Is a like system for user generated content helpful?

(Mathias Hoppe) #1

Hello together!

I’m searching for advice regarding a like or rating system for user generated tutorials in our community website. I hope you can help me. Please keep in mind that I’m kinda new to the community business and I’m still learning (trainee/apprentice for 2 years).

Here are some backround information:
Our software company is programming everything themselves and it’s a knowledge community where normal users help each other.

The site consists of 3 main sections:

  • Forum
  • Media
  • Tutorials

This makes it very hard to keep a consistent concept. In the media section
you can “like” an uploaded picture, song or video.

I know from a survey which we did, that after creating questions (which happens in the forum) users tend to read tutorials. I included that in my level/points system and gave
"create tutorials" significant more points than “create post”. But is this enough motivation to have my users to continuously write tutorials? Should I also include a rating system
for the tutorials (like in the media section)?

FYI: The tutorials section is influenced through moderators mostly which have deep knowledge about our products. There are not a lot of normal users who are creating tutorials.

I hope this question holds up to the Feverbee community standard. By the way, maybe you already noticed but I’m not a native english speaker. Forgive me any faux pas. :wink:

(Sarah Hawk) #2

Hi @matzetier and welcome.

Are you able to share a link to your community? It might make it a bit easier to see what you describe in action. If not, can you explain in more detail what the community is for? What kind of knowledge are people sharing? It sounds as though the community is about your software products, but I’m confused by the songs/videos in the media section.

The big question is what are you trying to solve here? Are you currently struggling to get people to write tutorials?

Absolutely. We’re happy to help. If you get a chance, I’m sure there are other questions and conversations that you’ll add value to. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

(Nick Emmett) #3

Welcome @matzetier, great to hear from you here. I think @HAWK is right, specifics would help lots.
Are your three sections on the same platform, or do you just connect them somewhere and make them appear to be? What sort of platform are you currently using? Several platforms have Knowledge Management (KM) features, which helps you to manage this kind of thing, some likely have an article rating system, where users can rate how useful the article/tutorial has been for them.

By the way, your question/writing is fine. Probably than some native english speakers I know! Keep them coming!

(Mathias Hoppe) #4

Thank you both for your warm welcome!

@HAWK I’m very sorry, but I think I can’t link to the website.

Anyway, you are totally right. It is a community where knowdledge is shared about our software products (video, image & music editing). For example if an user get an error in the software which isn’t explained in detail, the user goes to the forum and asks what it means and what he can do about it.

Like you, Sarah, I’m also confused about the media section. I really don’t know why the media section was integrated. The problem is that my position (trainee) within the company doesn’t allow me to change everything from scratch (would looooove to do that :D). There is the need to keep previous content. Therefore I’m not questioning this further.

Just think about it like this: tutorial, media and forum area are found within one website (you have one account for all areas together), they have the same style and mostly the comment section in common. The media section is more about “Show what great results you can achieve with the software” and tutorials/forum more about “let us help each other or show you HOW you can do certain things”.

Like I said is the whole plattform programmed by our programmers. So we are almost using no external KM features (Didn’t know something like this exist).

Especially for the tutorial section: Yes, I want more people to write more tutorials. I don’t care if they rate. I want them to share something but how can you achieve this? Is this social aspect (gaining fame) through likes or a rating worth thinking about for a tutorial section?

It’s really hard for me to add something to other conversations cause I’m (was) a long-time lurker and I feel everbody is worlds “ahead”, like @Nick_Emmett (I’m not sure if I have answered your questions properly).

PS: Sorry for answering late.

(Nick Emmett) #5

Good stuff, thanks for the insight - I have a better picture in my head now about what you guys have. So, on the tutorials/articles - who do you want to be creating these articles? Anyone, or just the moderators that currently do this?

Was your original question looking at a “like system” because you were wondering if that might encourage people to contribute these tutorials? If so then I’m not sure that the answer is yes. Do other people know that they can contribute these articles? Do you have any users currently that are highly engaged that you could maybe approach and ask about them contributing? That would build both their exposure and exposure for the articles. Also, do these articles get shared within your forums? How are they socialised?

Apologies for all the questions, I’m just trying to get inside a) what you want to happen, b) why it’s not currently happening.

And don’t worry about people appearing “worlds ahead” - it’s great that you took the leap from being a lurker and made your first post, hopefully others will be encouraged and do the same.

As well as no requirements on your experience as a Community Manger, I’m fairly sure there are no requirements on time taken to respond! Just keep coming back :smiley:

(Sarah Hawk) #6

No stress. We can work around that. :slightly_smiling:

I think that there is value to be had in a like system, but you need to be careful. Whether it works can depend on the character of the community. For instance, if people keep posting tutorials and getting very few likes, chances are they won’t bother any more, making the situation even worse. Having said that, if people are used to liking already because it is in your other sections, then it probably makes sense. Is it well used in those other sections?

You need to get to the bottom of what is likely to motivate your audience. Because it’s a software community, gamification is probably a good option. Another idea - do you have the opportunity to incentivise people? Offer them beta access to new products in return for x tutorials? (The danger here is that the quality of tutorials might not be great). Perhaps a combination of the two?

I’m so sorry to hear that you feel that way, and it’s something that we’re working on changing. The truth is that we’re all good at some bits, and are learning others. We all have different skills and your contribution is valuable and helps to grow the community – regardless of your level of skill or experience. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Chances are, someone else wishes they had the courage to ask it.