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The Pentagon Wants User-Generated Content

User-generated content is a sign of success in any marketing plan. Once a community is built around content that resonates, audiences respond by sharing their own content, comments, and thoughts. Aggregating that content can be a necessary challenge in order to efficiently understand the needs of an audience.

Every organization needs efficiency, but even the most formal and regimented ones need to allow users the freedom to share ideas.

The Pentagon recently decided to create a network called Eureka that will allow military personnel to share and rank stories, according to PSFK.

Limited access, controlled content

Eureka will only be accessible to military staff and will be heavily controlled by the government, but the intention is for Eureka to be a site where users are encouraged to send and vote on ideas that “improve training, or solve problems that plague the military and hamper efficiency.”

If the concept is popular, it could end up in updated field manuals. The Pentagon already has its own military version of Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia.

The creation of Eureka was the result of two different objectives: to allow suggestions to be submitted in real-time and to create an exclusive and guarded network that can’t be hacked.

Unexpected influence

The fact the inspiration came from Reddit, the link aggregator known for memes and niche humor, shows that sometimes the content of a platform overshadows its reputation. One clear example of this is how Pinterest is considered mainly a site for women, despite the fact that the platform provides a new creative means of sharing content. Just take a look at how Uniqlo used Pinterest to create a mosaic around their line of mesh clothing.

Allowing a community to give feedback also strengthens users’ ties to a brand or company — or government armed services —  and can be effective for any content strategy.

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