Before we get into that, I want to clear one thing up. It is Dave Rage, not the Excel function, DAverage!
Back to the story. Dave has-been with me since university. On one of the first nights in the halls of residence, we all decided to make door signs for each other. The thing was, no one could spell Andrzej, so they decided to call me Dave!
That stuck with me and from that day onwards, I was known as Dave.
The Rage bit relates to an old N64 game, WCW Mayhem. It was one of the first games to include full audio commentary and as such required you to choose an in ring nickname. In the house I was living in by then, we all made our own characters and chose a nickname – mine was Rage.
Dave Rage was born!
This new persona followed me into online gaming, evening being integrated into the name of my Command and Conquer Rengade / Call of Duty clan, Rage’s Renagdes.
When I joined Twitter, I decided to stick with it, not expecting Twitter to be such a big part of my more professional life. How wrong was I!? The trouble was, by the time I realised how important it was, @daverage was more well known than Andrzej Marczewski – so I decided to keep it.
So, 20 years after Dave Rage was born, he is still here and stronger than ever!
Why not share your username stories in the comments?
Let me explain.
When you build a gamified campaign or activity, you need to consider what quality participation looks like. If for instance you want to create some buzz around a new product and you decide to create a simple Twitter competition, are you looking for the number of people who tweet or are you looking for the number of people whom the message will reach?
If it is reach you are looking for, how do you reward behaviours that lead to better reach? What on Twitter leads to better reach? The mistake I see is setting up a very simple system where each tweet of the message is rewarded, most points win a nice prize. In our example, we shall give each tweet 10 points.
If an individual with 50 followers tweets your message they get 10 points and reach 50 people. If they have 10,000 followers, they still get 10 points but reach 10,000 followers. In reality, the second scenario is preferable because there is a greater opportunity for your message to be seen by more people, yet they are perceived to be given the same value.
Now, we add an extra dimension, we reward reach rather than just number of tweets. For starters, we reward retweets as well as tweets. As a tweet is retweeted, the value of that original user begins to be amplified. Whilst they may only reach 50 people, one of those 50 may be highly engaged and have 5,000 of their own followers who will see the message. The retweet is actually of greater value than the original tweet – so should have a higher reward, say 20 points.
Our system so far
There is a second value to this, it is harder to game. If we just reward quantity of tweets, then the person who wants the prize the most will just tweet and tweet and tweet and keep earning those 10 points. One way to handle this is to limit the number of tweets that count per day, put the focus on retweets and other measures of engagement and reach.
Our system is now
Tweet=10 with a maximum of 30 points per day
Retweet=20 points with no limit
We are beginning to reward quality over quantity, but there is still an issue. Let’s go back to our user with 50 followers. If we limit their ability to earn lots of points with just tweets and we also know they will struggle to get the level of retweets that someone with 10,000 followers will likely get – how do we make it fair on them and show them that they have just as much chance to win as others. Really you want everyone involved – because you never know who the “important” users are. If one of those 50 followers is a potential purchaser, they are more important than 10,000 non-potential purchasers!
What we have so far is probably fine for most small scale usage. Reward the quality, not the quantity. Don’t reward spammers basically!
For a larger scale campaign, we want to take this a step further. If we want everyone to feel that their contribution is valued, we need to create some kind of algorithm that produces a more balanced score.
One suggestion would be to create a ratio of retweets to number of followers. The idea being that the number of retweets that you get if you have 50 followers giving you a couple of retweets, is comparable to a user with 10,000 followers getting dozens of retweets.
This gives us
Tweet triggers your entry into the “game”.
Score = (Number of retweets/number of followers)
We can expand on this quite a lot by looking at number of favourites and number of comments tweets get as well. I stumbled across a formula from Unmetric that does just this
( No. of Favourites + ( 5 × No. of Replies ) + ( 10 × No. of Retweets ) ) × 10000
No. of Followers * 0.8
You can find the full explanation of this formula here https://unmetric.com/engagement/
You need to take into account those who have very few tweets and retweets – as their ratio may be quite high. It is all a balancing act – and it really isn’t easy!
The upshot of all of this is that you need to stop rewarding the wrong activities. If you make the reward greater for the simple low-quality actions, you will encourage quantity over quality and that is very rarely what you want.
In a nutshell, personal brand is the image of yourself that others see. By this, I don’t mean the clothes you wear or you haircut (though this can be part of it), I mean something deeper and more important in the long term.
Have you ever searched for your name on the internet? If not, head to Google and do it now (then come back!).
Now, answer these questions about the first page of results;
- How many were you?
- How many were social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc)?
- How many would you be happy for your Gran to explore?
If you look at results for my name (which I will admit is unusual), you will see that the top 4 results are not only me, but they are related to content that I create and is unique to me. My blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Gamasutra.
Why is this important?
Glad you asked. When you apply for a job, what do you think most employers do now? You give them your C.V and covering letter. They are both lovely and paint the exact picture you want the employer to see of you. It gets you on the maybe pile.Then they search for your name online. Do they see content that paints the same picture? Do they see anything at all. Do they just see a bare bones LinkedIn? Worse still, do they see an unsecured Facebook account with pictures of you mooning your mates on a drunken night out?
You see, it’s not good enough any more to not care how others view you – especially as you establish your career. The “well they can take me or leave me, I don’t care” attitude does not pay the bills.
I have a high Klout score, so I’m sorted right?
Of course not. Think of it this way. When you are gone, what do you want people to know about you when they look for your name. Is it your Klout score? I really hope not! With luck they will find a rich tapestry of information about who you were and how you touched the world. Content you have created that was insightful and interesting. Twitter conversations that were fun, obscure, surreal or just plain Xfactor related.
Personal brand is not just how well you use social media. Broadcasting hundreds of links a day, is not going show people anything about you – just what you are interested in. It is about you. Who you are, What you do, and Why you do it!
Do something about it now!
So, go back to Google and search for yourself again. Now click on any links that come up and see what the pages you are take to say about you. If it is LinkedIn, does your profile speak about you, what you do and why you do it – or is it just a job title and a little blurb on your skills? As an aside, check out this great video from Simon Sinek about his Golden Circle theory for profiles, concentrating on Why.
If it is Facebook, make sure that what the public can see is Gran friendly. Everyone understands that Facebook is more personal, but don’t give people ammunition to dismiss you before they get to know you.
If it is Twitter, again, does your profile say anything about you, saving people from trawling through your stream to find out?
Create content on topics you are interested in, talk with people don’t just broadcast at them, be yourself – but filter it for a PG or 15 audience. Think, if my Gran saw this, would she be happy.
And remember –
Everything you do is being recorded somewhere. The best way to control it, is to make sure it is you recording it! Then you can tell your story the way it is meant to be told.
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If anyone can set up a website and review games, is the traditional games press doomed?