Newspapers are starving. Layoffs and cost-cutting\n measures have left them scrambling to generate content to fill\n their websites. To handle their advertisers\u2019 thirst for\n page views, and to pump new life into their publications,\n newspapers have begun exploring the world of user-generated\n content, encouraging readers to post comments to stories as\n well as uploading video and sharing pictures they\u2019ve\n taken at events the paper has covered. The current term of art\n for this is citizen journalism.\n\n The Gannett-owned Cincinnati Enquirer has launched roughly\n 200 community microsites catering to specific areas of the city\n and surrounding towns. On the microsites, readers can post\n their own stories, comments, photos and calendar items. In\n addition, the paper\u2019s reporters are using a tagging\n system to assign specific metadata to their stories on the\n paper\u2019s content management system. This allows articles\n written for the Enquirer to appear automatically both in the\n paper and on the microsites.\u201cWe say \u2018tag it or bag it,\u2019\u201d says\n Jennifer Carroll, Gannett\u2019s VP of new media. \u201cWe\n want to make sure the story is being populated in the right\n places.\u201cWe\u2019re calling it pro-am,\u201d she says.\n \u201cWe\u2019re welcoming content from readers and being\n mindful that they like to create and share.\u201dOther industries have begun tapping into user-generated\n content for marketing purposes. In the heavily publicized Diet\n Coke and Mentos Experiment, two men filmed what happens when\n Mentos mints are dropped into in a bottle of Diet Coke, and\n they posted it on YouTube. According to a report by Forrester\n Research, sales shot up 14.5 percent in part because of the\n stunt.JetBlue allows customers to share their travel stories and\n pictures with fellow customers. EBay has set up a customer\n service wiki so people can help the company formulate best\n practices for serving them. \u201cNot too long ago, dismissing\n user-generated content as a fad was easy,\u201d says the\n Forrester report\u2019s author, analyst Brian Haven.\n \u201cClearly the momentum behind this behavior is\n building.\u201d \u2013C.L.