Recently I wrote a piece about the fact there was more to gamification than just trophies, but I never really explained why. A few people have asked, so I thought I would have a go at explaining.
Just Because You Build It, Doesn’t Mean They Will Come
The first reason is simple, but one that I never really thought of until I started using them on my site. For trophies and the like to actually start to work – you need the people you wish to keep engaged to actually be registered with you. When you are in a company and are using it on an intranet, that is simple, as they all have to be registered to use it. However, when you are trying to use it on your website or blog, it is not quite the same. Very few people will register just for the chance to earn badges on your site! So here it goes back to the same old thing, content. If the content is good and there is some reason to join (comments, ability to add reviews, competitions etc.) then you can use badges to help to keep people engaged. On Yet Another Review Site I use them to encourage a little competitions between the editors and the reviewers. Experience points, badges and public monthly leader boards are all used to help encourage them to do more on the site.