I’m as fanatical about quality as anyone, but having published spoken-word events now for four years, I’ve developed a sort of algebraic view. The absolute need for quality is inversely proportional to the underlying value of that content. For example, if we had the only recording of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, I’m sure we’d publish it regardless of the quality. We would tolerate distortion, noise, etc., because the message is so compelling. But not every presentation is quite as powerful, and as the content trends towards the mundane, our tolerance for poor audio or video rapidly decreases.
Ultimately, it’s market driven: If the quality is inadequate, fewer people will listen. All we need to do is to provide (a) the marketplace where higher quality can compete, (b) the tools to allow quality to be measured by the community, and (c) a support system that allows stringers to improve the quality of their work by learning from one another.
I want to hear everyone’s ideas on this. My instinct is to implement something similar to the Loomia-based rating system we’re using on IT Conversations and Social Innovation Conversations. It’s essentially the same as is used by Amazon or Netflix: a five-star rating. One thought is to apply one rating to content and a second to the technical quality. The latter would be tied to the stringer who would then develop a reputation the same was as buyers and sellers have reputations on eBay.
[Republished from the PodCorps.org forums.]