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Yes, rewarding them seems obvious, but the subject I’m targeting is very serious/'heavy' and it could be a bit inappropriate to give away prizes or something like that.
Also, I think people will add their experiences faster when they don't have to register and log in. But on the other hand they might come back more often when they do..
The same person can write 10 negative reviews under different names. If the same person has 10 register 10 different times, it's less likely that he'll bother spamming your reviews.
If you decide to reward reviewers or institute a reputation system, some people will attempt to abuse it. So if you want to offer money as an incentive, be aware of these issues and plan accordingly.
I imagine that it's very hard to get the first load of reviews...
Ever bought issue Number One of a new magazine and wondered how they manage to have a "letters to the editor" type of section, maybe even a readers "problem page", or similar?
How & why?
Easy; they create this content themselves in a style that suits the magazine and the target audience in order to encourage readers to contribute their own...
Similarly, the publishers may ask friends and family to contribute such material in these early stages. Again, the purpose is two-fold:
1) to provide actual content, and,
2) to provide the audience with clear examples of the type of content that suits the vehicle (magazine/website, etc).
Hope that makes sense.
People who are registered get to post their reviews straight away, non-registered people have to have their reviews approved before they go live.
Lets people review without registering if they want to (impulse reviewers), keeps a hold on spam and yet encourages repeat visitors with the "status" of membership.
they create this content themselves in a style that suits the magazine and the target audience in order to encourage readers to contribute their own
Why not try a combination of registration and not-registered?
I also have another question. In the future I'd maybe like to make more of the same sites on different subjects. Would it be best to have 1 domain name for all of these subjects, like subject1.experience.com, subject2.experience.com, etc. Or would it be better to just have www.subject1-experience.com, www.subject2-experience.com, www.experience-subject3.com, etc?