Game Mechanics for Bloggers: Video Interview with Gamification Wizard Keith Smith, the CEO of @bigdoor

Keith and I sit down to chat about game mechanics and specifically, how they apply to blogging.

Keith has many years of experience in applying game mechanics to online properties and is the CEO of Big Door, a Seattle-based startup dedicated to making the online world more rewarding by providing gamification technology to non-gaming websites.

If you’re not familiar with Gamification, it can be described simply by saying that it is the process of putting fun into work. And just in case you don’t think this doesn’t apply to you, bear in mind that game mechanics are EVERYWHERE.

You play them when you get your buy 10 get 1 free drink-card punched at the local coffee shop. You play them when you look at your accrued airline miles. You play them when you check your Klout score.

We all engage in game mechanics all the time and mostly without even noticing.

Keith and I talk about how these game mechanics might be applied on your blog. Watch the video for more.

 

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Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • http://yogizilla.wordpress.com/ Yomar

    I really like that Keith mentioned how often referral perks are overlooked.  That is easily one of the best opportunities to use game mechanics and encourage folks to support your work.  I find that even the most avid fans will slack unless there’s a system in place to keep them engaged and encourage their support.  Sometimes, it’s as simple as having leader boards or awarding items that do not have a clear monetary value..  Other times, you have to get a little more fancy with it.

    As you mentioned with your interesting French historic figure, there has to be more intrinsic value than anything else.  I find that today’s “sticky sites” eventually lose interest because they either become monotonousness or people discover the gimmicks that have had them hooked in the whole time..  Suddenly, it’s like they learned the secret to a magic trick and now that illusion is not cool anymore.

    Thus, the secret to a good video game is that your core experience needs to be clearly defined and darn remarkable.  You can build other goodies around it but the main things need to keep people hooked.  I find that sites with high user interaction tend to succeed more because it’s not the team running the show that is charged with the task of keep people engaged.  That frees us up to do the maintenance and upgrades that keep the gaming experience enjoyable.

    Dino, you are absolutely right about game mechanics being everywhere..  Personally, I can’t wait to get back into game design full-time.  Right now, we’re seeing a lot of cookie-cutter games, and it’s not just the Facebook apps and mobile addictions..  Quite a bit of the social platforms out there use strikingly similar templates with all their badges, progress bars, etc.  It’s not to say that the formula doesn’t work but, certainly, there is tremendous opportunity for sites like Foursquare, Klout, and Empire Avenue to step things up, just to name a few. 8)

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      How do you think social games will affect people switching from Facebook to G+?

      • http://yogizilla.wordpress.com/ Yomar

        I think it’ll actually make quite a lot of people want to switch more.  Facebook stinks at sorting streams so you have all this unrelated, unimportant stuff keeping you from the stuff that really matters.  That’s an advantage for Google+.  I think Facebook tries to be too much for everyone, which gives Google an opportunity to kill the noise and simplify things a bit.

        Besides, most of those Facebook games are all made from the same template.  They force stickyness by requiring you to check back for freebies and bonus points.  It’s pretty lame game design, IMHO. ;o)

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    Well done :) Game mechanics for blogger info on here :) Thank you so much for sharing your post on here :)

  • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ Robert Dempsey

    Time to test out some Big Door goodies. Combining this with the fact that more and more people skim posts or read a single one on a trip to a blog, keeping them on-site and engaged is very important. Time to bring the fun. Thanks for a great interview Dino and thanks to Keith for sharing a lot of great info and advice.

  • http://remarkablogger.com/ remarkablogger

    I’ve been watching the gamification space for a while. I can see some gamification on blogs being a good thing, as long as it’s easy to implement. Third party comment services will have the easiest time of this because they can build it into their systems without affecting anyone’s blog. Other than that, it’s WordPress plugins which would probably have to tap into a web-based system.

    I’d also hazard a guess and say that without community, gamification on blogs is D.O.A.