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Happy Cyber Monday! We hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend. Take a break from shopping and read some gamification news you may have missed last week.
Is gamification of driving the answer to urban speeding? ars technica 11/26/2011 – In the past few years, American drivers are seeing more and more electric and hybrid cars hit the market. The Chevy Volt, one of the newest in the market displays some features that imply a gamified driving experience. The Volt is capable of driving 35 miles on its electric battery before switching over to gas, to encourage drivers to hit optimum efficiency Chevy included a new gauge that highlights driving habits in real time, and encourages drivers to slow down and drive more efficiently.
Wearable Sensors Offer Real-Time Snowboarding Performance and ‘Stoked’ Readouts psfk 11/15/2011 Avid snowboarders might be excited to hear about a collaboration between Burton and Nokia that will introduce wearable sensors on snowboards and clothing that can provide live tracking of speed, heart rate, airtime, rotation and ‘rush.’ The project, called Push Snowboarding will sync to Nokia’s N8 smartphone via Bluetooth. No release date has been set yet, but Nokia’s Stuart Wells says that the company has seen a lot of excitement and demand for the product.
4 Ways Brands Are Tapping the Power of Social Games on Facebook Mashable 11/21/2011 As social gaming continues to rise in popularity, brands are taking note of this trend as a new way to reach audiences and increase sales. Take a look at how top brands are using social games on Facebook to leverage their products, mission or goals.
In two years we have been lucky to grow to 31 team members and more than 300 partners. We are extremely thankful for all of the support which has allowed us to continue to iterate and create new exciting products.
We hope everyone has a a fantastic holiday and weekend!
Love the word or loathe it – Gamification made the short-list in Oxford Dictionary’s 2011 “Word of the Year.” Each year Oxford University Press comes up with a Word or Phrase of the Year. The 2011 winner was Squeezed Middle, but gamification made the short-list of words for the U.S. selection. Gamification was among words including Tiger Mother, Fracking, Crowdfunding, and Clicktivism. Visit Oxford Dictionaries for more information about the Word of the Year.
We just heard that our upstairs neighbors in the Techstars program are teaming up with Microsoft to offer a Kinect Accelerator program for ten firms early next year. The three month Kinect Accelerator program will provide $20,000 seed money as well as an Xbox development kit, the Windows Kinect SDK, entrepreneur mentor-ship, technical training and support to all ten companies. The participants, like past participants in Techstars, will work towards a demo day, which will allow them to pitch to investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft professionals and industry professionals.
In an introduction to the program, Microsoft wrote, “Microsoft is supporting entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators like you to bring to life a wide range of business ideas that leverage the limitless possibilities Kinect enables.” It’s awesome to see the success of Techstars team up with a company like Microsoft to further expand and enable the tech community here in Seattle. We can’t wait to see what participants in this program come up with!
If you are interested in applying for this program, you can find more information on Microsoft’s webpage for the program here.
We hope everyone had a great weekend! Last week was a busy week for gamification news, here are a few articles we don’t think you should miss.
Foursquare starts leveling-up expertise badges VentureBeat 11/14/2011 Foursquare has made some changes to their expertise badges last week by adding the leveling-up feature. Users who obtain expertise badges, can now level up on existing badges which improve based on check-in activity. Foursquare also plans to add this concept to other Foursquare elements, such as leveling when other users complete a tip you left.
Quora Gamifies: Credits and “Ask to Answer” Suggestions Live for Everyone TechCrunch 11/14/2011 Last week Quora turned its ‘Quora Credits” and “Ask to Answer” features on for everyone after a five month period of beta testing. Users can now earn, spend and give credits. The introduction of the credits feature allows users to pay high value experts on specific topics to answer their questions. Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever says of the release, “The results from our credits beta were really promising, so I expect this will do well and we’ll keep extending and evolving Quora Credits.”
For Job Hunters, Digital Merit Badges NY Times 11/19/2011 As the internet becomes more and more a part of everyday life, it makes sense that it would also hold a larger role in job seeking. The MacArthur Foundation is working to introduce a system of badges job seekers can load onto their web site, blog or Facebook that represent unique skills they have. The badges are not meant to replace resumes, but to supplement and spotlight skills that may often be missed on resumes (such as military service). The foundation is working hard to ensure that badges are uniform across the internet, and require specific organizations to award. It will be very interesting to see this project unfold!
What gamification can learn from the holiday season’s biggest games ZDNet 11/20/2011 What can “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” and “Halo: Combat Evolved” teach us about gamification? According to Libe Goad we can learn everything from the importance of social elements to personalization within game layers. “The key metric should always be to actually create an experience that provides real game play and, most importantly, fun — even if it’s in the service of a greater goal”.
Gamification & Online Content: Meet BigDoor Jen Quinlan 11/12/2011 We want to thank Jen Quinlan for taking the time to learn about us as well as writing about us in this piece. We are always excited to share our goals and talk gamification with anyone interested!
What do you do for BigDoor?
What do you like most about BigDoor?
I love the culture of keeping things fun and celebrating our successes. I’m constantly impressed that I never worry about anyone getting their work done or leaving a mess for the other developers. It’s great how reliable and considerate everyone is.
Technology you couldn’t live without?
I’m a total Internet addict, just give me a connection! Besides that, I’m actually pretty wary about inviting new technology into my life. I’m not a gadget person at all.
Technology that needs to be invented?
Wireless everything. You can be sure every computer nerd is bothered by the mess of wires they’re hiding.
iPhone or Android?
iPhone. RIP Steve.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
I’ve always viewed Star Trek as “space politics” and I’m not too into that. So I’ll take the original Star Wars trilogy any day. A big part of my childhood was collecting old Star Wars toys at lots and lots of flea markets. Just look in my closet at home.
Favorite Jimmy Johns sandwich?
I am opposed to Jimmy John’s on the principal of not being yummy. Sorry.
Dog, Cat or Monkey?
Cat, cat, and cat. Preferably just two, though.
Attack the Block at Central Cinema, with some BigDoor folks actually. It’s a great theater we try to frequent.
Bionic limbs or ability to fly?
The flying one.
What was the earliest game you played?
“The Legend of Zelda”.
Game you’re currently playing?
“Deus Ex: Human Revolution”, although I haven’t picked it up in a few weeks.
Favorite music to work to?
Ironically, Girl Talk seems to keep me focused.
Other fun facts:
Today it’s been exactly one year since I arrived in Seattle! My girlfriend and I attempted to ride our bikes here all the way from Cleveland. We made it most of the way and still consider the trip a success. The first place we stopped here was Victrola to hunt for apartments and jobs.
Today we’re taking a stance along with companies like AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Tumblr, Yahoo!, and Zynga against Internet censorship. November 16th is American Censorship Day and Congress will be holding hearings on the first American Internet censorship system. Two bills in particular, the Protect IP Act (PIPA – S.968) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R.3261), are really aimed at online censorship and as Brad Feld points out, these are also “anti-entrepreneurship bills.” Both bills focus on the Justice Department taking down websites and limiting free speech. We are against the Internet Blacklist bill and encourage others to take part in this Internet-wide day of protest, find out how you can take action too.
Now this is pretty cool! According to Gartner research analyst Brian Burke, “Gamification could become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon. During 2012, 20 percent of Global 2000 organizations will deploy a gamified application. IT leaders must start exploring opportunities to use gamification to increase engagement with customers and employees, with the aim of deploying a gamified application next year. Understanding how to apply game mechanics to motivate positive behavioral change is critical to success.” Thanks to BetaNews for the article about trends that will “hugely affect decision-making;” including gamification!
Last week Bryan Estes, Director of Business Development here at BigDoor headed to Ad:Tech NY. Ad:Tech is a digital marketing event held in 10 locations all over the world. The conference focuses on the digitization of media, and its redefinition of business marketing. The event took place November 8th-10th in NYC’s Javits Convention Center. We asked him to share some thoughts on the conference below.
Typically, I attend these events as a booth guy, so it was nice to be on the other side of the coin, walking the floor, making connections, and getting a chance to check out all of the different vendors and pitches. I also got a great deal on a 20oz bottle of water, for $3.90 (note the sarcasm) and had a great time overall.
This year, the conference focused heavily on two trends, social and mobile. It’s clear that these two trends are continuing to dominate marketing and advertising, with more and more companies looking to social and mobile platforms as advertising solutions. Businesses need to go far beyond the standard banner and video advertising to attract new customers and keep current customers engaged and loyal to their brand.
A number of companies were focused on in-game advertisements or advergames (games that are built specifically as a viral marketing message for a product or service). BigDoor provides a similar type of viral marketing approach but also rewards users beyond an in-game experience. This way, users are being acknowledged and rewarded no matter how they are interacting with your brand and site. I for one was excited by these trends and was eager to talk to people about BigDoor’s offerings. Overall Ad:Tech was a great event with lots of information. and I’m looking forward to next year!