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Soliciting and shaping user-generated content
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Soliciting and shaping user-generated content



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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    Soliciting and shaping user-generated content Soliciting and shaping user-generated content Presentation Transcript

    • Making UGC Work Presented by Kim Pittaway, kimpittaway.com
    • 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
    • Today’s session
      • 4 case studies
      • 7 lessons
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 48 hours
      • Paid all contributors (based on 48 days of sales)
    • 48 hours
      • Voila!
    • 48 hours
      • And the PDF looks like….
    • 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
    • AllRecipes.com
    • 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
    • AllRecipes.com
    • AllRecipes.com
    • 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
    • Yelp.com
      • 0ver 10 million local reviews of restaurants, businesses and services
      • In US, Canada, UK, France & Ireland
      • All reviews are user-contributed
    • 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”
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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)
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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!)
    • 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
    • Thank you!