The importance of user-generated content: the case of hotels
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop understanding about the quality of user generated content (UGC) on web sites from the point of view of the customer. This is an area not yet explored, while the use of UGC is expanding on many web sites and its importance is rapidly growing. Design/methodology/approach – The research undertaken is a pilot amongst a small number of interviewees who have been asked to judge the quality of UGC on hotel web sites. Findings – The findings of the research show that three types of information are needed by the person using UGC on hotel web sites: objective information about the hotel; information about the reviewer's qualifications; and information about the reviewer's beliefs and expectations. Research limitations/implications – Because of the small number of interviewees this research is limited and can be defined as explorative. The outcomes can be used to develop a survey instrument in relation to further research on user generated content. Originality/value – This research is original because there has not been any other initiative in this area and it will certainly stimulate more research because of the importance UGC has in a world of expanding internet usage. The outcomes of the small-scale pilot will make it possible to develop broader quantitative research on UGC on web sites.