A site user indirectly suggests a new feature

By Steve Outing

Whoa! That was a long time between blog posts. Y’know, sometimes you get so busy that it’s hard to keep the old blog going. … OK, I’m back at it. (Not that I’m any less busy, but I really do miss blogging when I take a too-busy-to-blog break.) Anyway, here’s something interesting from my company’s YourMTB.com site.

It’s fascinating, in a citizen media based site like YourMTB.com, to watch how people use it. After all, as publisher of the site, I don’t really have control over how it’s used — other than to reject stuff that crosses over a line (that is, violates our terms of service).

So, one of YourMTB’s users, Fugie, has used the Buy & Sell forum on the site to post notices about coupon codes that he’s run across that can be used by fellow mountain bikers. Here’s an example, where Fugie alerts fellow bikers that they can shop at Nashbar.com (a major online biking retailer) and use a code to get free shipping.

Cool! I hadn’t thought of or expected that sort of use for the site’s forums, but that’s great. I’m sure other users appreciate Fugie’s thoughtfulness in sharing that information.

Something I’ve thought ever since this project’s inception was that I want the users of our websites to guide future development. Sometimes that will be in the form of direct feedback sent to us (“Why don’t you add this feature?”); other times it will be in observation by us of how our members use the site (as in this case). Perhaps we should add a Forum area specifically for this kind of coupon information sharing.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

4 Responses to "A site user indirectly suggests a new feature"

  1. Ryan
    Ryan 11 years ago .Reply

    Makes a lot of sense.

    Digg has a category for “tech deals,” which seems like a good idea in any field.

    That’s the sort of thing that would get me coming back to a site, or checking the feed or forum often.

  2. Joel Fugazzotto
    Joel Fugazzotto 11 years ago .Reply

    It’s me, Fugie, with some additional comments regarding the concept of having deals be part of citizen media sites, especially ones like the Enthusiast Group, where participation is driven by passion.

    Not only can the member of the site benefit from the coupon information by being able to purchase gear or products at a discount, but the site itself could benefit by building an affiliate relationships with the different retailers. An example would be if one of the members clicks through to the retailer to make a purchase using the the discount and the Enthusiast Group site has an affiliate relationship with the retailer, then the Enthusiast Group would get a cut of that transaction. Granted the cut is typically small, but if enough members take advantage of the discount, the affiliate revenue could help add to the bottom line.

    I’ve seen sites where (for lack of a better term) there are “hot words”. When a member types, for example, the name of a retailer in their posting, the word becomes a hot link to that retailer from site. The site would then get affiliate credit for any purchases made through that link.

  3. Martin
    Martin 11 years ago .Reply

    Wouldn\'t it be interesting to compare the list to the list with the most blogged about articles of 2006? Unfortunately I could not find it on the Times Website.

  4. Danny Sanchez
    Danny Sanchez 11 years ago .Reply

    I rather enjoyed that Shamu piece, even if everyone\'s favorite killer whale wasn\'t actually in the story.

Leave your comment