I stumbled upon a very interesting type of content, today. I had a client request a custom design that is similar to thisis50.com. This is not the first time I've received this request, by far. Beats the heck out of me, but a lot of people love the design. I think mostly, they can't see beyond the popularity of this particular site. I think they think, if I have a design like thisis50, I'll get a 1/2 million members, too. But, that's beside the point.
I took a long hard look at thisis50, longer than ever. In fact, I don't know that I've ever stayed on a Social Community Site outside of my own, and technical sites, than I did on thisis50. I simply could not stop reading, or watching videos. Not many sites could get away with their approach - - black, white, not. But, if you're clever enough, you could apply the same principle, with your content type in mind.
Here's one of the reasons the site is so popular, aside from the fact that it is the one and only: "thisis50", and beside the fact that it's filled with sexy male and female members, it's their content - - and the "style" of content that gets the traffic. Notice I used the word "style", not "type". Bottom line: A lot of the content is controversial, and drives "passion".
The team who administrates thisis50.com, obviously, on a daily basis - - do their homework. They post baiting and controversial content. And let me get controversial for a moment, in this blog posting. It's practically a breeding ground for heated discussions. To be politically correct, let's just say, a lot of the content is: "he said", "she said", "not".
Here's how it's done. Videos and Blog topics are posted that start HUGE topics of conversation - - fighting, yaya'ng, back/forth, competition, etc... If you apply the same principle, but with your topic of expertise, you will get more hits, and eventually more new traffic. I don't think the content has to spur "word wars". Just come up with content that is so enticing about your site topic, that your members feel compelled to react - - "react", the critical word, here. Make it the type of content that brings out the passion in your members - - whether it's about politics, activism, favorite authors, etc... Like I mentioned earlier, you're going to need to be clever about this.
Take these lessons, throw in a positive spin, based on this "proven" success story, and add interesting and compelling content!
And here's a fun note: I'll probably get reaction and passionate response to this blog. ;-)