Friday, May 18, 2007

The Snowball metaphor

Originally uploaded by kamshots.
When thinking about user generated content, I've been using a snowball metaphor.

Ideally, when making a site that depends on submitted content, all of the members would be active, prolific authors. Unfortunately the 1-10-100 rule is the reality.

A small minority is going to contribute original content. So what you want to design for is a low effort way for the majority of content consumers to refine and build upon an initial bit of seeded content.

So if someone only has time to write a quick entry about something, someone else can add more detail to it, and yet another person can add/clean up the tagging and categorisation.

This is the Wikipedia model -- but wouldn't it be great if did this too? I would love to be able to quickly add a bookmark, and later return to it and see that my tag 'stuff' had been replaced with the tags 'user experience design, blog, opinion'. and that my description, "this looks cool," had been supplemented by a full, collaborative review of the website I'd bookmarked.

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