Getting Through to the User: Finding Content Models that Invite Participation

Ever read something and think “who are they writing for?”. It can be frustrating when you feel like content is created without much regard for user impact. We are all constantly sent requests for feedback, such as the endless surveys, but that is often after the content has been published and feels like a moot point half of the time. This article ““Hey, Such-and-Such on the Internet Has Suggested . . . ” : How to Create Content Models That Invite User Participation” proposes frameworks and ways to invite users as collaborators and active participants. Guiseppe Getto and Jack T. Labriola intend to widen potential for content strategy and have us see how organizations can catch up with an ever-expanding network, especially when it comes to web based content. Whether you are editing, creating, reviewing, or publishing content, this article will introduce strategies to not only consider the user but to include them. In a time where the user’s attention is pulled in so many different directions, collaborating with them might be the best way to keep their focus in a competitive market. 

The authors discuss their research and come up with key concepts, key lessons, and implications of the frameworks. In order for administrators to provide high quality content for their users, moderators are needed. Using iFixit (how-to tech manual website) as an example, users can contribute information but also have to prove some expertise and then are empowered to even become moderators themselves. This model is celebrated by the article because it has successful user-generated strategies for increasing engagement and changing its content based on the user’s participation. iFixit’s example is a key part of the article because it gives the reader a real-life example so they can apply the findings to their own publications and projects. The authors even take the time to analyze big companies such as Wikipedia and Facebook in order to offer criticisms, analysis, and ideas on how to improve mass media models. 

This information is a great way for us to improve the way we communicate because remote work and distance learning will continue to be a necessity. Expanding the way we think about collaboration in a virtual environment will make us better users, moderators, administrators, and of course, technical communicators. 


How to Create Content Models That Invite User Participation, by Guiseppe Getto and Jack T. Labriola

Viewpoint Written by Eliana De La Garza, Texas State University

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