Sunday, August 4, 2013

Content and Compensation: Forums Driving Valuable Content

The internet definitely has a value system.  For now I am turning my attention towards forums. 
Contributors to forums used to be able to earn income by making valuable contributions to the forums and adding links to product and blogs.  A lot of contributors began making valueless posts to spam their links all over the place. Many forums turned to a system where they tried to manage cotnributors by developing systems to allowing benefits such as links.  This hasn't worked out really well either.  The recent trend is to not compensate for content.  I personally don't see this working out very well.  There will be a few knowledgeable idiots who will offer up services but this going to lead to many forums becoming very one note. 

It is definitely appropriate to compensate contributors and it is the right thing to do.  Expecting free content for subscribers is not a good way to get the content your subscribers are going to want to read.  The question is how to best get quality content?  The conundrum is that paying people for content attracts opporunists but not paying them doesn't attract content.  Another challenge is that subscribers don't normally don't pay a subscription fee and are often anonymous. 

Often forums treat contributors and subscribers equally but they really do not play the same role on a forum.  Managing the different relationships is something forums can do to improve the content being posted.  This relationship should be distinguisahble to all participants of the blog.  Most subscribers do not participate by posting.  Often the answer to a question has been previously provided if the forum has been able to build content.  The great thing about subscribers is that they want instant gratification.  They don't ask a question if they can get right to the answer right away.

By recognizing this we realize that the job of managing the forum is greatly reduced.  By placing the focus on managing content authors the task becomes plausible.  Content authors should be compensated through sharing ad revenues.  When implementing revenue sharing system tracking becomes very important.when sharing ad revenue with content authors.  Revnue from all advertising must be associated with the author that has attracted the traffic through posting responses to subscriber questions.  This way subscriber get value because their issues have been resolved.  Authors the content providers are compensated for providing valuable information.   Forum developers are compensated by providing the property and are best enabled to manage content.

All issues haven't been discussed so leave a comment to expand on the topic.