Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Inspiring the Contributor

If there is one challenge that perturbs me about phase 1 of our new project – it’s how to get the contributor (in this case – a photographer) inspired to do what’s required to help us make it a success. I find photographers particularly difficult to coerce because they are creative people who have very little interest in the administration of their work. I’m aware that is a sweeping generalisation, but I feel more than qualified to make such a statement, so will happily duck if the stones are hurled.

Contributor Importance

I fear that so many online ventures go bust or don’t maximize their potential because they bully their contributors into submission or simply make it a “don’t like it – lump it” scenario. This has been acceptable in the past because it was the developer and/or business that had the skills, so contributors just had to follow suit or get left behind in the dust. With the steep growth of internet users year on year, it is now almost imperative to hop on the band wagon, or face missing out on the opportunity to be noticed. Few are prepared to come on board when critical mass is imminent.

I am, and always will, remain adamant that the contributor is just as important. Now let’s just be clear on this – the contributor is not important when it comes to layout and interaction, nor do they contribute to how the business model is set up and a few other areas I may have been remiss in mentioning. Where they reign supreme is when it come to their goods – i.e. the saleable items. I’d even go so far as to say that I believe they should have a more than fair say in the assigned price tag.

We have the technical, marketing and business angles pretty much covered – but tell me – what would we do with this if we had no contributors? It would lay to waste all of our efforts and talents. Never underestimate the value a contributor can bring to the table – listen, take heed and act when they speak – they are their product and should be accounted for.

Part and Parcel

So how would I aim to inspire the contributor? I would start by looking at the basic psychological habits we all develop as a child. If one wants a child to take part in a game and the child is important (not made to feel) in the game – they will happily engage – that is simple deduction. I don’t believe that there are many human beings on the planet that do not enjoy a sense of camaraderie and belonging – it’s what religion is based on. If we can keep the contributor “Top of Mind”, they will understand that this is for them as much as it is for us and should be inspired to help us make it work. After all – this is for the greater good of us all. Should we choose to neglect their opinions, thoughts and feelings – we can still do it the old fashioned bullying style – but reaching our maximum potential will be but a pipe dream. This will naturally be coupled with physical incentives because I am all too well aware of the importance of the material plain we exist upon – no matter how young or old.

Wish me luck – it shall be a challenge I relish!

In Conclusion

Remember that everybody – even and probably especially a child – has something of value to offer. Don’t ignore gems in favour of egotism.

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


  1. Awsome. I remember once hearing somewhere that children see everything, they may not be of an age to process/understand what they see but nonetheless they see everything and perhaps more often than not things adults do not.
    ^_^ Rhodes.

  2. Hey Rhodes :-)

    I agree whole heartedly. Thanks for reading my post.

    Have a good day!
    Frankie xx