the corporate firewall.

Formal content and EGC

Types of intranet content can be largely divided into two main groups: Formal content and employee generated content.

Formal content is the controlled, corporate content, that is produced and published by following an established process. It’s what we know of as “the traditional intranet”. It can be trusted, it’s authoritative, and (should be) fully up to date.

One-man band

Employee Generated Content is intranet content that is created, edited and published directly by the employee themselves. There will be guidelines, and other governance mechanisms, but the process is self-contained. It’s a one-man band.

EGC is not (necessarily) professionally produced or edited. It may not be authoritative , and could represent personal thoughts and opinions. The trustworthiness of EGC is based on the reputation of the content creator within the organisation rather than where the content is published.

Social content

Social (intranet) content is a sub-set of employee generated content, but not the other way round. Not all EGC is social. For example, an intranet blog post on your (personal) intranet blog is EGC, but the comments colleagues write in response to your post are both employee generated and social.

Further reading:

Creative accounting – Guardian article giving a number of concrete examples of employee generated content within major organisations.

Communities of Practice: Optimizing Internal Knowledge Sharing – Detailed UX Matters article about intranet collaboration.