Went for pints and tunes with Bast last night, who has just started working for MTV flux. We were talking about why it is that the majority of media organisations just don't get whats going on at the moment, particularly when it comes to involving their audience to create content. Our conclusion was that a mix of pride and inability to identify real trends.
The pride comes from people not wanting to collaborate with potential partners. If you want to get people to submit stuff to you, get involved with YouTube or Flickr etc. Don't try and get them to send it straight to you, at least not at the onset of any project. Why would they? If you are a media owner or brand, people simply won't trust you to get it right. If they trust someone else more, use them to direct the content to you. Then there will be a greater transparency for users about whats going on. If you're MTV flux, for example, get people to post stuff on YouTube, spend time scanning it and finding out whats good, and upload the best to your site. That is a service. Act as a quality user content aggregator. At the moment any old shit can end up on the big UGC sites. But it doesn't have to end up on yours. From there you can encourage more people to come to your site, due to the quality control you have, and then you can get people to come straight to you with their little titbits as they start to trust you more.
The second thing is lack of innovation. Back in the day MTV realised, music videos are fucking good idea. Why hasn't anyone thought of that? They did, and everyone realised the genius. Now, organisations like MTV are chasing those like YouTube in an attempt to retain their innovative position. Not going to happen. People get to that position by figuring out which way the winds blowing and making sure they stand there when it does. Not chasing the wind in a futile attempt to out run it. My advice would be stop. Think about what all this means, whats currently out there, and what can make it better. Not replicating the status quo, attaching it to your established brand and then arrogantly sitting back and think everything else will work fine.