Hawk and I recently faced a choice.
Should we let members submit their own guest posts or highlight the best contributions on the forums (or elsewhere) for special recognition.
The former would be great. Many of the best communities thrive as dozens of members compete to create the best content. There are two problems with this.
First, guest-post style communities are rare. The failure rate is high. It’s more work for each member. The quality might be poor and the level of submissions might be low. A rarely updated section wouldn’t look good.
Second, members are more likely to share knowledge within an active discussion. It’s easier to highlight these discussions.
If you’re designing a community, you’re going to face the constant decision between what you want your members to do and what your members are most likely to do. Pick the latter.