A panel of developers assembled today to drop some UGC knnowledge. Here’s a breakout of what we learned, via specific examples from sites and apps.
When creating a site or app, how do we solve the cold start or blank page?
Pinterest has randomly selected images with an endless scroll. You’ll also see this in some music sites.
Lanyrd.com imports identities and profiles from your other networks, and lets you mirror those social circles. They also create “shadow profiles” for high profile people who have never logged into the site.
Path gives new users in-app tutorials on blank state screens to help people fill out their profiles, understand the features and enable Path to get their user base active.
What are some incentives we can use to encourage users to create GOOD content on our sites and apps?
LinkedIn gamifies profile completion by encouraging user to get to 100%.
Tumblr increased the ratio of creators:consumers by inventing “reblogging” function which enables you to take somebody else blog and repost it as yours - and make it socially OK.
How can we facilitate the navigation of UGC and pros and cons of folksonomies?
Taxonomy = a fixed, top-down hierachy. Folskonomie = letting the people tag and decide what is what.
Wunderlist sticks with a standard UX familiar to specific phone users, so their value can stand out with new buttons.
YouTube enables contextual exploration at the end of every video, no matter where it is embedded.
Apple App Store, Chrome Web Store force you to search by categories, but those categories are tagged by the app creators themselves.
How to deal with spammy users and profanity:
Flickr keeps a troll score on every user, and makes their site experience really slow and unenjoyable. They also hide the trolls’ comments from everybody except other trolls. A PARALLEL TROLL UNIVERSE.
Mixcloud limits the rates of comments and tells the trolls to chill out.
Branch, Discourse float the best comments to the top and reward good behavior.
Handing over control to moderators and admins:
Stackoverflow has a points system that lets you level up to unlock authority and features, a pure trust measure.
Hype Machine (hypem.com) curates the most hyped songs across music blogs. The bloggers write to admins on hypem begging for their blog to be featured.
How to balance what your users want vs what you want:
By importing their analyzing their tags - algorithms help too.
Construct a feedback loop that highlights favorite content.
Leaderboards work too as long as people can’t game it.