Ally and Sean were a great choice for this stage of our class. We’ve covered community management through the lens of SEO, engagement, blogging, and user generated content (UGC) – great topics for them to cover.
Throughout the hangout, the biggest similarity between Ally and Sean’s job is the way they rely on content created by people other than themselves.
Using UGC is a common practice, and Ally and Sean use the idea in different but effective ways. Ally’s brand relies on UGC, and the interactive nature of Sean’s community breeds strong opinions – it’s clear they’ve easily determined that UGC is right for them.
Scoop.it’s entire platform is built around the idea that people can find what interests them, add their insights, and publish. The nature of scoop.it is user-driven, and new content is created every day by users. Day to day, Ally combs through the content and looks for the best posts and writers.
Ally also strongly focuses on creating lean content, or, content that makes a big impact with few resources. Like Ally said during our hangout: creating content takes a lot of time. Lean content means Ally can repurpose content and help her users learn from Scoop.it content better and faster.
Meanwhile, Sean uses similar tactics in a different strategy. Sean writes for his blog because he loves to, but he still wants to curate additional content. In order to do so, he’s created a fan section of his blog where fans can write and publish their own content.
Although Sean doesn’t run a platform like Scoop.it, he’s created a section of his blog where readers can contribute. Through this fanpost section, he’s able to find good writers that match the style of his blog. In some cases, fan blogs will be posted to the main blog, and in rare cases, consistently good fan contributors can become regular main blog contributors.
Both Ally and Sean create content, but in order to better use their time and take advantage of quality writers, they had to become skilled content curators as well.
In the CMGRclass G+ community, we’ve debated the best ways to do UGC. Some communities have depended on or currently depend on UGC with varying degrees of success – like Bleacher Report or Reddit. I’ve seen UGC increasingly become a part of other blogs – the Gawker Media blogs use Kinja to generate and help curate content from users.
It seems as though the successful blogs that use UGC are one of three things:
- The blog is the platform, and the best rise to the top (like Scoop.it or Reddit)
- The blog is fully integrated with a platform, and content is curated (like Gawker network blogs and Kinja)
- Provide an alternate platform for people to use, and content is curated (like TNIAAM)
Do you agree with these categories? Whether you do or not – are these methods really the best ways to curate UGC?