Six new turnkey "frameworks" cut time to set up community rewards for users in both consumer and business markets.
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Gamification should be child's play, or so said gamification company Badgeville last week as it released a new set of gamification "frameworks," a collection of turn-key solutions designed to make it easier and faster to add game-like incentives to any online experience.
The company, which counts industry heavyweights such as Dell, eBay, and NBC as customers, announced six new frameworks that can be integrated into many of the most popular third-party platforms including Salesforce.com, Lithium, Bazaarvoice, and Yammer.
Each of the frameworks--Core Gamification, Community Expert, Competitive Pyramid, Gentle Guide, Company Collaborator, and Company Challenge--was developed based on observations and analysis of about 150 customer deployments, said Tony Ventris, the company's senior game designer. "Frameworks are the next evolution of gamification," he said. "Now, we're able to identify better ways of doing things."
Community Expert provides a way to reward people for the "expertise, passion, and engagement" they show for a site or community, said Ventris. Gentle Guide--mostly for internal corporate implementations--lets users track a worker's daily tasks and jobs, and make sure they are completed. Company Challenge takes Gentle Guide one step further by incorporating the use of teams and competition between departments or offices. Company Collaborator puts rewards into the hands of other employees so they can reward their co-workers' behavior, giving them recognition.
Although there are companies that offer tools similar to what the frameworks can provide, the main difference, said Ventris, is that Badgeville frameworks can be implemented across a variety of apps and websites. "Say you have a Jive implementation. You can also integrate the framework within your website and your blog," he said.
Kim Celestre, senior analyst for technology marketing at Forrester Research, said the cross-platform approach might be a smart one for some companies. "This reflects where social media is heading. Announcements like this are going to enable companies to incentivize their customer communities no matter where the customer has his or her interactions and conversations," she said. The frameworks also show that there is real value for gamification in the business-to-business world, something that many pundits questioned when gamification first started taking off. "For a B-to-B company, this type of platform also applies," said Celestre.
The frameworks are another step in the company's quest to bring gamification to any platform or interface that a user might interact with. Earlier this year, Badgeville announced a mobile gamification software developer's kit (SDK) that lets iOS and Android developers add its gamification features into smartphone and tablet apps. The company also promotes its gamification capabilities as part of a broader platform for motivating and tracking user behavior.
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