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To make the professional network valuable for all members, information about each member is needed. The more a user enters, the more valuable for the overall network. When new members sign up, they tend to fill out the most basic information only, hesitating how much information shall be shared. The profile completeness bar (Figure 1) gently nudges users to reach 100% by appealing to achieve a sense of completion. Note that while it is easy to quickly increase the percentage at the beginning, reaching one hundred percent completeion requires succeedingly more effort, appealing to the fun motivator of mastering a skill.
When interviewing LinkedIn-members, most of them will tell that because of the progress bar they had filled out more information, without knowing that they "are being gamified."
LinkedIn has introduced a new form of such a display, called profile strength. Depending on how much the circle is filled - like a cup with water - levels are assigned to it, in the example in Figure 2 it's the level All-Star.
In this article we are going to look at different gamified systems that use points and levels for rewarding and counting the activities and achievements of their players. The systems - Yahoo! Answers, SAP Community Network, Stack Overflow, and Pearl.com - are publicly accessible, including the specific activities and rewards.
Yahoo! Answers is a community where members can ask questions and receive answers to any topic they are interested in. Members can earn points through different activities. The scoring system looks like this:
Table 1: Yahoo! Answers Point System
What is interesting in this particular point system is that points can be lost. While asking a question requires the equivalent of “paying for asking,” (rule) violations and voluntarily withdrawing an answer also result in point losses.
Companies are not failing just out of nowhere. They can be on the peak of the world, and already dead without knowing it. Ask Blackberry. In 2007 they ruled the world with their smartphones. Companies were exclusively on Blackberries, even the presidential candidate Barack Obama was shown over and over again checking and working on his Blackberry. And the came the iPhone.
Or consider Blockbuster. This video rental chain had over 9,000 stores at the peak in 2004. In 2013 they finally closed all stores, after they filing for bankruptcy in 2010. Netflix with their disrupting business model of mailing the videos and purely focusing on the internet didn’t have the huge overhead of brick and mortar stores that Blockbuster had and wanted to capitalize on. The hard assets became so important that the focus on a necessary switch to the soft assets never got traction.
Even that both companies, Blackberry (and Nokia for that sake) and Blockbuster were right there and watching, they could not grasp the urgency. It’s like watching how popcorns are made. The kernels are in the pan, and then for several minutes nothing is happening. Some may start saying that nothing is going to happen, this is going to fail, and turn away. But after long minutes of wait suddenly the first kern pops and you have one popcorn. Now this will be certainly dismissed as an outlier. The immediate success of the iPhone was seen by the incumbents as a hype that will die off after a few weeks. But tho sneer happened, the sales went strong and accelerated.
Then the second kernel pops. And a third. And from one moment to the next all the kernels turned into popcorn. And this is where it’s already too late for the incumbents to follow. Apple’s success spawned immediate copycats from Samsung and others and Blackberry-sales tanked. When you followed your friends on Facebook or the Twitter messages, one friend or follower after the after announced their switch to the iPhone, often with a sigh of relief. That sentiment meant real troubles for Blackberry.
How desperate the situation was for Blackberry I could observe first hand in the mobile development groups that I had started back then with my former employer SAP as internal communities. The iPhone/iPad app developer group had 20 times as many colleagues and much more activity than the Blackberry developer group. Latter one never really got traction.
The most interesting thing was that the entrants did not even consider the incumbents as competitors. An iPhone is used for way more things than sending emails and taking a call. It’s a camera, a navigation system, an organizer, a music player and so on.
Mainstream film-makers and production houses use all available means in getting the word out about their films, before, during and after release. This kind of promotion activity is driven by a business need to ensure that tickets are sold and box office expectations met. Social media is becoming an increasingly crucial arm of this marketing juggernaut. Social media differs from traditional marketing techniques in its immediacy and directness; it enables a direct relationship with the target audience, a one-to-one feedback mechanism and sharing platform. Film marketing is no longer about releasing a trailer or a few posters and waiting for the audience reaction on opening day. The market survey approach of using focus groups is also passé. After all, social media is the 21st century’s perfect crowd-sourced focus group! It enables real- time, two-way communication, allowing marketing campaigns to be changed based on trends and feedback.
The typical pre-release scenario of a medium to big budget mass market film involves launching official Facebook and Twitter accounts and pushing these through traditional media, online competitions and so on.
Major influencers – movie critics and the actors themselves, among others – are used to create a buzz. Social media managers work overtime to make their product stand out from all the noise on social networks. All this to build buzz and establish a connection with audiences before the film is released.