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How Gamified Platforms Can Change The World

From LinkedIn

Category: gamification

2015-04-20
Okay I may have exaggerated a little bit, and frankly I'm a little tired of the tech-world mantra of 'changing the world'. It seems like every startup, no matter how small their market, will 'change the world'. But I do think that gamification and platform-tech are a dynamic combo that deserves a few minutes of your time - so read on and let me know what you think!
This past summer, I was fortunate enough to work at Applico - a tech firm in NYC that focuses on platform innovation. Applico has done extensive research on Platform Innovation™ and the Connected Revolution™ and the knowledge I gained while working there has set me up for my work at SaveOhno.org. At Applico, the biggest thing I took away was that platforms facilitate exchange. Take a look at Uber and Airbnb. They're both platforms that have disrupted (and taken over) their industries without owning any cars or hotels - they simply facilitate exchange between interdependent user groups. Car drivers and passengers connect through Uber and exchange money for rides. Homeowners and travelers connect through Airbnb and exchange money for rooms. Uber and Airbnb simply sit in the middle and facilitate the exchanges through their platform.
Over the past year, I have also been fortunate enough to be in contact with one of the top gamification leaders and pioneers in the world, Yu-Kai Chou. His research on the 8 core drives of gamification (as outlined in his recent book release) provide a framework for gamfiication done well. Gamification is a practice that, when done well, can result in huge boosts in user engagement. It makes things more approachable and enjoyable, so users become more engaged than they normally would. It can be used to provide virtual incentives for taking action, and it can provide users with a deeper, interactive experience. Yu-Kai wrote an article about over 90 gamification studies and how they showed boosts engagement, ROI etc. Here are a few quick stats relevant to this post:

  1. The SAP Community Network saw a 400% increase in usage after regamifying its already-mature reputation system
  2. Galderma implemented an optional, but gamified, employee-training program that saw a 92% participation rate
  3. Inside View gamified their employees social media usage and saw a 312% increase in Twitter updates.

So think about that for a second: if the job of a platform is to facilitate exchange, and gamification can boost user engagement, then gamified platforms are an incredibly powerful way of getting two user groups to interact with each other. At SaveOhno.org, I am connecting two user groups through gamification. I have 6 partner organizations that are posting their initiatives on the SaveOhno platform, and everyday-people playing the SaveOhno game, which is powered by taking action in the real world (i.e. supporting the initiatives of the partner organizations). If the SaveOhno game can become engaging enough for users to thoroughly enjoy the process of interacting with the partner organizations, then there is no limit to what these amazing organizations can accomplish moving forward.

TL;DR: Gamified platforms are like PB&J and you should sign up for SaveOhno.org.

The Author

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Dylan Husted
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Founder of SaveOhno, Rails developer and wannabe kickboxer