Soliciting and shaping user-generated content

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4 case studies and 7 lessons in soliciting and shaping user-generated content. Geared specifically to magazine publishers, but applicable to other content providers as well.

4 case studies and 7 lessons in soliciting and shaping user-generated content. Geared specifically to magazine publishers, but applicable to other content providers as well.

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  • 1. Making UGC Work Presented by Kim Pittaway, kimpittaway.com
  • 2. My background
    • Magazine writer, editor and editorial consultant
    • Have worked with a range of publications on online strategies, from large circ mags to small literaries
    • Goal of this session: to equip you to create a plan for generating engaging and cost-effective UGC
  • 3. Today’s session
    • 4 case studies
    • 7 lessons
  • 4. The Case Studies
    • 48 Hours--an almost instant magazine
    • AllRecipes.com & Yelp--stand-alone UGC
    • Ushahidi & the Gulf Coast oil spill--contributing to a larger story
  • 5. 48 hours
    • Announced April 27-ish
    • Website/blog to take users/contibutors behind the scene
    • Promoted on Twitter, industry blogs, mainstream media--immediate buzz
    • Buzz boosted by having list of high-profile participants already in place
  • 6. 48 hours
    • Concept:
      • Editors determine issue theme
      • Theme unveiled on Friday at noon
      • Contributors have until Sat at 4 to submit
      • Team of editors/designers screen and edit and design over next 20 hours
      • Files sent to MagCloud Sunday at noon
      • Digital edition available asap; print edition shortly thereafter
      • May 7: Theme announced: Hustle
  • 7. 48 hours
    • Blogged process to take users behind the screen; posted “Inspired” clips relating to theme
    • Over 1500 pieces submitted
    • 70 pieces selected; 60-page magazine published
  • 8. 48 hours
    • Paid all contributors (based on 48 days of sales)
  • 9. 48 hours
    • Voila!
  • 10. 48 hours
    • And the PDF looks like….
  • 11. 48 Hours
    • Contest-like atmosphere--will you be among the “winning” contributors?
    • Tight timeline
    • Status of other contributors
    • Unique project
    • High hip/buzz factor
    • Used the web--but created a print product
  • 12. AllRecipes.com
  • 13. AllRecipes.com
    • Over 44,000 user-contributed recipes
    • 9-16 million monthly uniques
    • 3.6 million members
    • Since 2008, added local editions for Argentina, Australia & New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Quebec, Russia, SE Asia, UK & Ireland
  • 14. AllRecipes.com
  • 15. AllRecipes.com
  • 16.  
  • 17. AllRecipes.com
    • As a user, I can contribute in multiple ways:
    • Recipe
    • Photo
    • Review
    • List
    • I can also customize content to suit my needs:
    • Formats
    • Quantities
    • Shopping list
    • Recipe box
    • Customize recipe
  • 18.  
  • 19. Yelp.com
    • 0ver 10 million local reviews of restaurants, businesses and services
    • In US, Canada, UK, France & Ireland
    • All reviews are user-contributed
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22. Yelp.com
    • Combines elements of social network and review site
    • Users post reviews and photos, rate other reviews, create lists, send compliments & messages to other users
    • Reviewers awarded status by Yelp--”Elite”--and by other users through rating of reviews
    • Home page “Review of the Day”
  • 23. Ushahidi
    • Open-source software that collects and displays crowdsourced news submitted via mobile phone or internet
    • Originated in Kenya as a crisis reporting tool
    • Contributors aren’t crafting “the whole story”--they’re contributing small pieces of it
  • 24. Ushahidi & BP Spill
    • Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) enviro group and Tulane University class had just launched an interactive map of Louisiana’s frequent oil refinery accidents
    • Day of final class: Deepwater Horizon rig exploded
    • LABB launched Oil Spill Crisis Map to track BP spill
  • 25.  
  • 26.  
  • 27.  
  • 28.  
  • 29. Ushahidi
    • Users can contribute
      • a little or a lot
      • Words, images, video
      • Using a mobile phone, Twitter or the internet
      • Users get
      • to see their input contribute to creating a bigger picture
      • To track the development of an on-going story
  • 30. The lessons
    • Create buzz
      • Attach celebrities
      • Create urgency through time constraints
      • Get the message out through social media and traditional media
      • Timeliness helps (BP, 48 Hours)
  • 31. The lessons
    • 2. Build in status-building opportunities
    • * Did I mention celebrities?
    • * Reward those who contribute a lot/high quality
    • * Let other users bestow status through rating/voting
  • 32. The lessons
    • 3. Allow different levels of contribution
    • * Keeners can do more but slackers can still be in the game
    • * AllRecipes--even if I can’t create a recipe, I can take a picture or contribute a review
  • 33. The lessons
    • 4. Make it easy
    • * Let people use the tools they have--Ushahidi lets you contribute using your phone or computer
    • * Make it interstitial if possible--so I can contribute in the moments between doing other things
    • * Understand your users’ level of likely contribution/technological sophistication
  • 34. The lessons
    • 5. Make it fun
    • * Did I mention status?
    • * Let people collect points, badges, multiple opportunities to win
    • * Urgency/time contraints can boost the fun factor
    • * Recognize that even adults like to play--can you make some element of it game-like?
    • * Recognize what people like to share: there’s a reason “pet of the day” and wacky weather photos are popular
  • 35. The lessons
    • 6. Shape it
    • * Recognize that UGC isn’t free: you may still need to shape the content (either in the front end through appropriate templates, or in the back end through testing, compiling, editing, etc--or, more likely, at both ends!)
  • 36. The lessons
    • 7. Think it through!
    • * Don’t just put out a call for content: Create a plan
    • * Look for multiple platform opportunities--Extend the reach of your UGC
    • * Create a promotion plan to get the word out to potential contributors
  • 37. Thank you!