I don’t just “use” the Internet, so why am I a user?

Heh, I was reading Mary Hodder’s post about the correct term to call people who generate content and thinking back to why I hate the term “user generated content.”

It’s because whenever I hear that term I always translate it to “slave generated content.” Here’s why: there’s a lot of companies who are expecting you to help out their business models (including the one I work for — I’m challenging everyone I talk to inside Microsoft to stop thinking about monetization — except for the teams who are building monetization systems — stop thinking about “user generated content” Those thoughts will lead you down a bad path).

Why do I hate those thoughts? It’s deeper than just being a content slave for someone to make a ton of money off of by putting ads next to my words. No, it’s an attitudinal thing. If you look at folks who make content as a partner then you’ll make better experiences for everyone. And, everyone is now able to create content — as I just demonstrated a few minutes ago to EUFA.

The problem is we don’t have good language. When I’m on Flickr I’m a photographer or a commenter. When I’m here I’m a writer or a blogger. When I’m on Craig’s List I’m a job seeker or a buyer or a seller. When I’m on MSN Search or Google I’m a “searcher.” When I’m on Memeorandum I’m a “reader.”

“User” just seems so unsatisfying. “Participant” is a lot closer. What do you think?

Comments

  1. I think member is the best term that describes this. When you use all these services, you are becoming a member of an online community. What you say has impact and depth and it helps other people find content that they are seeking as well.

    One of the reasons I use Blogger and not MSN Spaces is the fact that Blogger doesn’t have any ads next to my content, but what they do to is make my content searchable on Google. For some strange reason, when you search for HDTV switch 2009 I’m the first hit. Now for a blog I started a month or so ago, this is great since everyone uses Google, and more importantly Google will have ads for HDTV’s on the query results page.

    It is user generated content and I agree that name isn’t the best but in reality that’s all it boils down to. The stuff we spit out onto the net is content, and we as users of services made it. Literally, the phrase fits the bill perfectly, but as I said earlier, I do prefer member. It makes me feel like I’m apart of something larger on the net that is beyond me. Communities I can take part in, interact with, and cause a change within. I am a member now of the new internet, not a simple reader as I was before. This is the heart of “web 2.0”

  2. I think member is the best term that describes this. When you use all these services, you are becoming a member of an online community. What you say has impact and depth and it helps other people find content that they are seeking as well.

    One of the reasons I use Blogger and not MSN Spaces is the fact that Blogger doesn’t have any ads next to my content, but what they do to is make my content searchable on Google. For some strange reason, when you search for HDTV switch 2009 I’m the first hit. Now for a blog I started a month or so ago, this is great since everyone uses Google, and more importantly Google will have ads for HDTV’s on the query results page.

    It is user generated content and I agree that name isn’t the best but in reality that’s all it boils down to. The stuff we spit out onto the net is content, and we as users of services made it. Literally, the phrase fits the bill perfectly, but as I said earlier, I do prefer member. It makes me feel like I’m apart of something larger on the net that is beyond me. Communities I can take part in, interact with, and cause a change within. I am a member now of the new internet, not a simple reader as I was before. This is the heart of “web 2.0”

  3. You sure spend lots of time thinking up new buzzwords and complaining about existing ones, eh? Maybe you should find a new hobby — Model Trains, Hiking, Archery? :)

  4. You sure spend lots of time thinking up new buzzwords and complaining about existing ones, eh? Maybe you should find a new hobby — Model Trains, Hiking, Archery? :)

  5. If only I could too. ;) But my spec monkey days might be over if a certain unnamed Studio ever decides to &*&$%$! greenlight. Speaking of, I saw that Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds” and a popular a script blogger) just got a gig for “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” with John August working on new Burton. Lucky Bashtards. :)

  6. If only I could too. ;) But my spec monkey days might be over if a certain unnamed Studio ever decides to &*&$%$! greenlight. Speaking of, I saw that Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds” and a popular a script blogger) just got a gig for “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” with John August working on new Burton. Lucky Bashtards. :)

  7. I’d much rather have a company making money off of my content by placing ads next to it than by wording a EULA such that they OWN my content as if I were an unpaid employee. GotDotNet used to have that kind of language in it’s TOS, not sure if it stil does.

    so, off-topic. You have GOT to be kidding.ANOTHER SLIP! Jesus, OS X is going to be not only on Intel machines, but at v. 11 by the time Vista ships.

    http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowspaulthurrott/Article/ArticleID/48408/windowspaulthurrott_48408.html

  8. What do I think? I think who really cares? Although it still all boils down to that very first customer service training that everyone gets that does anything related to customer service: “Everyone is a customer!”.

    Photographers add photo’s to Flickr and commenters add textual content plus encourage photographers to post more photos so at the end of the day they are both customers of Flickr but the kicker is that not only are they customers they are also directly helping to generate future revenue for Flickr.

    I need to think on that some more and flesh that out some more as I have one beer too many to get too philosophical right now. ;)

  9. I’d much rather have a company making money off of my content by placing ads next to it than by wording a EULA such that they OWN my content as if I were an unpaid employee. GotDotNet used to have that kind of language in it’s TOS, not sure if it stil does.

    so, off-topic. You have GOT to be kidding.ANOTHER SLIP! Jesus, OS X is going to be not only on Intel machines, but at v. 11 by the time Vista ships.

    http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowspaulthurrott/Article/ArticleID/48408/windowspaulthurrott_48408.html

  10. What do I think? I think who really cares? Although it still all boils down to that very first customer service training that everyone gets that does anything related to customer service: “Everyone is a customer!”.

    Photographers add photo’s to Flickr and commenters add textual content plus encourage photographers to post more photos so at the end of the day they are both customers of Flickr but the kicker is that not only are they customers they are also directly helping to generate future revenue for Flickr.

    I need to think on that some more and flesh that out some more as I have one beer too many to get too philosophical right now. ;)

  11. [...] Further to my previous post titled Attention, Recognition & Context, I read Scoble talking about what term to call someone who generates content, Scoble muses thus: The problem is we don’t have good language. When I’m on Flickr I’m a photographer or a commenter. When I’m here I’m a writer or a blogger. When I’m on Craig’s List I’m a job seeker or a buyer or a seller. When I’m on MSN Search or Google I’m a “searcher.” When I’m on Memeorandum I’m a “reader.” [...]

  12. Robert, how about “agent”?

    “Agency” is about being able to assert control over your environment – so if a person is an “agent” then they are engaging in the act of asserting themselves. And unlike a “user” there’s latent power to being an “agent.” Agents effect change. Like catalysts.

  13. Robert, how about “agent”?

    “Agency” is about being able to assert control over your environment – so if a person is an “agent” then they are engaging in the act of asserting themselves. And unlike a “user” there’s latent power to being an “agent.” Agents effect change. Like catalysts.

  14. User is as bas as content, which is about as awful as facility, only worse would be “utilize the content generator facility.”

    Poor word choice leads to poor writing. The discussion should not be about what words we use but how we use them.

  15. User is as bas as content, which is about as awful as facility, only worse would be “utilize the content generator facility.”

    Poor word choice leads to poor writing. The discussion should not be about what words we use but how we use them.

  16. User, reader, participant – why spend so much time on naming what you see to be a new communication model. In my view it is not a new model at all – only the medium is changed, driven by new technology.
    Google is a publisher, no more or less than any print magazine publisher, now and before – finding new vehicles to carry their ads, by talking to the people who are interested in that vehicle. Nothing at all new here, been going on for decades, ‘Vogue’, ‘Fishing News’, ‘Auto-Age’, ‘PCWorld… What will be interesting to watch is Googles “success” once their hold on large areas of the information base begins to fragment. What happens as new entrants bring out the specialty interest ‘magazines’ and start to erode Googles ad base. Despite Googles PR about topicality, paying for their ads is still using a shotgun to shoot a sparrow.
    As for blogs, 99% of them are asinine ramblings which have no relevance or interest to anyone but the writer and two friends – dear diary on screen. But the well-read blogs are nothing more or less than a small ‘magazine’ reaching a tight well-definable audience – maybe you can read “special interest magazine” in the paper world.
    Enough with this seeking to catagorise, there is one word that covers all aspects you raise, it is an old word but it is accurate – audience. Don’t matter one jot if you are selling software, advertising, ice-cream, or finding people to join a community or movement – if you don’t find an audience, if you don’t know how to talk to them, if you don’t know when to talk to them, if you don’t know what to say to say to them go home and grow tomatoes.
    McLuhan got it wrong – the message is always more important than the medium.

  17. User, reader, participant – why spend so much time on naming what you see to be a new communication model. In my view it is not a new model at all – only the medium is changed, driven by new technology.
    Google is a publisher, no more or less than any print magazine publisher, now and before – finding new vehicles to carry their ads, by talking to the people who are interested in that vehicle. Nothing at all new here, been going on for decades, ‘Vogue’, ‘Fishing News’, ‘Auto-Age’, ‘PCWorld… What will be interesting to watch is Googles “success” once their hold on large areas of the information base begins to fragment. What happens as new entrants bring out the specialty interest ‘magazines’ and start to erode Googles ad base. Despite Googles PR about topicality, paying for their ads is still using a shotgun to shoot a sparrow.
    As for blogs, 99% of them are asinine ramblings which have no relevance or interest to anyone but the writer and two friends – dear diary on screen. But the well-read blogs are nothing more or less than a small ‘magazine’ reaching a tight well-definable audience – maybe you can read “special interest magazine” in the paper world.
    Enough with this seeking to catagorise, there is one word that covers all aspects you raise, it is an old word but it is accurate – audience. Don’t matter one jot if you are selling software, advertising, ice-cream, or finding people to join a community or movement – if you don’t find an audience, if you don’t know how to talk to them, if you don’t know when to talk to them, if you don’t know what to say to say to them go home and grow tomatoes.
    McLuhan got it wrong – the message is always more important than the medium.

  18. A Challenge For Fans Of Web 2.0 Companies – Prove You’re Not Hypocritcal

    I have a challenge for fans and owners of Web 2.0 businesses – prove you’re not hypocritical! This isn’t about revenue sharing. It’s about hypocrisy and open vs closed systems. We hear a lot about community and participation from We…

  19. Intriguing how we add labels to people, participant is to general a term to use for people using the internet.

    Participant – Someone who takes part in an activity.

    More precise is partaker.

    Partaker – Someone who has or gives or recieves a part or a share.

  20. Intriguing how we add labels to people, participant is to general a term to use for people using the internet.

    Participant – Someone who takes part in an activity.

    More precise is partaker.

    Partaker – Someone who has or gives or recieves a part or a share.

  21. Since the means of production are in the hands of producers of value, you could call it “Soviet content”. ;-)

  22. Since the means of production are in the hands of producers of value, you could call it “Soviet content”. ;-)

  23. “User generated content” always seems to be a bit of a oxymoron to me – unless it means I am a user of a publishing service eg wordpress

  24. “User generated content” always seems to be a bit of a oxymoron to me – unless it means I am a user of a publishing service eg wordpress

  25. looks like Scoble didn’t have anything to blog about this morning so he wrote this…ughhh..

    btw if the Execs like my idea I told you I would like a marketing interviewinternship..thank you..

  26. looks like Scoble didn’t have anything to blog about this morning so he wrote this…ughhh..

    btw if the Execs like my idea I told you I would like a marketing interviewinternship..thank you..

  27. I DON’T CARE IF I’M A USER, A LUSER, OR A PARTICIPANT.

    What I care about is that Microsoft Antispyware doesn’t detect the Sony Rootkit.

    Screw you microsoft, and your corporate buddies.

  28. I DON’T CARE IF I’M A USER, A LUSER, OR A PARTICIPANT.

    What I care about is that Microsoft Antispyware doesn’t detect the Sony Rootkit.

    Screw you microsoft, and your corporate buddies.

  29. If you’re concerned about the provider’s self image, then go with your first instinct.

    “If you look at folks who make content as a partner…”

    Call it partner generated content. If you’re looking for something a little hipper, go with “pardner.”

    PGC. Has a nice ring. Sounds vaguely pharmaceutical.

  30. If you’re concerned about the provider’s self image, then go with your first instinct.

    “If you look at folks who make content as a partner…”

    Call it partner generated content. If you’re looking for something a little hipper, go with “pardner.”

    PGC. Has a nice ring. Sounds vaguely pharmaceutical.

  31. I am not a “member” of the internet thanks. I am not part of a network of computers, though my laptop may be.

    I am an email user, even though I both send and receive. I don’t “participate” in email. I am an MSN, Yahoo!, or Google user, even though I both create and consume.

    Users “use” a service, regardless of what the service is.

    And I don’t “create content”. I save my pictures, and I write my thoughts.

    If you provide a useful service to me for free, then I really don’t care if you make money from it.

    But if you a company conspires to make money by using me, doesn’t that make them the “users”?

  32. I am not a “member” of the internet thanks. I am not part of a network of computers, though my laptop may be.

    I am an email user, even though I both send and receive. I don’t “participate” in email. I am an MSN, Yahoo!, or Google user, even though I both create and consume.

    Users “use” a service, regardless of what the service is.

    And I don’t “create content”. I save my pictures, and I write my thoughts.

    If you provide a useful service to me for free, then I really don’t care if you make money from it.

    But if you a company conspires to make money by using me, doesn’t that make them the “users”?

  33. And really, if instead of “Upload photos”, Flickr said “Upload your user generated content”, would you be as apt to use it?

    It does one thing very well – manage photos – rather than trying to manage everything.

  34. And really, if instead of “Upload photos”, Flickr said “Upload your user generated content”, would you be as apt to use it?

    It does one thing very well – manage photos – rather than trying to manage everything.

  35. Larry #27: has a good spin on who is the actual user ? Is it me or the corporations that drive revenue off that content ?

    Anyhoot-most content is created under the ccc banner and if I were to use/copy other stuff for non revenue efforts , it becomes “fair use”. Yeah, we have seen how the needle moves both ways.

    Actually we are all trolls, when we look at it. We troll where conversations occur and based on that spew our minds out again.

  36. Larry #27: has a good spin on who is the actual user ? Is it me or the corporations that drive revenue off that content ?

    Anyhoot-most content is created under the ccc banner and if I were to use/copy other stuff for non revenue efforts , it becomes “fair use”. Yeah, we have seen how the needle moves both ways.

    Actually we are all trolls, when we look at it. We troll where conversations occur and based on that spew our minds out again.

  37. Hmmm, the whole phrase “user generated content” is smoke for the real verbs that should be used for content. It’s “contributed content”, “attributed content”, and “stolen content”, right? The phrase is used to hide what the actual “user” is doing with your stuff.

    The word “content” here also strives for distance from reality. Bloggers write articles or essays or journals. Flickr gets contributions of pictures. Content is the most loose description of some very specific things.

    I hope I’m not starting some flamewar on “open content” now by recognizing that the author might have some connection to their writing.

    Oh, did I say “author”? Maybe that’s the noun and verb that is key?

  38. Hmmm, the whole phrase “user generated content” is smoke for the real verbs that should be used for content. It’s “contributed content”, “attributed content”, and “stolen content”, right? The phrase is used to hide what the actual “user” is doing with your stuff.

    The word “content” here also strives for distance from reality. Bloggers write articles or essays or journals. Flickr gets contributions of pictures. Content is the most loose description of some very specific things.

    I hope I’m not starting some flamewar on “open content” now by recognizing that the author might have some connection to their writing.

    Oh, did I say “author”? Maybe that’s the noun and verb that is key?

  39. I guess whether you’re being used or not depends on what you intended when you created the “user generated content,” whatever that might be. If you have a blog, presumably you’re doing it because you want people to read it, and if a service like Blogger or MSN Spaces or even Google helps get more people to read it, then they’re doing you a favour — so why shouldn’t they get something out of it too? Same thing with Flickr. Presumably you put your pictures there so that people can see them. Flickr helps more people see them, and you help them by letting them run ads next to your content. The word partnership comes pretty close, I would think. If you don’t want them to make money from your content, don’t use their service.

  40. I guess whether you’re being used or not depends on what you intended when you created the “user generated content,” whatever that might be. If you have a blog, presumably you’re doing it because you want people to read it, and if a service like Blogger or MSN Spaces or even Google helps get more people to read it, then they’re doing you a favour — so why shouldn’t they get something out of it too? Same thing with Flickr. Presumably you put your pictures there so that people can see them. Flickr helps more people see them, and you help them by letting them run ads next to your content. The word partnership comes pretty close, I would think. If you don’t want them to make money from your content, don’t use their service.

  41. “Citizen” suggests not just the non-professional status of an amateur, but also someone endowed with rights and responsibilities to others in his social domain.

  42. “Citizen” suggests not just the non-professional status of an amateur, but also someone endowed with rights and responsibilities to others in his social domain.

  43. I think that even in general terms, “user” has a bad conotation. Personally, I don’t (and won’t let) anyone on our operations team use the term “user”. Everyone is client or a customer. Or in Scoble’s case on this topic, maybe you coule go so far as to say “consumer”, but then again “consumer-generated-content” sounds a little off.

    Maybe we can think of users more in terms of web architecture. Web browsers used to be clients, using servers. Now, they’re smart-clients that work with the servers – blurring the line between user and author. So say, “Intelligent Content authors”… yeah, maybe something like that.

  44. I think that even in general terms, “user” has a bad conotation. Personally, I don’t (and won’t let) anyone on our operations team use the term “user”. Everyone is client or a customer. Or in Scoble’s case on this topic, maybe you coule go so far as to say “consumer”, but then again “consumer-generated-content” sounds a little off.

    Maybe we can think of users more in terms of web architecture. Web browsers used to be clients, using servers. Now, they’re smart-clients that work with the servers – blurring the line between user and author. So say, “Intelligent Content authors”… yeah, maybe something like that.

  45. I think there’s little needs to argue over the semantics of a few words here. Particularly since the argument breaks down many times. Here’s one example from the linked article:

    “They are smart”

    I had a longer, more biting post written, but it was lame. It basically came to a few points:

    1) The average techie or pro blogger is not representative of the average person
    2) Look at myspace/livejournal/blogger/msnspaces/etc. for the quality of the average user

    Basically, don’t give “users” too much credit. Most of what they “generate” is pure garbage. I defy you to look at a few hundred users on the services listed in 2 and tell me differently.

  46. I think there’s little needs to argue over the semantics of a few words here. Particularly since the argument breaks down many times. Here’s one example from the linked article:

    “They are smart”

    I had a longer, more biting post written, but it was lame. It basically came to a few points:

    1) The average techie or pro blogger is not representative of the average person
    2) Look at myspace/livejournal/blogger/msnspaces/etc. for the quality of the average user

    Basically, don’t give “users” too much credit. Most of what they “generate” is pure garbage. I defy you to look at a few hundred users on the services listed in 2 and tell me differently.

  47. This discussion is mostly from the POV of the providers of tech to do all this cool stuff we [the people] now can do. From my personal POV when I *use* these tools, I’m just “I.”

    From the company’s point of view, I don’t think it’s so bad to think of us as users, in the sense of a sysadmin’s users, i.e the people you have to support.

    From the, um, end-user perspective, I think most of us are fully aware of the bargain we make when we enjoy ad-supported stuff. If we don’t want a company to make money off what we produce, we’re free not to use their tools. Personally, I pay a little bit a month to use Typepad for blogging, because I think it works better.

  48. This discussion is mostly from the POV of the providers of tech to do all this cool stuff we [the people] now can do. From my personal POV when I *use* these tools, I’m just “I.”

    From the company’s point of view, I don’t think it’s so bad to think of us as users, in the sense of a sysadmin’s users, i.e the people you have to support.

    From the, um, end-user perspective, I think most of us are fully aware of the bargain we make when we enjoy ad-supported stuff. If we don’t want a company to make money off what we produce, we’re free not to use their tools. Personally, I pay a little bit a month to use Typepad for blogging, because I think it works better.

  49. Are you a user or a slave?

    Robert Scoble of scobleizer.wordpress.com has an interesting post on his blog in which he tries to get at the question of Web 2.0 services whose “content,” as it were, is produced by its users — something like Flickr.com being an obv…

  50. As I started reading your post, I thought of participant, so it was cool to end up in the same place with you.

    I disagree with Tony Bishop about this. Language is very important and very small nuances can matter a great deal. “User,” “customer,” and the like do tend to allow objectivisation and separation from others who are participating with us in an economy, for example. It is useful to find terms that interrupt those automatic postures (even though the new will become automatic at some point).

    A related example that I hadn’t fully appreciated until recently, while minding my language around pattern languages, might be helpful (http://nfocentrale.net/TROST/info/2005/08/i050803b.htm#B.).

    Consider the contrast between thinking of users as having problems for which our software is a solution and regarding how our customers will participate in a world of opportunity and action in which our software is employed as a valuable instrument.

  51. As I started reading your post, I thought of participant, so it was cool to end up in the same place with you.

    I disagree with Tony Bishop about this. Language is very important and very small nuances can matter a great deal. “User,” “customer,” and the like do tend to allow objectivisation and separation from others who are participating with us in an economy, for example. It is useful to find terms that interrupt those automatic postures (even though the new will become automatic at some point).

    A related example that I hadn’t fully appreciated until recently, while minding my language around pattern languages, might be helpful (http://nfocentrale.net/TROST/info/2005/08/i050803b.htm#B.).

    Consider the contrast between thinking of users as having problems for which our software is a solution and regarding how our customers will participate in a world of opportunity and action in which our software is employed as a valuable instrument.

  52. Naturally, I didn’t think of what strikes me as the most important until I clicked “Post.”

    I think the choice of terms for you is what works for you. What I treasure is that you are willing to examine what that is and what are the sources of “ick” that you don’t want to perpetuate in your own speaking. Go for it.

    Your friendly blog participant, orcmid [;

  53. Naturally, I didn’t think of what strikes me as the most important until I clicked “Post.”

    I think the choice of terms for you is what works for you. What I treasure is that you are willing to examine what that is and what are the sources of “ick” that you don’t want to perpetuate in your own speaking. Go for it.

    Your friendly blog participant, orcmid [;

  54. Bubble 2.0: There’s is no free lunch

    Repeat after me:Nothing is free. Nothing is free. Nothing is free.This isn’t exactly a new concept, but since the advent of Web 1.0 (you know, 1994, when some of us started doing this), and again with Web 2.0, which is just a rebranding because Web 1….

  55. thought about it. surprising solution: USER is the best. i don’t like the romanticizing of the “social” aspect of software. it’s still about signs on screens. and USER has a cool air of self-reflection: knowing what you are doing. the problem is probably mor with the notion of “CONTENT”: that’s a term i really hate (and it’s wrong too).

  56. thought about it. surprising solution: USER is the best. i don’t like the romanticizing of the “social” aspect of software. it’s still about signs on screens. and USER has a cool air of self-reflection: knowing what you are doing. the problem is probably mor with the notion of “CONTENT”: that’s a term i really hate (and it’s wrong too).

  57. Bill Withers wise words on this question: “Well my friends feel it`s their appointed duty / They keep trying to tell me all you want to do is use me / Well my answer said all that use me stuff / Is I wanna spread the news / That if it feels this good getting used / Oh you just keep on using me / Until you use me up — Talking `bout you using me / well it all depends on what you do / it ain`t too bad the way you`re using me / cause I sure am using you to do the things you do / Uh huh, until you use me up …”

  58. Bill Withers wise words on this question: “Well my friends feel it`s their appointed duty / They keep trying to tell me all you want to do is use me / Well my answer said all that use me stuff / Is I wanna spread the news / That if it feels this good getting used / Oh you just keep on using me / Until you use me up — Talking `bout you using me / well it all depends on what you do / it ain`t too bad the way you`re using me / cause I sure am using you to do the things you do / Uh huh, until you use me up …”

  59. When we write we are writers, when we photograph we are photographers. When we contribute we are contributors. When you pay us we are partners or staff.

    Calling us “users” is an insult. It implies that we are somehow parasites. If we are contributing to your bottom line you should treat us with more respect than that.

  60. When we write we are writers, when we photograph we are photographers. When we contribute we are contributors. When you pay us we are partners or staff.

    Calling us “users” is an insult. It implies that we are somehow parasites. If we are contributing to your bottom line you should treat us with more respect than that.

  61. [...] A professor once told us, “Only two industries call their customers users: IT people and drug dealers,” I had to get that out of the way. The internet has been alive with debate this week about “user-generated content” and I am happy to report that the name itself has been debated. As a content-creating user (is that what we’re calling it), I figured I could chime in on this subject. [...]

  62. [...] Why does Jon Udell dislike the term "user generated content?" For the same reason I did. When I spoke at Google's Zeitgeist conference last fall I heard all the CEOs and important people speaking of how they were going to make gigantic new profits: user generated content. What is User Generated Content? Well, when you blog. Or add photos to a photo sharing site. Or when you tag some info or Digg it. Or when you leave a comment on a forum. Or, post an ad to Craig's List. [...]