On Tuesday, October 30th, I’m excited to be talking to Steve Parkis, a senior tech and entertainment executive who drove amazing growth in key products at Disney and Zynga, about how chat has a positive effect on user retention and overall revenue. It would be great to have you join us — you can sign up here.

Until then, I would like to get the conversation started here.

There is a fundamental understanding in online industries that encouraging prosocial, productive interactions and curbing anti-social, disruptive behavior in our online communities are important things to do.

The question I’ve been asking myself lately is this — do we have the numbers to prove that proactive moderation and other approaches are business crucial?

In my experience, our industries (games, apps, social networks, etc) lack the studies and numbers to prove that encouraging the productive and tackling negative interactions has a key impact on user engagement, retention, and growth.

This is why I’m on a mission this quarter to create new resources, including a white paper, that will shed light on this matter, and hopefully help as many people as possible in their quest to articulate this connection.

First steps and big questions
We already know that chat and social features are good for business — we have lots of metrics around this — but the key info that we’re missing is the ROI of proactive moderation and other community measures. Here’s where I need your help, please:

  • How have you measured the success of filtering and other approaches to tackle disruptive behavior (think spam, fraud, hate speech, griefing, etc) as it relates to increased user retention and growth in your communities?
  • Have you measured the effects of implementing human and/or automated moderation in your platforms, be it related to usernames, user reports, live chat, forum comments, and more?
  • Why have you measured this?

I believe the way we are currently operating is self-sabotage. By not measuring and surfacing the business benefits of proactive moderation and other measures to tackle anti-social and disruptive behaviour, our departments are usually seen as cost-centers rather than key pieces in revenue generation.

I believe that our efforts are crucial to removing the blockers to growth in our platforms, and also encouraging and fostering stronger user engagement and retention.

Starting the conversation
I’ve talked to many of you and I’m convinced we feel the same way about this and see similar gaps. I invite you to email your comments and thoughts to carlos.figueiredo@twohat.com.

Your feedback will help inform my next article as well as my next steps. So what’s in it for you? First, I’ll give you a shoutout (if you want) in the next piece about this topic, and will also give you exclusive access to the resources once they are ready, giving you credit where it’s due. You will also have my deepest gratitude : ) You know you can also count on me for help with any of your projects!

To recap, I would love to hear from you about how you and your company are measuring the return on investment from implementing measures (human and/or technology driven) to curb negative, antisocial behaviour in your platforms.

How are you thinking about this, what are you tracking, and how are you analyzing this data?

Thanks in advance for your input. I look forward to reading it!

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