Earlier this year, Mashable rolled out gamification elements for their tailored news experience, Mashable Follow. Last week, Mashable wrote about the new features, and asked “what makes gamification successful?” The answers they provide give a cursory case study of how gamification can motivate engagement in an already active community.
Mashable badges are playing a bit of catch-up as gamification of the news has been seen before. Most recently, Google News rolled out Google News Badges and the Huffington Post beat the curve with their badge integration in April 2010. But HuffPo badges quickly became the poster child for badge fatigue, and Google News Badges seem to have fallen by the wayside.
Mashable tries to overcome the shortfalls of earlier examples by making the badges fun. They rely on Internet memes like “Dramatic Chipmunk” and “Double Rainbow” to reach their tech-savvy audience. These creative badges are an improvement over the “Moderator” and “Super User” badges from HuffPo, and Mashable quotes one of their users in saying the badges “really make people smile to see something funny, referential, nerdy, etc. — things that we can relate to and feel even more at home at Mashable.”
Community lies at the heart of the gamification elements, and Mashable hopes to build from the early success by turning to the community to help design new features with ongoing contests. Though badges are one of the most common elements in gamification campaigns, Mashable has shown how badges can be fun with a customized and creative approach.
Check out the full story at Mashable.