A few weeks ago I posted my review of DocStoc, a user generated community where you can find and share professional documents. My biggest complaint was that it was full of amateurish information and copywritten materials. DocStoc was sponsoring a contest for who could post the most documents. There was a flood of documents. One winner published more than 20,000 documents. But the focus was on quantity, not quality.
DocStoc changed their course and are now having a contest for the best quality document uploaded each day. That sounds like a much better goal.
I created a DocStoc account and uploaded some documents. Here is my account profile.
But what’s in it for me? Why should I contribute documents and maintain my documents?
I keep looking for functionality that would make it easier to categorize and maintain my documents and other documents that interest me. DocStoc would be more useful if it offered features and information that I could not easily find elsewhere. I was hoping that DocStoc offered at least some basic document management features. If I worked in a small firm, I might want to use DocStoc to host my form documents. And maybe I would want to combine my forms from others that I found useful. DocStoc could have a been a better place to host this over my hard drive or a shared file server.
DocStoc does not offer much in the way of document management features. I can’t edit the document once its in there. I can’t even delete any of my documents.
With any knowledge management project, enterprise 2.0 project or web 2.0 site, I believe you need to focus on giving the person a useful tool, rather than having the focus on the collective good that comes from using the tool. People should use the tool because it is useful for them individually. Not because they can win an iPod if they use it the most. You need to be able to answer the questions: “What’s In It For Me?”
With DocStoc, it could be a wonderful tool if people contributed and maintained their best documents on the site. There is a lot of collective good. But for me as an individual user, the tool does not provide me personally with much benefit. There is not much in it for me.