I found a video that I'd like to share with you. It is about motivation and when I saw it, it hit me. I am doing this with most of my web projects for years now, but I'll explain it further after you watched the video.

Here it is:

I run several health related communities in Germany, with one forum having the most success of all. I have hundreds of health workers (Doctors, Paramedics, Nurses) volunteering their spare time on my forum to help other people for free. I also have a bunch of dedicated moderators (which mostly are also health professionals) and they do a extraordinary great job, most of them for over 4 years now on a daily basis.

When I started to make serious money with my forum I spend a lot of thought into the issue of possibly "paying" them of some kind. I thought about Rev sharing of some kind, incentives and other kind of "motivators" but at the end I decided against it.

My realization was that no matter what kind of incentive I would offer it would change the motivation from interior to exterior and as soon as this would happen, helping out on my forums would become work and with that it would start a downward spiral.

This is why a) no member of my forum has the slightest idea about how much money I am making with my forum b) no registered member sees Ads which would raise the question I want to avoid (reason a) and c) everyone is doing it for their personal interior motivation what ever it might be.

The conclusion:
Even though we treat our websites as business, if you are involved into user generated content, maybe you should look out for motivators that are not monetary to get the biggest results.

What are your thoughts on this?