Apply game mechanics to your online community.
It’s a huge concept, but here’s a few things you should consider implementing.
- Collecting. Give members something they can collect. Maybe friends? Maybe badges? Maybe awards? Perhaps moderation powers over the community.
- Points. Let people earn points. Points for answering a question, or accumulating high ratings from others. Points for writing a great post or winning new member of the month.
- Feedback. Rank the people by their points. Or by how much they have participated each month. Encourage members to give feedback on each other. Make a habit of it, no post goes without a reply. Automate feedback as much as possible. A league table of people with the most points.
- Exchange. What can members exchange with each other? Badges? Pictures? Status? Just great advice? Is advice enough? Find things of value that members can exchange without much effort.
- Customise. Let people have some ability to customize their profiles or how they see your community. Encourage them to top each other. Highlight the best profiles and ideas for following/engaging in your community.
How important is game mechanics to online communities? Peter Kim believes game mechanics defines much about social media. It's difficult to see how an online community can thrive without any of these elements. It should certainly make your online community more fun.