There are a ton of websites trying to solicit user-generated content. I continue to wonder why people are so giving on sites like Wikipedia, and seem to be less willing to offer their expertise at places like CitySearch, Judy’s Book and Yelp. It seems like these sites would be much more likely to generate meaningful input if they empowered users to directly ask their friends for recommendations, and then populate the database with the responses. For instance, if a neighbor asked me for a home contractor that I recommend, I’d be happy to provide their name, phone number and website, along with some description of why I recommend them. However, it would be even more useful if this information was then made available to others in my network. And, if I’m willing, it could be shared with the broader community.
I’m not sure if anyone does this, but I think there’s an idea there.
I was reminded of this when reading Seth Godin’s recent post on Rapport.