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3 ways to make consumer generated content better

July 11, 2006

So Yahoo has “Flickerized” itself, which means the users have gained more power and control over content. Yahoo Answers can be amazing and Yahoo’s brand new travel site, based on real user experiences, could be.

However, the problem in general with consumer created content and the stuff on Yahoo is its uneven quality; some is great and other stuff isn’t.

For the user, that can mean hard work sifting through masses of content to find the good stuff.

Brands and media playing with consumer created content need to understand this.

To make consumer created content work. They need to inject three elements, editorial, incentives and education.

1. Editorial:Editorial guideposts to help their users sift through the mass of consumer created content and education to help users understand how to post and create interesting content.

2. Incentives: In a world where every brand and media is asking for contributions why shouldn’t there be some incentive? The pool of talented amateurs is not infinite and if they can see no incentive, they will take their skills elsewhere. In addition, this could easily get cynical as consumers start to feel they are being “used” by brands and media for cheap content.

3.Education:You don’t just unleash millions of creative amateurs into the world without giving them a helping hand. Education doesn’t need to be boring, they could enlist help from professional creatives to help. Imagine a slight twist on Apple’s cool new Pro site

For creative domains like journalism, filmmaking and art, it would be smart if these newbie creatives could at least get a cool “how to guide” before they put pen to paper or turn the camera on.

For an example of this in action, please check out Current TV’s great educational program for film-makers.

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