Demystifying the gamification idea for the Enterprise 2.0

In a recent article on eWeek Chris Preimesberger features Jive Software as the “leader of the pack” in bringing the “gamification” idea to the intranet. While I was first enthrilled about the headline of the article, I was disappointed at the end. Why? Because the article leaves the reader unclear in which extend the solutions provide “game-type thinking and mechanics to make non-gaming environments — such as enterprise intranets — more interesting”.

Enterprise 2.0 practioneers know that social software already inherits kinds of “gamified” mechanics by default. Relating to another recently published article of Nir Eyal about how to hook users and how to drive them crazy we can say that the key to social software are the social rewards from the “tribe”. The “social reward” grows exponentially with the growth of the network – as the quantity as well as the quality of the reward increases. So where is the magic or the “beef” of the “gamification” talk within the social enterprise?

Pillars for the Desire Engine

Transfering the built-in features of most social technology to the “gamification” idea already provides a very solid foundation:

  • Likes & Comments – represent the low level system of the social reward system
  • Replies – provide a “reward of the self” in terms of “yes – I have been heard”
  • Leader boards & recommendations of articles & documents – represent the high level of system of the social reward and underline the authority and status of the people behind it
  • Topic-person-relations – provide a “reward of the hunt” (see the post of Nir Eval) as it make the search of relevant people and competencies more easy

Therefore for me social technology is by default “gamified”. “Gamification” is an underlying principle of a good “adoption” process. Providing some “merit badges” will even intensify the reward process and might get more people on the social bandwaggon. But adoption 2.0 experts would probably also state that if the E20 initiative is set up at the heart of solving business problems and these additional reward systems are not need because the business problem solving overweights any kind of “virtual” reward.

So I am really looking forward to anybody convincing me on the added values of even extended “gamified” features of social technologies!

About the author

Bjoern Negelmann

Als Head of Conferences & Content bei Kongress Media zeichnet Björn Negelmann für die Inhalte der Konferenzen und Informationsportale verantwortlich.