How to switch content site to user generated site


We’ve got a fairly established blog network with 1000s of originally written articles - GameFlavor Network. Due to current focus, I would ideally like to supplement the original content with user generated content, if not then a 100% user generated site, but have found this is easier said than done. Technically it’s not an issue, but to switch your site visitors over to a new format can be a challenge.

Would welcome any thoughts on this, especially from anyone who’s gone through a similar transition.


I have never been able to get users to generate anything, except if they are other web people whose objective it to use your site to generate traffic to their own site.

From simple one click “votes” to reviews to opinions. Everything has failed. I also run several intranets, and the only people who publish anything are “career” types. At first I thought people were worried about their grammar and spelling, about saying something controversial etc. but it wasn’t that. A few are required by their job to communicate (i.e. add an event to a calendar) and about 50% struggle with the technology. Many struggle to even open their browser if there is no link on the desktop (they only click on links in email). These are not illiterate factory workers, these are normal office workers and managers who use computers daily.

I’ve worked out after nearly 15 years, that 99% of the world doesn’t think and doesn’t want to think. They have nothing to contribute, and would not consider doing so even for money or a prize.

The fact that you are asking a question and have a blog makes you a “natural” communicator, someone who values knowledge and puts you in the top 2%. If you do it well and want to improve, you might well be in the top 1%.

You might have a small chance if you let people send by email. If you try to make your system easy enough for the average user, you will be inundated with “contributions” from SEO spammers trying to get incoming links, or people (usually Asian) trying to sell products over various auction and e-commerce sites.

Forgive my pessimism, I have been doing this much too long. I hope other contributors are more positive :slight_smile:

No thank you for taking the time to reply. I think it’s a valid point and holds some truth, as we’ve had minimal response when we tried this before. However, our comments are generally pretty healthy. I think there are two things here. One the nature of our traffic. Much of it is search engine, but felt the loyal core would be enough to initiate things. Second, people seem to want react/respond to something rather than initiate.

Good luck! The younger markets are definitely better in terms of commenting and voting. Perhaps we can look forward to more input in the future!

I would agree with intercommsa. User content generation is a tricky afair. Active users tend to generate low-quality content. Passive users are more serious but - well - passive. But good luck!

user generated content is not easy to manage if you consider forum then you have to read every post and check quality and it is very time consuming

Yeah I’ve looked into this as I have a few websites I might like to switch to this and it doesn’t seem very promising.

The ones that seem to succeed are

  1. information oriented/link oriented (ezine, squidoo)
  2. Career or hobby focused
  3. Game focused

Beyond that, nothing else really seems to have any hope of working…as we know yet (there is always a solution…just sometimes not the one we want).

I would say that 86% of the world doesn’t want to think…the 14 percent left are well either too busy, focused or do not feel they want to contribute. I am ‘asocial’ in some regards because I’m happy just reading at home, its taken me some time to get used to messaging online. I’ve made a point to join a few boards and some of them are not as stimulating as others.

But from what I can tell those are the only three categories that seem to work, and its best to start it from the beginning as a contribution oriented site to begin with. Perhaps you can find a way to make a blog more of a ‘conversation’ instead of a ‘you write’ and people say a few sentences.

That maybe a way to transition, but it would still require plenty of work.

it would be better to hire a content writer. Well written original content is always good for SERP. You should not look for any software to write a content for you. It would be better to go for classic original one. But for that you would need an original writer.

Good Luck