Creating Currency From Gamification Systems
Most gamification systems are isolated systems.
They reward quantity of posts. The more you post the higher your score. Even those that use feedback on your posts (i.e. thumbs up) to calculate score reward quantity (the more you post the greater the chances of positive feedback).
There are some ways to tackle this.
1) Use the average feedback as your score.
Instead of calculating a total score, calculate an average score of all contributions. Quantity of posts won’t move the needle, but quality certainly will. However, this leads to popularist posts.
2) Link gamification to posting rights.
Lets imagine a very basic system. You begin with 10 points. It costs you 1 point to reply to a discussion and 2 points to initiate a new discussion. Each thumbs up is worth 2 points. If you post bad quality comments, you will quickly run out of posting rights.
Better yet, it prevents newcomers from spamming a community with poor-quality contributions. You could augment this by giving each member at least 1 point each week (people will learn the community norms eventually) and multiplying an individual’s point count by 5% at the end of each month.
In this system those that post the best comments would gradually have enough to post whenever they like without giving careful thought to the quality. Those new to the community would be forced to learn the norms to be able to continue posting over the long-term.
3) Link gamification to discounts.
In addition to the system above, imagine if each point was worth a $1 discount on the product/service. At any stage a member could exchange a number of their points for discounts on the company’s offering (perhaps link this with other partners too?). It would lock the member into your organizations offerings.
Better, why not reward each of the top 10 with free gifts each month. If they exchange their points they might fall off the ranking. Hence they would make a choice between continuing to rank highly on the top 10 or taking a discount and dropping down. You might be surprised that people value the points however than the monetary exchange.
At the moment gamification systems are used primarily as a recognition system. There is a much bigger potential here that we can explore.
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