How does one manage consumer generated content?
In an interview with eMarketer, Jack Meyer talks about striking the balance between brand-control and brand-hijacking. He suggests that content should be treated as submissions to a juried art exhibit - a group of experts and trusted advisers select the pieces that are put on exhibit.
For this strategy to work one must be sure of the objective and intent of the brand and select elements that reflect the essence and not the trappings of the brand. As in the art world, there will be good exhibits and the not-so-good menagerie of the unrelated. The curator of a major exhibit or a museum has an important and unseen job in selecting the appropriate objects; the best have a strong vision and a sense of purpose.
Brands embarking on a consumer generated content strategy need to choose the curator first in order to establish the theme. And since we're talking about brand heritage, this shouldn't be the intern.