Both parties benefit from the practice in various ways. On the user-side of things, it’s an easy way to get recognition and cultivate one’s desire to be heard. Companies take advantage by recruiting talented individuals who can generate and distribute winning content ideas.
Sites that are generated mostly by user content are popular despite the fact that contributors are not necessarily paid for the content they provide. Some popular examples of sites that use this strategy effectively are BBC and Yahoo! Voices.
As Blaise Grimes-Viort wrote in Social Media Today, deciding what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable to publish rapidly becomes a necessity — especially for those concerned with corporate image and brand protection.
If you’re a community manager, user generated content moderation tools will either free you up to engage with your audience, or you’ll risk being inundated with thousands of user submitted content on a daily basis.
If you’d like to spend more time in the first camp, your biggest challenge becomes how to implement a solid UGC moderation strategy.
To that end, I’ve put together 6 tips that outline strategies that every community manager and organization can put in place and get the most benefit from user uploaded content.
Before we dive in to the infographic at the end of this article, I wanted to mention a few of the finer points in greater detail…
This is a system where comments and content in general are reviewed by a moderator in advance of posting. This allows content to touch on sensitive issues and prevent social friction. Some areas where content is best pre-reviewed are areas of legality and child protection.
The advantage to this is safety, but on the other hand it can slowly kill the dynamic of a community that is gathered as interaction can only take place upon approval.
Contents in this scheme are posted without being reviewed by an administrator in advance. They are visible as soon as they are posted. However, an administrator will have the right and power to take them off if deemed too sensitive or is crossing the line.
On the one hand, this allows communities to enjoy their freedom of speech. But is a very costly content-management as the moderator will have to act as a legal publisher. This is not only risky in damage it is also risky in cost.
3. Reactive moderation
Your members of the community will be given the power to moderate the content that is posted on the site. They will be able to report and flag contents that make them feel uncomfortable or they feel have violated the rules.
This is a great way of raising community awareness but can also harm your branding as people may not always share the same point of view as you do.
4. Distributed moderation
A rating system is incorporated into the group therefore allowing people to take part in policing the contents that are posted. However, different to re-active moderation, a moderator or moderating team is active and present within the group functioning to aggregate whether the content should stay or go. This way, the policing are conducted by, for and from the community.
This is great for organizational groups, but is still not deemed optimal for branding purposes.
5. Automated moderation
An automated moderation allows is a word-detector that aggregates user generated content by the use of banned words. This way, if restricted words or contents are detected it will immediately by provoked by the system.
This method saves you money and energy, but has the same risk as previously mentioned moderated methods.
6. No moderation
Zero moderation by help you cut on expenses but in the long run the danger of anarchy can be paramount. Look into moderation options that you suit your community best and be adaptive to changes.
Which strategy will work for you?
It will take time to figure out what strategy works best for you and your organization. You’ll find that each method brings with it unique advantages and challenges. Your job is to find a balance between deciding on what’s appropriate and still having time to do the things you love most: building apps, writing content, or growing your business.
And finally, here’s the infographic you’ve been waiting on!