Social Media Challenges


Consumer-Generated, Co-Created and Shared Content through Social Media: Challenges for Consumer Researchers, Special issue of Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Edited by Leyland Pitt; Deadline 31 Jan 2011

Consumer-generated, co-created & shared content through social media: Challenges for consumer researchers

A Special Issue of the Journal of Consumer Behaviour

Journal of Consumer Behaviour Special Issue: “Consumer-generated, Co-created & Shared Content Through Social Media: Challenges for Consumer Researchers”

This issue will explore a wide range of topics related to consumer behavior through a social media enabled environment. Papers examining consumer participation and engagement in social media, consumer action and interaction through social media, and consumer creation and co-creation of content will be particularly appropriate.

The deadline for submissions is 31st January 2011

The evolution of Web 2.0 (also called the social web) has today classified Internet-based digital resources as more participatory technologies or social channels, than just information or transactional channels. In functionality and design they facilitate the practice of user-generated, co-created and user-shared content through both machine and person interactivity. The focus is on the consumer/participant (not the website or marketer); as active (not passive) participants and co-creators of content in a community of information connections and human conversations. So the focus is more on dialogue not just a monologue and the shared control over the form and content of a marketer‟s messages, activities and product offering.
This change in focus is reflective of how digital social technologies are changing: not only how consumers use and interact with digital technology, and how they interact with each other and the organization, but also the role of marketers and marketing. In short, we are witness to the move away from a one-way model of passive communication in which information is „pushed‟ to its markets, to a multi-mode (channel) and multi-user approach in which everyone is empowered to not only „pull‟ down information, and/or interact with the organization and its content, but also create, comment on and share it.

One of the implications of this is that consumers are now doing what marketers used to do – they are creating, modifying, and sharing information, content and the proprietary offerings of an organization. They are empowered and informed through eBay, socially connected through Facebook, conversing through Twitter, performing on YouTube and Flickr and selling in Second Life. Indeed, as Deighton and Kornfeld once aptly summarized their 2007 paper on the unanticipated effects of digital interactivity: “it’s the consumer who runs the show for the most part, not the marketer – in fact, forget the „consumer‟ label altogether”. Digital technology is enabling an organization‟s communities to perform for themselves and others many of the marketing functions that were previously the prerogatives of the organization.

This special edition encourages consumer researchers to submit papers on a wide range of topics related to consumer behavior through a social media enabled environment, enabling the creation, co-creation and sharing of content. A broad range of topics and the utilization of a wide variety of research approaches are welcomed. Papers examining consumer participation and engagement in social media, consumer action and interaction through social media, and consumer creation and co-creation of content (be it offerings or communication) will be particularly appropriate.

It is envisaged that submissions might cover (but are not restricted to):

  • Web 2.0 from a consumer behavior perspective
  • Consumer behavior and the open source movement
  • Social media, social interaction and social networks
  • Consumer behavior on content generation and content sharing sites (such as YouTube)
  • Consumer engagement with organizations in social media (for example, consumer engagement on YouTube and Facebook with Nestlé and Greenpeace on the palm oil debate; consumer engagement in social media with BP on the oil spill fiasco)
  • Consumer creativity and motivation in the modification of proprietary offerings
  • Consumer generated advertising – source effects, motivation, distribution and reaction.

Submissions from practitioners, academics and other interested parties are warmly invited for this special issue.

All manuscripts must be submitted in line with the guidelines for the Journal of Consumer Behaviour. Papers should be submitted via our online submission website at: When asked to select your manuscript type, please choose “Special Issue: Social Media & Consumer Research”. Further details about the Journal and notes for contributors can also be found at the Journal of Consumer Behaviour Website. All submitted papers will be subject to a double-blind peer review.

The deadline for submissions is 31st January 2011

Ideas for papers can be discussed informally with the Guest Editor prior to submission. Please contact the Guest Editor, Dr Leyland Pitt, Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, by email to


Deighton, John and Leora Kornfeld (2009), “Interactivity’s Unanticipated
Consequences for Marketers and Marketing,” Journal of Interactive
, 23 (1), 4-10.