Archive | Social Media

30 December 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Gamification Demystified

In the industry I participate in (traffic exchanges), and many others – there is a huge amount of people do not understand what gamification is.  This sort of confusion has even built up a bit of a rivelry between gamification people and game designers, people asking game designers for gamification, and asking the gamification person.. what the heck does that even mean?

First off Gamification is NOT adding games to your website.  Gamification is a simple process (or at least is supposed to be simple) of adding game-like mechanics to normal activities.  These sort of things refer generally to the principles of unlocking features, leveling up, awarding users, and most commonly – leaderboards.

Richard A Bartle would explain facets of our personalities as fitting in to four different player types – Achievers, Explorers, Socialites, and Killers.

Achievers are people who want complete all the goals (achievements).  They are motivated by these achievements because they want to collect them all.  Achievers are easily motivated by (obviously) achievements.  They also experience the most joy and emotional experience from accomplishing these goals, tasks, or achievements.

Explorers are people who like to explore everything, try everything out and discover the most obscure and tucked away parts. These kinds of people are fulfilled by obscure achievements, hidden goals, or sort of “easter eggs” hidden around the site, they love to find them and discover it and are even more thrilled if they are the first to discover it.

Socialites are people who are there for the community, they love to use chats,  forums, and social media.  They like to add each other as friends and use the game as a platform for human interaction, connection, and relationship building.

Killers are people with a very strong competitive drive, they love to be at the top.  These people are easily motivated by rankings, leaderboards, and head to head contests.

It’s not always so cut and dry though, most of us have parts of all of these in us, although one is usually a clear stronger drive.

People often look at this as though it is sort of a new concept and a new thing, when really it isn’t. Just look at something as simple as a leader board.

People have been using leader boards (sometimes inadvertently) to create motivation for ages.

The most obvious reference is a car dealership – they are almost infamously known for their whiteboards where each time a salesperson sales a car, they add a tally to the board.  They can see their comparison against the other sales people, and this brings out the killer in them – they want to be the best so bad that they will do anything for the sale.

An interesting thing to note is that in general we believe that cash is the motivator most times, but really creating a meaningful reward actually generates MORE satisfaction and desire when completing a task than financial gain.   In fact rewarding money for something that people enjoy, will actually shift their focus from doing it because they enjoy it, to doing it because of the money.

This phenomenon is referred to as The Overjustification Effect we think that money is the greatest influence of our actions and reason we participate in things, but in reality it is an emotional and mental tie to the activity that motivates more, creating achievements and rewards for your viewers will motivate them in ways you couldn’t imagine – and giving them rewards they can see and use and show off to their friends is actually a greater motivator than giving them cash, and in fact awarding cash prizes can detriment this effect because you are changing the focus and the motivation from being something they enjoy to something they have to do for money.

So next time you get down on yourself because you can’t give away a bunch of cash contests or think that you have to give away the farm to motivate your members – you are dead wrong.  The simple things like achievements, experience points, profile badges (and I’m referring to the term badges, not a specific product by the same name), or even something as simple as a leader board can motivate them even more effectively then large flash cash prizes.

People like to win, we like to receive awards, prizes, and it doesn’t necessarily matter what that prize is – just the fact that we are receiving it.  Add this simple recipe of gamification and some elements of social media so they can SHARE their achievements and celebrate their awards with their friends, and you will have not only highly motivated members, but also a united and strengthening community.

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19 December 2011 ~ 2 Comments

The most important relationship for your business.

First off, I’m not here to tell you that some relationships are more important than others, because you need to be focusing 100% on ALL relationships, from big timers to small flies, it really comes down to mutual respect.  However, there has been some discussion about JV Relationships not being important, and JV’s are dead, etc, etc, and I wanted to combat that and emphasize how not only are JV Relationships important, they are probably the most important tool you can have for building your online business, especially if you are new to the field.

If you own a network of 15 sites, with over 100k members, sure, maybe you don’t need a JV, maybe your circle of influence is big enough that you can pull enough people on your own.. even if you got a terrible response rate of only 1% to your promotional emails, that’s still 10k people, which is a huge beginning.

The rest of us, however, do.  We don’t have giant advertising budgets where we can blow the money, we don’t have gigantic memberships or lists with hundreds of thousands of people we can contact, we have to stand up and admit that we need help!  Build relationships! Help Eachother!  That’s what JV’s are!

A ‘JV’ is simply an exchange, it stands for ‘Joint Venture’ in that you help me, I help you.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  If you have a list of 100 people, and you’ve built a relationship with someone who’s morals and ideals are in tune with yours, and they also have a list of 100 people. It’s pretty obvious where I am going with this, Help each other!  If you are getting that same 1% response rate (I certainly hope it will be higher!) that is 1 person, well now you also have that other persons 1%, now you’ve doubled your response!

So what’s the problem with that?  Why is it given this evil connotation?  JV Relationships are a great way to help each other grow. Don’t abuse your relationships with your subscribers by emailing them all the time about all of your friends things, but provide them value!  Is this something that will help your members, subscribers, and friends build their business? Does the owners message coincide with yours?  Then what is the problem? What’s so bad awful and evil and ‘Guru’ about helping each other?

Sorry if this all sounds a bit ranty, but saying, especially to new people in our industry that are struggling to build their business, that JV Relationships aren’t needed, is a bit under handed.

The natural progression of serious affiliate marketers is to go from promoting other people’s products, to eventually creating their own, whether it just be an ebook, or a membership site.  The Relationships you build now, today, will help you be ready when you take that step.  If you do not have a solid launch where you can build that membership community, you will struggle with your membership site.  If you can get some help with your friends with whom you’ve already built a solid relationship with, it would be crazy not to.

If you are building a house, and you are building the foundation of it, one block at a time, slowly over a long period of time, you will never even get the foundation done to be able to build the house, if you can call up your friends and have them help you lay that foundation, you will have a solid platform to build that house on.

If you’ve boughten in to the flashy hype that JV Relationships are no longer necessary, or that they are unimportant, try and launch a product completely on your own, as a new owner with little or no advertising income, and see how far you can get.  JV Relationships are absolutely essential to building the foundation of your product from which it can grow.  How many trees can you plant in an hour?  How many trees can you and 5 of your closest friends plant in an hour?

 

If you would like to build a JV Partnership with Insidmal Design LLC, here is the form to do so: http://insidmaldesign.com/jv.php Let’s help each other grow.

 

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