OSS Ventures
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Why does my ERP looks like a ghost town ? Designing for content generation

Friant, “La Discussion”, oil on canvas, 1889
  1. It’s dealing with a prospective topic in entreprise software, the topic of user-generated content and how to improve it ;
  2. It draws parallels with a solidifying body of social science research and business insights brought to us by the best tech companies of our times ;
  3. It has some pretty graphics and funny jokes.
  • The 🌟 Power User : she posts a lot of content, often thoughtful and curated to her audience. She also is a vibrant part of the community and participate to the debates of the times ;
  • The 🤗 Contributor : while she does not posts often, she does the reaction thing, whether commenting, using emojis, tagging friends, and keep audience engaged without creating radically new content ;
  • The 🕴️Lurker : while he exists (he has an account, after all), he just keeps silently consuming all the information and getting a reaction from him is a rare sight.
  • Distribution in a given platform follows roughly the rule of 5%🌟 Power Users, 15% 🤗 Contributors and 80%🕴️Lurkers ;
  • Meanwhile, 🌟 Power Users create 80% of the content, 🤗 Contributors 15%, and 🕴️Lurkers 5%.
Repartition of content starting at the 1% — Source : Lurking in Social Networks: Topology-based Analysis and Ranking Methods, Andrea Tagarelli and Roberto Interdonato
Audience for the top 500 Twitter accounts, credit Axionable AI

The consequences of that almost physical law on social media apps

  • Catering, giving an audience, and allowing 🌟 Power users to get privileged distribution channels is a priority : think Twitter’s algorithmic feed that shows you tweet from people you don’t follow, Linkedin’s “topics” that show you posts from people you’re not connected to, Facebook’s “friend of a friend” algorithmic feed, Youtube’s “Recommended”, Instagram’s “Trending”, Medium’s “Redaction choice” and so on ;
  • 🤗 Contributors are multiplicators and curators of 🌟 Power users content and should get ways of multiplying said content : think Twitter’s retweet & comment, Linkedin’s comment and share, Facebook’s reactions and commenting, Youtube’s reaction vids, thumbs up, shares and others, TikTok’s “tribute videos”, Instagram’s “replies”. They pave the way for 🕴Lurkers to consume the right content, because of their work of selecting, curating, and giving appropriate feedback to the main content creators.

Why does it matter for my ERP or entreprise software ?

  • If the content generation flow relies on everyone giving information at various times, about 80% of the content (the one from 🕴Lurkers) is broken, as in not detailed enough, or just not there, and no amount of beating increases that fact ;
  • If there are no incentives nor ways for 🌟 Power users to generate more content, typical 🌟Power users create ad-hoc (read : excel files) systems in which they can unleash their creativity, but their distribution channels are limited and there are no ways for them to put back this content in the system ;
  • If there are no incentives for 🤗 Contributors to amplify Power user’s work, less and less bond between different people is created and the curation process is broken, thus rendering relevant information in the company unavailable, or getting too many information at once that has not the same value.
A typical ghost town with no hierarchy, no social components : good luck with getting those informations up to date, buddy



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Renan Devillieres

I find our times fascinating. I began as an economist, then consulted a bit, co-founded an EdTech company and now a startup studio.