User Generated Content ... Keep IT Coming!
thartric 120000G744 Comments (2) Visits (2011)
Forums had just gone online and continue to be the site's most popular channel for user generated content. Since then though, other community features have been launched including Podcasts, Wikis, Blogs, Exchange, scheduled Chats, Spaces, Article commenting, and most recently My developerWorks. While the site's user traffic is still generated mainly from edited content, user content is steadily growing and brings a fresh dimension to our visitors as well to our IT folks.
The many facets of user generated content bring IT challenges along with them. Two of the top challenges are: Security and Scalability. Allowing users to include comments and attachments create greater opportunities for spamming, DOS attacks, and viruses. Having a good "shield" for protection is key using a solution such as that provided by Proventia. Also important is the ability to scale. The ability to handle the anticipated traffic to a site feature, and bubbles of activity from unexpected events, without disrupting the overall user experience is not to be taken lightly. A good infrastructure should be able to redirect CPU and RAM where it's needed most.
What are your thoughts on the IT aspects of handling user generated content? Which additional site features would you like to see considered?