Tripadvisor’s Contribution Model Applied

One of my current challenges is to find ways to attract employees at our company to contribute their knowledge to our global knowledge sharing platform. This is not an easy task because many people have difficulties to see the personal benefits of sharing their knowledge with a large, mostly anonymous crowd of people. I think this is a common issue of user adoption and I looked for benchmarks in the consumer world.

Tripadvisor is one of the examples that has successfully attracted many contributions; people are sharing their travel experiences for restaurants, hotels and even tourist attractions on a global platform. I am sure for most of you it’s a valuable source of information, but how many of you have actually written a review? I have tested this and the kind of feedback I got from Tripadvisor motivated me so much that within a few months I was a senior contributor. Try it yourself and read this interview with their CEO for more insights.

So, I took this experience and implemented a contribution profile for our internal global knowledge sharing platform.

The main thing we have implemented is an individual statistic that shows each user:

What we plan for the future is that we send monthly e-mails with this information and we are thinking about a global leaderboard.

While implementing this new feature I have tried to make this feedback timely, positive and attractive. This means:

This is just launched so I can’t say if it already made an impact. Though, to whomever I have showed it, they gave a very positive and excited feedback. I hope I could give you some ideas on how to improve contributions to your tools.

4 Comments so far

Patrick Lambe

Very nice idea Tim, keep us posted on how it goes! Did you intend to add a link to the interview with Tripadvisor CEO? if so it’s missing..

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Comment permalink

Tim Wieringa

yes, we are excited and waiting for the impact in the next weeks; I keep you posted.
I have added the link now; sorry wink

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 02:56 PM | Comment permalink


Thanks for sharing this with us. Out of curiosity, have you considered whether the leaderboard might:
- increase in quantity over quality contribution (i.e., submit a lot of low-quality posts to increase my leaderboard stats)
- discourage current non-contributors from contributing (i.e., I don’t want people to see how little I post!)

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Comment permalink

Tim Wieringa

@Justin, these are two interesting questions…
First, we are aware of the quality issue and therefore we are never rewarding or recognizing quantity of contributions itself but rather how these contributions are used; e.g. how many views did your documents get. It’s only an approximation of quality but at least a start.
Second, some people might be discouraged that their documents are not used; this is something we can not avoid; though, we think the positive value is much greater than the downside. Plus, we provide tips how people can improve the usage of their contributions.
As mentioned, we have just started with this and are looking forward to measure the impact.

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 08:12 PM | Comment permalink

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