Is Clubhouse going to stay around?
I think for any social media to be effective it has to be more than simply a set of features - after all clubhouse features are already appearing on Twitter as Spaces. I think Clubhouse's community ethic that is emerging has promise - a learning and networking community - clubs like this one can be really valuable for people. So yes, I think it does have legs. It provides an intimate conversation with the opportunity to listen in - it's like being in the room for someone's fireside chat. We have to remember that the advantage of audio is that it is full bandwidth - anything visual is still being shrunk into a screen or smartphone so you are losing bandwidth (body language and so on) while with audio it's the same as if the person was right there with you. I think with VR we'll see it evolve even further.
I understand you got in to TV punditry with appearances on Sky News, Channel 5 and ITV - how did that happen and do you have any tips for any of our club listeners who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Back in 2007 I got keen on a new social media platform emerging called Facebook - I loved the idea that you could create apps for it so I asked Facebook if I could run their London developer garage. I held the first event and instead of my expected attendees of 20 fellow geeks - I had 300 people turn up! It was quite a shock. But I think the key learning for getting picked up by media was to be on the ground passionate and networking in a growing space. Noone knew then that Facebook would grow so big but it has and I'm still being asked about it on TV to this day.
So, what is infinite gamification?
Gamification is using the techniques video game designers use to keep players motivated and engaged and applying them to real world activities. Finite gamification is where the experience has an end, an 'epic win' - we see this most in learning type activieis - complete this course to win a badge for example. Infinite gamification is where the experience has no end, it just resets periodically and so can be used for continuous experience - a great example is Fitbit - every day my step count resets and I try to hit my 10,000 steps again.
Is there a significant difference in how finite and infinite gamification work on the mind?
I think this is an area for ongoing research but we know that gamification uses the dopamine chemical and receptors. These are fired typically when a goal is reached - in our hunter gatherer days that might have been when we found some new berries or a new source of water. So dopamine is associated with a feeling of pleasure and achievement. I think a lot of finite gamification relies on real time, instant dopamine triggers - you've just won a badge for clicking 5 times., well done for logging in and so on. The danger with this is that it can lead to so much overstimulation that we become desensitised and so turn off. Infinte gamification tends to have a slower cadence - daily in the case of Fitbit or weekly in the case of a sales scorecard. That scarecity means that the dopamine trigger might be more valued and so less susceptible to dopamine trigger fatigue.
Where and how can it be used in sales?
Managing sales objectives and activities is a lot easier when you can direct sellers to specific activities they can do more of that will lead to results. It will differ for every sales team. Sales gamification allows you to design a scorecard that shows the seller what activities they need to do more of each week - so you can focus on the leading indicators that they can do something about rather than the lag indicators (sales results) that they can't really affect. It's also suitable for sales teams that have made the jump from individual selling to team selling as you can still highlight and recognise good performers in certain areas without affecting how the team as a whole might be bonused and remunerated. Finally the last benefit is that it allows you to provide a simple, easy to digest score for sellers each week as gamification provides a framework for combining mismatched sales activity data into a single scorecard - this might be as simple as 1 point for an email and 10 points for phone call to give an overall score or something much more sophisticated including ratios and relative ranking scores.
Where can I find out more about sales gamification? I assume rise.global can be used as a tool for sales gamification?
So obviously the book is a useful resource, on rise.global we have some demonstration scorecards if you go to the public gallery you can take a look and get a sense of what you can do. I'm looking for people who I can tutor live so if you're interested I'd love to hold a zoom call with you and we can see how we can gamify your sales efforts. Just get in touch. email@example.com
It is sometimes said that the Football league is the gamification of football - if you'd been in the European Super League conversations what might you have advised?
Two areas I think they really missed:
- Understanding the needs of all players - in this case the teams rather than just the upper echelon.
- Iteration - I think looking at what we've already got Champions League - how can we evolve that to where we want to be - top teams playing each other more often.
Is there anything we need to consider with regard to the ethics of gamification
I think the key questions here are how transparent the gamification is and whether individuals can opt-out - if you don't have those then there is potentially an ethical problem. I think gamification will be regulated in time (it already is partially in the form of the social credit system in China for example) but
What about all those rise influencer leaderboards? Were they just experiments?
I think the best of those programs are those which are working to coach players to better performance. Take Adam Rogers' SDGchampions board - Adam is encouraging SDG champions to use social media to promote the UN SDGs. The main thing we've learned over time is that it is the score that is important - how am I doing against myself, - the leaderboard and the competition should always be secondary, otherwise you have a program that only appeals to the top performers, who want to outdo each other for bragging rights.
I've got a program for educating students where they choose their own reward in response to earning points for activities - is this a good design?
Yes this form of 'self reward' for target behaviours achieved works well. The key for you as facilitator is to recognise and share the successes among the group, so encouraging peer conformity - don't share the points though on something like a leaderboard as everyone's goal is different so it doesn't make sense to do that, and could be counter productive.
What are some recent examples of gamification you're excited about?
I particularly like the Running World Cup where runs from smart watches and phones are tracked and consolidated into country scores. In this way runners from England compete with runners from France and so on. I like it because not only is it piggy backing gamificaiton on an existing behaviour but because it works to build teams and working together as a team. Too much gamification is just centred around the individual.
I run a writers club, what sort of gamification could we be doing here? Is word count a sensible metric?
The key is to ask what success looks like for the writers and then provide quantitive feedback that relates directly to those goals. Word count can work as a metric as long as its not unduly incentivised - awarding an ipad for the person with the most words might lead to a lot of jibberish and not particularly good writing. On its own though it can be a useful signal as long as it's kept in context.