The guys at BusinessLogs have come up with something of a “theory” to explain the value the end-user gets by contributing to a site. The question that’s being asked is:
If you spend X units of time/creativity/effort do you get 3X units of pleasure/entertainment/utility in return, or do you only get 1.2X or .6X?
Here’s a snippet from the post.
…the most successful sites (based on user generated content) were the ones that gave the most bang for the buck, or, the most pleasure/utility back to the user. If I put in X units of effort and a site gives me back 2X units of entertainment, that’s good. If I put in X units of effort and get back 20X units of entertainment, that’s much better. On the flip side, if I put in X units of effort and get back 1/8th X units of entertainment, that means the X units of effort I initially put in were a complete waste of time, or, the site took my content and gave me squat in return.
I buy some of the utalitarian aspects of the theory. I’m not at all sure about the evaluations that they’ve made. Here’s the short list:
- Myspace: for each unit of effort, you get 50(!) of pleasure
- YouTube: a unit of effort gets you 20-40 units of pleasure
- Squidoo: 8-10 units of effort only get you 15 units of pleasure