Trusted content through facilitated communities

Recently I got a lot of questions on how to build trusted content with communities.

At Sun we have a community called Onestop. This is a community of around 300 subject matter experts who voluntary maintain a page around a topic like a product, a technology or a best practice. The people in the field are really trusting this content.

As example I got some feedback from a user who told me

" If its not on Onestop it does not exist."

This is pretty cool and probably the dream of any online marketeers. Community created content is TRUSTED by the community !

But how can you build trusted "bottom up" content?

Its all about how you facilitate the communities !

Content and Trust

As more process you add to the content creation/maintenance as more its get trusted by the user.

Example: Wiki content might be pretty untrusted but a product page maintained by the product group is a highly trusted as it is the System of Record for the product description.

200901192229.jpg

Reputation and Trust

As higher the reputation of a person is as more people trust the content

Example: In this example we look at the overall Java community. If John Doe, a newbie in the Java world blogs about a Java topic the trust is pretty limited but if James Gosling blogs about a Java topic the trust is likely pretty high

200901192231.jpg

Community model and Trust

When we look at the community model e.g. a completely open and unmoderated community versus a facilitated community we discover that well facilitated communities have more trust then open and unfacilitated communities.

Example: A wiki were everybody can publish whatever she/he want is less trusted then a highly facilitated wiki like Wikipedia
200901192239.jpg

Lesson learned for SunSpace

ok - what did we learn when we build and deployed SunSpace internally ?

1. We need to build a content trust model

We learned a lot from our existing Onestop community and applying these best practices to other communities
(read the Onestop blog for details)

2. We need to build a reputation model

People want and need to be recognized for the contribution and participation in communities. With our integrated Community Equity model we now can evaluate the reputation of a person based on their Tag equity related to their contributions.

3. Facilitated community facilitation

Community need active community management !!!

As part of the SunSpace Community methodology we facilitate the facilitation of communities trough our Community Driver community

more about this in a future blog ..... :-)

Feedback is always highly appreciated !


Comments:

Great post. I do find it difficult to explain the value of a moderated community, in particular, "what is Onestop" and "why is it necessary". Users just 'get it', but selling the notion to management seems a little more tricky.

We are finding that the need for OneStop has increased, rather than decreased. With Communities and wiki sites all over the place, people don't know where to look. Will a random community page be up to date? Will it be in a consistent format? Will it contain the info SEs need? Will it be easy to find? Is there a browse mechanism?

The word "trusted" in this context doesn't work well for me, but unfortunately I don't have a great suggestion. Moderated really doesn't do the trick. Thoughts anyone?

Posted by Michael Briggs on January 21, 2009 at 08:24 AM CET #

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