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Let them write the content | Getting UGC1156

Member dono2081 private msg quote post Address this user
I've got my crystal ball out and ... I see a lot of excitement in our future around user-generated content (UGC, for short).

UGC is when your readers submit content to your site.

I'd love it if my readers would become my writers, too.

Anyone have great ideas on how to attract and incentivize readers to become writers?

-DonO
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@dono2081

Funny that you should ask.

I know how to do this.

In fact ... about 11 minutes before you created this thread, I created this one - Guest Blogging How To | Transparency Report.

I plan to dive in deep and come up for air when I have something tangible to share.

I know what it takes to get UGC ... at least at some level.

I am looking forward to sharing.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Guest blogging, of course, is just one way to get User Generated Content.

There are quite a few others.
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Top Contributor Steve private msg quote post Address this user
Here is an article I wrote on this very subject... copied from my site below ...

User generated content seems to be one of the most recent buzz phrases to have gained popularity, it speaks of users creating content. Imagine having a website that becomes extremely popular, due to user generated content and all without you the owner, having to put in too much work to create this great content.

But what is a user generated content exactly? How does it work? How can you encourage user generated content? Let’s have a closer look, shall we?
What Is User Generated Content?

User generated content is content created by base users and not by the owners of the website.

YouTube, Wikipedia and even LinkedIn (especially since they introduced Long Form Publishing) are high profile examples of user generated content in action. YouTube staff don’t spend time creating videos, instead, they make sure that content creation is easy for their audience and that the platform works seamlessly.

Other people make the content, YouTube, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, etc., all benefit from this user generated content.

Blog comments and discussion forums are the lower profile examples of user generated content, and in a similar fashion, the website owner doesn’t create the content but still benefits from it.

Sound awesome, right? How can you encourage your audience to create more content?
Give Them the Space to Do Something They Want to Do

Creating the desire and motivation to actually do it, can be extremely hard. Making someone want to do something that they don’t naturally want to do, is extremely hard. But then again, giving people the opportunity to elaborate on things that they want to talk about is a sure way to accumulating lots of user generated content.

To demonstrate this, let’s look at YouTube once again. YouTube does not create the desire for its users to share their videos. What they have however created is a platform where users can produce their own videos. After they produce their videos they naturally want to share them with their friends, and if they come across a great video they want to share that also.

This means that you should think about what your users want to talk about but are not able to, at the moment. You solve this problem and create the platform and they will do the rest.
Make Your Audience Feel Like They’re Part of Something Special

Content generation can also be inspired by the sense of belonging to a community and having one goal. In a discussion forum, people have that feeling of wanting to be of help to one another. This makes people want to post their stories, inspire other people or help them out when questions and advice is sought. But there are forums where a lack of community and animosity exists, and these end up driving audiences away.

Wikipedia does a great job of making people that contribute feel special. People feel great becoming a part of a much larger purpose. This makes them feel that their time is put to good use when they add information to Wikipedia.
It’s Fun

Everything that is done without pressure is fun and people like to do things that are fun. So don’t put pressure on users to create content, it’s best if it comes naturally.

Take Gmail for example. When they wanted users to create videos for them, they put up a contest giving all the descriptions of what they want to see in the video. Since it doesn’t sound like work, lots of entries were submitted and they were able to choose one outstanding video that they can use at the end of the day.

Take some time to figure out how you can create user generated content, its more work for you at the start getting things right but lots less work for you once your audience get involved and it’s more fun for them too.
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Member Newzmonkeys private msg quote post Address this user
In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.

Motivating people with a gamification element such as points which is calculated based on how many words and articles have been written is the way to go.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
If you work with the 1%, would you not get a lot of action and then others may chime in? I know most people will never join in, but those that do can create the most incredible content!
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Newzmonkeys

Good idea. How would you suggest I implement smth like that here?
Post 7 • IP   flag post
Member Newzmonkeys private msg quote post Address this user
That's a big ask and would take a lot of time, effort and imagination to do what you want in your particular area. But what I'm saying is that there are ways to do it and this is just a taste of how to go about t.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Newzmonkeys

shucks! I thought I was gonna get a million dollar idea for nothing. 8-)

One thing I know. You can't do nothing with nobody if they ain't there.

First things first... get people to your site.

Then play.
Post 9 • IP   flag post
Member Newzmonkeys private msg quote post Address this user
Well, I took a long time working on finding out how to get people to participate. It is so difficult, they just don't want to put themselves on the line and stand out amongst the crowd. But there are ways and whereas I have done this with Newzmonkeys, and believe me trying to get kids to interact and write their views is the hardest thing of all, I eventually succeeded. It's not that I'm keeping all the secrets to myself, because I believe that sharing is the way to go, but each sector is different and needs a different approach. But keep gamification in mind.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Newzmonkeys

not trying milk you for free info. Really.

but do you think gamification might be a kid thing? Or at least a young at heart thing?
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Member Newzmonkeys private msg quote post Address this user
No not at all. We're all kids and we think like kids. This is what people don't realise. We don't want to be seen as if we are dumb so we don't want to push the boat out. We hide behind others successes and hope that the rising tide carries up all the boats. Life is a game and our brains are wired to living the game so gamification attracts us in all areas.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Newzmonkeys Thanks.

Gamification is what it's called now.

I think we used to call it the competitive spirit.

Hmm.... smth to chew on.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
I have been reading on the gamification of training in the corporate space. To me it is a simulation without the dire consequences. Nothing more than playing a game of cashflow until you are comfortable going out into the real world.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
Back to working with the 1% - that is where forming those all valuable relationships comes in. I would think that this forum is kind of that way.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I have been racking my brain ever since @Newzmonkeys brought it up.

I have probably been thinking along these lines but didn't know the term to attach to it. I know now.

I am keen to find a 4, 5, 6 people to hang out with a brainstorm with on this. One brain (mine) is more like a morning fog.

Still, the idea warrants some serious thought.

I am keen to learn.
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Member dono2081 private msg quote post Address this user
Here's something to keep you thinking:

badgeos.org

DonO

Haven't used it, don't know more about it, nothing more to add.

Except that it's awesome. Why is it awesome? Badges.

Need more context? Ok -- go here, sign up for his conversion course, earn dem badges.
Post 17 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Badges....

more to think abt.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
@dono2081 badges are great - I get them for being a part of a fitbit group. When I wrote the chapter on WeChat I learned a great deal about badging and stickers. It is like having a sticker book and being in a competition to fill up the book before anyone else. I still like collecting them especially when there is a challenge of some sort involved.
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Member Newzmonkeys private msg quote post Address this user
An element of gamification could be adapted such as a star ranking system to help rank how well the content performs. The gamification also gives the user an incentive to create good quality content for their peers.
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Member bdaoust private msg quote post Address this user
A place such as ezine articles uses rankings of the authors depending on the number of shares and views. Fitbit uses the number of steps walked over a period of time and also a daily set of badges for the distance travelled. Content could be done the same way - write so many articles, get so many article votes, get so many article shares. At this forum we go for post votes - @belew has 4.88k votes and I have 106 votes - is it then a challenge to catch up to Bill or is there another milestone that could be put in place?

I took a course in the past few months on coursera just on gamification of processes within an organization. Lots to think about when it comes to rewards and kudos for doing your job the right way. Also rewards for innovation starts and innovation badges. Much to think about here,
Post 21 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@bdaoust

Agreed on the much to think about.

My mind has been spinning ever since @Newzmonkeys jumped in with the gamification idea.

I am still processing ... but I have an idea I will share soon enough.

Or, knowing me ... I am likely to throw it out here and think out loud with you all.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
A forum like this one is UGC. Guest blogging, of course. I have a handful of websites where guest bloggers participate.

Recently started a new website with an associate and we are putting a slightly different spin on it. While we have several guest bloggers, and that number is likely to grow, we are offering "resident blogger" positions to those who's content elsewhere catches our eye.

The key, for us anyway, is to make it win-win. We get great content so we need to give something of value in return -- without actually hiring staffers. For now it's full access to the membership area (top membership level), bio/by-line recognition, linking, and promotion space. "Residents" can get good exposure for themselves and their business, and maybe convert a little paid work in the process.

We're new, but it already seems to be working well. We have two residents with, perhaps, a third on the way.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev

Can outsiders peek in to this network you have created?
Post 24 • IP   flag post
Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
This is the most recent site. I believe I've posted it in the forum before:

WP Business Network
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Member lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
Twitter round up guys! Crowd source the data with an invitation from Twitter.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@lunar_ranger

Huh? Not following you.


Post 27 • IP   flag post
Member lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew Ask your Twitter followers a question- invite them to respond, sample those responses (while giving proper attribution) and create a fantastic content piece. Let them know they're the experts- people love talking about themselves and what they're involved with.
Post 28 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I think the solution ... and this a whole lot easier said than done ... is to create something so cool, useful, powerful, effective, desirable, that people will line up to participate in.

To create something with such good visibility and mojo that people will want to contribute so they can be seen there, too.

How do you create something like that?
Post 29 • IP   flag post
Member dono2081 private msg quote post Address this user
@lunar_ranger -- Twitter roundup is a Very Good Idea. Doing it.

-D
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