2010 Best of the Web: Community/Social Networking

04/28/2010

Yahoo! Shine

In just a few short years, Yahoo entered a cluttered women’s content field to create a new and powerful brand that is grounded in social media, sharing with partners and elevating an audience of women to be core contributors. The Shine project is content that is conceived and constructed to elicit response. Not only does the team of editors address the hot topics that occupy readers’ minds, they do so in an open and inviting way that starts conversations rather than ends them.
The team actively recruits the readers to comment on new items, build their own blogs and make as much content as they consume. Community Managers within Shine and select “Super Users” actually nurture new bloggers and commentators with encouragement about engaging with the community. Top bloggers are featured on Shine’s home page and even occasionally on the all-powerful Yahoo.com home page. Editors and other bloggers ease users into the art of commenting by soliciting advice and by showing them how to blog and post items.
As much as Shine is about providing women with trusted and valuable content related to managing their everyday lives, much of the site is about the power of community. The volume of user-generated content is a testament to the power of the group. With 15.5 million unique users a month, Shine has become one of the top women’s content destinations online. But more importantly, the site’s mission is to give voice to women themselves, and it boasts 400 new blogs a day created by users.

Honorable Mentions:

Condé Nast Digital – Epicurious.com: Users now have a chance to become the star chefs at Epicurious.com, which last year started Member Group pages that put the users in charge of organizing content and sharing hot recipes.

Internet Evolution: The think tank for Internet intellectuals has created a vibrant conversation online that attracts over 4,000 reader posts a month by proactively recruiting users as contributors and sparking conversation, not just content consumption.

Wired.com – How-To Wiki: If you are going to create a Web site for do-it-yourselfers, then you better give them the tools not only to build their own articles but to tinker with everyone else’s. The How-To Wiki makes users into group collaborators.

MensHealth.com – Belly Off! Club: In its wildly successful series of weight loss and fitness members-only clubs, MensHealth.com has discovered that building community support and mutual encouragement is not just good editorial policy—it’s a good business model for making paid products more compelling.

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