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Lessons from sites that rely on user-generated content | @DanielleGeva

Stashed in: User Generated Content, Pinterest, Startup Lessons, Quora!, Awesome, Hacker News!, Content, Startup, Pinterest, My evil corporation

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Building a product that relies on user-generated content can start with you and your best friend posting everything, but that plan isn’t going to get you far. Since you can’t force anyone to create content, here are some lessons from Pinterest, Quora, and Hacker News since they’ve figured out how to get users to contribute.

Pinterest did a great job offering users the ability to invite more users as incentive:

In the beginning, Pinterest launched pin it forward campaigns to generate content by leveraging power users. Users would create a board, and then encourage their friends to create the same board with their own pins. How do you get your most active users to hand-hold newbies for you? Well, you could ask them nicely and hope for the best. Or you could offer them some incentive. Pinterest did just that by giving users more invites if their campaign worked. If you don’t have an invite-only community, you’ll have to be more creative, just make sure the reward is something users will actually care about. The best incentives reward both existing and new users as well as lead to increased product usage.

It sounds like, from your article, that Quora and Hacker Nees relied more on word of mouth.

Ultimately word of mouth is the most powerful tool, sometimes it just takes longer to spread the word.

Part 2 will feature PandaWhale! 

I'm looking forward to part 2.

Also, interesting that your article talks about Hacker News without mentioning Reddit.

I thought they co-evolved?

Wiki says the intention was to recreate the early days of Reddit, but it turned out pretty different. I mostly left it out since I never really got into Reddit.

Reddit seems like the most popular unpopular site on the planet.

Hacker News is nothing like early Reddit. It's mostly startup founders who like YCombinator -- or people who aspire to be.

Reddit is a free-for-all that is both illuminating and, at times disgusting, sexist, racist, and mean. Most people I know are not into it despite the fact that it now serves 175 million uniques a month. 

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