The user wants to promote a specific piece of content in order to democratically help decide what content is more popular.
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Let users participate in content curation by letting them promote quality content.
Use the power of your community to help curate what is more popular. Display a voting mechanism next to each candidate item. As users click, their vote is counted in favor of promoting that item. Consider providing an embeddable and stand-alone voting mechanism that third-party publishers can include on their site.
This pattern consists of a number of mechanisms that work together:
Provide a webpage with a submission form. The most basic and traditional way to let your users submit content is via a form on a webpage that you host. After content has been submitted, your users can freely vote on the submitted content’s quality.
The Vote To Promote pattern promotes community participation and can potentially help pick up and promote the newest and hottest content around. By using your community to judge what is more popular, you avoid the need to hire paid professional reviewers.
Using the Vote To Promote pattern on your website brings the user to the center of your site. It is used to implement a democratic control over the content of your website with the following pros and cons.
Each user votes from their perspective of what defines good quality: their opinion is subjective. This raises the question whether the numeric number of votes on each item can really be compared and if the item with the most positive votes really is the item with the highest quality.
This dilemma raises the question whether some users should have more authority than others: if some users’ votes should count more than other users’ votes. This might be necessary if you want your site to retain the definition of quality that you like. Popular content is not necessarily the same as quality content.
Consider a number of measures to prevent users from misusing the system:
When the amount of content submitted each second is larger than what your staff can handle, you will have to rely on what is referred to as the “wisdom of crowds” to decide what is good content and what is not (spam, untrue stories, “lame stuff”, bad categorizations, etc.). This could possibly work, if each user evaluated the quality of an item of content isolated from what other users have already voted.
However, it is not always the case that voting is done in isolation. Instead, crowd members communicate and affect each other’s qualitative judgment towards the lowest common denominator of opinion. The reason for this is the mix up of using measurable values when judging quality. The crowd has no wisdom: it will always be affected by the lowest common denominator of what others have voted.
This is actually not a good idea, especially when the options are displayed without any visual reference. It presents the user to much unordered info, it doesn’t create a clear image of what differences there are between the options. To make a good voting, you need to know all the options. Otherwise your making a judgement of a single option, looking at each individual option at a time, more than comparing all options. And I think a user is more likely to base his choice on an induvidual judgment here.
Jasper Kennis: What do you mean by “all options”? Isn’t this the idea and essence behind the Vote to Promote pattern – that we have a big pool of options that you are most likely not to know in all about. But as you stumble upon something you fancy, you can promote it, so that other people with the same interest as you does not have to go through as many sites as you do to find that quality content.
The pattern is about highlighting the bits and pieces as they are discovered – it’s not meant to provide a view of the absolute truth.