The Power of…Gardening?

What do user-generated content and gardening have in common?

Quite a lot, actually.

OK, the connection is not obvious at first glance. But stay with me. Gardening, to many consumers, is an engaging past-time, occupying endless hours yet promising zero in the way of monetary gain.

So there (with a nod to author Bruce Sterling, who suggested the analogy in a speech last week) it is: Who, among the 20-odd million Americans who keep a blog, expects to make a penny at their labors? Or what about all those ordinary folks who post endless videos of cute pets to YouTube? And then there are the millions of ratings & reviews, and the meticulously researched posts to Wikipedia.

Give people something to do besides watch TV, and they turn to web gardening.

A better use of time for consumers? Maybe — but if you’re a marketer who’s spent your entire career poring over Nielsen ratings, it’s a worrisome trend indeed.

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