Community Rules: Using Gamification to Drive Publishing and Community Engagement, Part I

Community Rules: Using Gamification to Drive Publishing and Community Engagement, Part I


Mediator Greg Johnson, of Fooda leads panelists Jesse Redniss, the head of digital at USA Networks, Rijat Paharia of Bunchball, Michael Ahern of Major League Baseball advanced media, Esteban Contreras of Samsung, and Brandon Evans founder of CrowdTap in a lively discussion about what Twitter, democracy and crowdsourcing have in common. The answer is: You.

Johnson introduces himself and then introduces the amazing panel of speaker.

Redniss talks about keying in on the fan base for the shows the USA network produces. He found people liked access and were activated by talking to talent or getting exclusive contact and info.

Evans talks about motivating the user based on how enmeshed they are in the company.

Ahern utilizes a lot of gamification tools including a cash prize. He points out that while millions play the game, only one person gets that prize. Ultimately it’s really about status, being at the top of your league, and knowing the most about baseball. It’s really status more than anything that drives users.

Paharia, looks for passion in a consumer and relies on them to bring others to the website.

A number of things bring people back every day, he says. Fresh news or content brings people back every day. Some sense of validation – If others respond to the things they post, this also drives people to come back everyday. There are also investments – a penalty for not coming back. If you don’t come back, you don’t get your moves or you lose points. The question is how can gamification help with these items?

How do you balance the use of the sites? What do you use to track success? Asks Johnson.

Redniss suggests that the online communities are living beings that change everyday. It is important to understand who they are and to entertain and engage them. The more you know about them, the better off the end result will be.

The MLB, Ahern says, offers fresh new games on their site to see how our users engage with them. How many- Tens vs. Hundreds of thousands of users. The MLB offers something called Gameday whereby you can follow a game without watching it – at work or wherever. This used to exist in the real world, ticker tapes in Times Square and other central places. Now you can keep it at the corner of your computer screen. There is also a game called the Pick of the Day. If the player of the day gets a hit, and you’re watching, you get a badge in the name of that player. It has been received really well. The MLB fantasy baseball site also tracks how often people come back to swap out players. Who signs up, et al.

Evans talks about qualitative vs. quantitative measurements. He talks about the success of badging through the learning level as players or users first arrive at and enter a website for the first time.



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