Thursday, 1 January 2009

Web 2.0: enhancing the value and visibility of premium content

I've been thinking a lot about how Web 2.0 can enhance the value and visibility of premium content. In the pay-per-click world, users need some kind of assurance that the info they are about to purchase is relevant and good quality. And they are much more likely to accept the opinion of their peers than the marketing blurb of the publisher (see post below!).

The first and simplest step is to implement a basic ratings and review system. But an even more sophisticated approach is to actually see how many have accessed it, what they thought of it, how they used it and whether it was the right information for their needs.

I think Ravelry's pattern page does exactly that. Have a look:

Ravelry pattern finder: How Web 2.0 can add value to premium content

(Click here for a higher resolution version if you want to read all the writing!)

Knitting 1.0: you purchase a pattern and hope it will look as good as you as it does on the model in the photo. You can't really be sure until you buy the wool, knit the garment, and try it on.

Knitting 2.0 (Ravelry): just look at what you can find out before you buy:

  • How it looks on bodies of all shapes and sizes
  • How it looks when knit with a yarn other than the recommended one - and what yarns are suitable substitutes
  • How hard it is to knit - and how interesting or boring it is to do so!
  • How to avoid or correct problems as you knit it
  • How people have modified the pattern to create a different product that suits their needs (eg using a sock pattern to create fingerless gloves - it has been done!)
All of this comes from ratings, photos, blog posts, and forum posts from other people who have knit it. All provided for free, adding up to a wealth of knowledge that goes way beyond the original pattern.

You will still need to purchase the pattern to knit it. All of that extra information does not replace the key element required to complete this project. It will however, help you to come to a decision about buying it, and assist you in knitting your own version. Plus all those reviews, comments, photos and blogs will help to increase the visibility of that particular piece of content to future users.

It's also worth noting how incredibly relevant and targeted advertising is on this page. In fact it doesn't even look like advertising, just more really useful information. If you want to knit it, click here and buy the wool. If you like it, check out the designer's other patterns.