Monday, December 25, 2006

The unpredictable nature of user generated content

As a follow up to my last entry I wanted to share an anecdote of working with user generated articles. If you have been watching the Sportingo site you can see that on average we have been publishing around 7 articles a day in December. But since we depend on submissions from our users this average can have big swings. Tuesday was a slow day with only four new articles. Wednesday morning also started slow but by mid day we already had 11 new articles and tow of our editors out for the day. Our editing system is very fluid as it is difficult for us to predict the amount of work required at any given moment as we therefore have a lot of highly qualified editors that come in and out of the system based on the amount of work we have. Usually this works out very well and it the most efficient way to manage a site of our nature. But some days, it can make it very difficult to keep up with your users. The good thing is that more articles mean more traffic to the site, which should then generate more articles and help building the site. As Stuart Little says there is always a silver lining, just sometimes you need to look harder for it (my cultural references are mostly tied to the stories/ videos my boys are watching that week).

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