In our last article, we wrote about why Gamification is dead and what our vision looked like for a new type of gamification built on the blockchain. This time we’d like to show you how this solution comes alive by using our own blockchain solution as an example: THX!
When it comes to what we call Gamification 2.0, the popular technique (using social rewards, badges, and points) was not an effective long-term solution to engage users within communities. The social rewards had no real-world value.
Therefore, our proposed Gamification 3.0 solution looks like this:
- Create an open standard where points or tokens are stored on the blockchain instead of being central or decentral.
- By using tokens instead of points, we can add real value (digital currency) to the points – just like a form of Bitcoin.
- Let each community decide how these tokens will be divided between their members.
- Community members store earned tokens in their wallets, which they can bring along to other online communities.
- Tokens are accepted in your webshop, as payment for access to the community, or anything that creates a sustainable token economy and community.
“That sounds great but how would it work in practice?”
Thanks for asking great questions, sceptical reader! I’d like to demonstrate our Gamification 3.0 concept using some of our Open Social customer journey illustrations and a digital currency called the THX token, as an example.
Author note: Keep in mind, we won’t be diving into the THX solution itself in this post (more on that later). But rather, this serves as a simple conceptual explanation of how communities could use THX, a blockchain solution, instead of traditional Gamification to motivate and engage their members.
A Gamification 3.0 journey
The goal of each online community differs.
Intranets are meant to connect employees and share knowledge within a company. Support communities exist to help customers with burning questions and forums offer personal help to those in need.
There are similarities between communities as well. What they have in common is their need for useful engagement between their members and the recognition of outstanding member behavior.
Current reward systems offer points or badges with gamification. That’s great unless you want to do use these points in the real world or when you want to show your expert authority in a new community. In other words, these points or badges are only useful in the community itself. This is arguably not a strong enough motivator for active engagement since it is an artificial form of achievement.
With a blockchain-based ecosystem, we can revolutionize the way we reward members and recognize the value that our members help create in any social community. By introducing a digital currency (such as the THX token), tons of new opportunities and innovations appear.
Wow, that sounds a little complicated! Well.. it’s really not. Let me introduce you to Libby.
Libby uses THX
Libby is the site manager for an intranet, which is a centralized community for her organization. Each month she purchases THX for a value of 500 dollars for her community to use. She stores her THX tokens in her THX Wallet, a friendly mobile application.
Since the community is still in a young and early stage, Libby has decided to reward members for profile completeness, completing onboarding courses, and the creation of new content. These actions would stimulate growth and engagament within her community.
Enter community member Alex
Let’s imagine a community member called Alex. When Alex signs up for the community, he fills out his profile and finishes all the onboarding material. This means his wallet now contains his first THX tokens of appreciation!
Alex sees how his time and effort is valued and decides to share a major challenge he’s working on with the community. He proceeds to reach out to the community for ideas and input. Soon a lively discussion begins online and the provided ideation content is highly valued by both Alex and the other members involved in the discussion. Since this ‘counts’ as high quality, new content, the members involved are rewarded with a lot of THX tokens!
Meanwhile, as site manager, Libby makes sure that the tokens are rightfully earned and end up in the right THX wallets.
Since he was quite active with posting more interesting content, Alex’s wallet now contains enough THX to exchange them for a different currency. Alex isn’t sure whether he should exchange them for dollars or another cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum). He then decides to spend his THX on a training class the company is providing instead. THX Alex!
When the community grows, Alex, together with Libby and his colleagues can vote to reward new behavior (aside from completing profiles and adding new content). This may include answering the questions of other members or the moderation of replies. This ensures that the community keeps delivering what’s needed to mature over time.
There is more…
On top of that, rewards and reputation are exchangeable between communities. This means you don’t have to start from scratch when entering a new community. People will trust your expertise and you can earn and spend THX in any community that you join.
Let’s say Alex is moving from his company’s intranet to a community about football (which is his hobby). He can show this community how active he was in the intranet community and continue earning THX there.
You might earn lots of THX answering questions in a support community. You can spend those tokens in the webshop of another community with your earned THX tokens! The possibilities using a digital community currency are endless.
As you can see we are still working on the idea of Gamification 3.0 on the blockchain. We would love to get your insights on this in the comments below or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about adding gamification to your online community here.