Getting people to submit reviews is hard. We’ve seen incentives such as $5 coffee cards (a lot), $10 gas cards, and direct donations to charity (InsiderPages‘ current model)…
This month, Angie’s List, a paid service founded in 1995 that counts 650,000 members… launches a review campaign with the biggest review incentive we’ve seen yet: a free Flip video camera for 15 submissions. The camera is worth about $120. Reviewers also get entered into a $5,000 sweepstakes.
The twist is that all 15 reviews must be for local services, and three of the submissions must be for Angie’s new medical category. The reports on Angie’s List aren’t likely to be rushed affairs, since each one follows a template with six questions — and your name is on it.
Whether you call them the “Three Ms” – members, messages and moolah – or the “Three Cs” – community, content and cash – one of the three critical elements to any Web 2.0 site is “user generated content.” Those with the magic attract content, while others pay for it. Some people get bent out of shape about this kind of thing… see it as a sin against all things webby and wonderful. Not me.
Angie’s List is an established successful big business. They charge people to participate and now they pay people in certain cases to write their reviews. This seems similar to the business of publishing as we’ve always known it… a publisher pays a writer to write and then sells the writing to readers for a fee.
Front Porch Forum does not charge its members to participate… to read or to write… although we have given away a few donated ball game tickets and gift certificates in raffles among members who posted recently. Who knows what the future will bring?
I think we’ll see more and more experiments among Web 2.0 sites to capture a greater share of the three Cs. Or is it the “Three Rs?” Readers, ‘riters, and revenue. Gotta have lots of all three!