OneStop and Community Equity

My colleague Peter Reiser has been making great strides forward with his notion of Community Equity. For a detailed write up see his blog post. He was even interviewed by Scoble on the subject!

(Heresy, heresy) but I have mixed feelings about Community Equity in the context of OneStop. I like the notion of community, and I really like the notion of encouraging participation. Having our users easily rate and comment on OneStop pages should prove invaluable. Ratings will supplement our current metrics of downloads and currency to give users a good solid indication of page value. Comments will evolve into discussions, where as we currently only offer page feedback. Discussions will then move into forums. All great stuff!

I’m a little more skeptical on the Community Equity front. I not sure our users will be motivated to participate (more) if their Personal Equity rises. Historically the lion’s share of OneStop accesses has been from people looking for answers, and secondarily browsing for information. I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

The big question isĀ  “What’s in it for me?”. We’re asking our users to spend their limited time, rating and commenting. In my experience people need a recognizable return on investment to participate. Is a high community equity rating, and being listed in the top 10 on the homepage enough? I don’t know; I hope so. I do anticipate arguments about the formula in how CE is generated. Is it fair that a person who (perhaps without a lot of thought) rates 50 documents, gets a higher rating than someone who moderates a couple of OneStop pages that aren’t popular products, or a person that has submitted one “white paper” or Technocrat article?