Randomly have seen a lot of posts about people trying to build blog community by writing checks of varying sizes. Specifically:
- Valleywag’s commentgate, where they may or may not be paying interns to post comments. Probably, more accurately, Nick has created a corporate culture so insidery that everyone comments on everything else that people write.
- Read/Write Web is having a contest for best comment or trackback. $30/day for the best comment.
Couple of thoughts:
- I really hope someone wins for commenting “first!!!!!!” because that is the king of comments.
- How much is community worth? RWW has decided to invest ~$1000 in hopes of building some community this way. Valleywag has to provide laptops and/or office space or something to a bunch of interns. Maybe that is $5,000 in laptops for endless comments on every post? And RWW found a sponsor, AdaptiveBlue, to foot the bill.
- I think we all imagine that a vibrant community is worth a lot more than that. So obviously the real question is “is this the right way to build community?” RWW is taking a shot. That seems like a good idea. For $30, you probably aren’t getting thoughtful comments.
- RWW needs to keep awareness up to maximize the benefit of the promotion. They will probably get a lot of comments on the first day but fewer comments the third week unless they refresh people about the contests existence. Should the contests be around weekly or daily thematic things? Should the contests look at specific topics they want to build community around?
It would be interesting if there were more thoughts by true professionals on ways to actually force community in this manner. Maybe Tara Hunt has ideas?