Home > Strategy > Digital Sharecropping

Digital Sharecropping

May 15th, 2012

j12EG-928AJeff Atwood writes a great article on Digital Sharecropping. That’s the concept that built many of the Social Networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Flickr. Those sites just provide the foundation, but the content on the sites is provided by the users. The reason the users provide all of the content is…

Well, that’s a good question. Why do the users provide free content (and essentially, labour) someone else’s site? Generally a site that makes a profit off that content? Why would they so often be willing to give up their intellectual rights to that content?

That’s something to keep in mind when formulating your plan. If your Digital Strategy includes building a community around your brand, you have to ask yourself very early on, why would someone want to take the time to be part of this community and provide free content. What am I going to give them in return?

It has to be a two-way street. There has to be an added value or benefit for your community to be part of your community. Or as Jeff put it so well, the user will ask themselves, “What do¬†I get out of the time and effort you’ve invested in this website? Personally? Professionally? Tangibly? Intangibly?”

If you don’t have a good answer to that question, you might want to take a closer look at the rest of your Digital Strategy.

Categories: Strategy
Comments are closed.