Getting people to contribute

By now, you’ve probably read about Knol, Google’s attempt to create a database of high quality user-generated content similar to Wikipedia. Community and collaborative systems fail if users see no incentive to contribute, which is why Knol is so interesting. Google obviously thought hard about this and came up with two key incentives to people to contribute that Wikipedia does not offer:

  • Google will clearly highlight the author of the article
  • Google shares ad revenues with the author of a knol

Check out the screenshot of a knol entry on insomnia. Incentives for use are one of the most important things to consider when building a collaborative application. It will be interesting to see whether Google hit the sweet spot.

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