A good contributor is invaluable and a key anchor to a successful online community. Registered users who comment or interact regularly should be nurtured and made to feel valued and recognised for their contributions.
However, at the same time the model of your community should not be compromised, often a line needs to be drawn between the content put up by those in charge of the site and the content put up be general users.
Interactive film review website Rotten Tomatoes manage to do this with their review system.
Anyone once registered can write a review about a film for the website. This review is then available for all to see and the rating given is added to all other user’s reviews to make an average “all critics” rating for the film.
For example, the film Chalet Girl has received an average review of 84 per cent from ‘all critics’. However if you want to know what the ‘top critics’ think of it they offer that average to you if you click on the link. In this case the ‘top critics’ gave it an average of 60 per cent. On the website “top critics” are reviews from professional writers for national newspapers or magazines.
Through their system Rotten Tomatoes make their interactive users feel valued while at the same time establishing a system that lets you know what the ‘experts’ think. They also feature their favourite critics on their critics homepage which acts as an incentive to get interactive.