seeding content for a web 2.0 site


so you've built a great web 2.0 system....the system works great....but you need to seed it with content so that it reaches that critical mass....the question is how do you do it?

so...what are some strategies on how you can seed your web 2.0 site from basically 0 content to millions of user generated content? Any links to resources (articles, sites, books, etc) that contain such strategies will be appreciated...

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asked Nov 15 '11 at 16:48
Kamikaze Pilot
253 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • @ZulyGonzalez I can't see much difference besides one is focused on them and the other is focused on previous success stories ... but yes it is the same question ... does this mean i can answer it twice? – Robin Vessey 12 years ago
  • The most common way AFAIK is to buy content. This is why most such sites need VC. You have to buy a lot of content. – Ross 12 years ago
  • @RobinVessey Well, we never got a clarification from the OP, so I closed the one question (because it had more close votes), and then merged your answer to the open question. That way you don't have to answer twice :-) – Zuly Gonzalez 12 years ago
  • @ZulyGonzalez thanks, my hands were starting to cramp with the strain :) BTW, thanks for looking after the site ... it is appreciated. – Robin Vessey 12 years ago
  • @RobinVessey Aww, thanks! I really appreciate you saying so. A lot of times I feel like it's hopeless, but people like you keep me going. I've been trying to organize a site-wide cleanup contest for almost 6 months now that I think will help give the site some momentum, but it's been more challenging than I expected. BTW, thanks for being involved with community moderation, and for sifting through flagged content. You, and a few others have been extremely helpful with that. – Zuly Gonzalez 12 years ago

2 Answers


Well, typically they did it the same as everyone else tries to:

  • Provide a good feature set
  • Get known through blogs, sites
  • Get known through word of mouth (facebook is like the zombies, more makes more)
  • Draw people with advertising
  • Respond to the users requests and suggestions, nothing like seeing "your" feature to make someone think fondly of the site.
  • Run "tell a friend" competitions or other viral drives ... getting this right is somewhere between an art form and pure luck.
  • Get linked from larger more established sites to drive traffic
  • Have a bunch of well known people talk about the site.
  • Make it easier to use than everyone elses sites.
  • Make it fast and responsive. Google raises you higher if your faster, plus all the research says a minor tweak can make a massive difference (listen to BayCHI and Interviews with Innovators for details)
  • Find a vertical that they know well. If you have specific, domain knowledge then use it, make it publically accessible and enable other to untilise it as a part of their solution.
  • Find a vertical that they have a key point of difference in.
  • Have an API, these days its pretty much manditory if your a service or site.
  • Have a technical advantage. You own an algorithm or special piece of the puzzle, other pay you to "do your thing".
  • Find a vertical that isn't being owned by a good player. (Google had a new spin on search which everyone else believed was a mature / closed market)

... The companies you listed were just part of the "early wave" on the net and are now the "long established players". The next wave is coming through, there are a lot more of them and they are a lot better at it because there are sites like this one to let everyone know how to solve all the problems the earlier wave had to learn ...

So, most of what I said is now old school and if you can find a new method that doesn't involve spamming people with twitter messages no one reads ... let me know cos I would love to try it out.

answered Nov 15 '11 at 17:39
Robin Vessey
8,394 points


Well, basically you need to get a content provider whom you will pay to produce the content. Research on the best writer in the niche you are targeting and partner with them or pay them to provide initial seed content.

answered Nov 16 '11 at 05:48
59 points

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