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juli 17, 2012

Gamification for social software serious business


Now that social software usage is taking a giant leap, and focus on adoption is becoming key, gamification is becoming mainstream too.
Social software is becoming more and more mainstream in the enterprise. Along with the rise of social software I also see a rise in the recognition of the importance of user adoption. During events in the recent past, such as Social Connections III in Dublin and the Social Business Convention in Rotterdam, this became very obvious as almost every presentation (even the ones that didn't have it as its main subject) somewhat mentioned user adoption. It seems the days of 'build it and they will come' are definately over.
According to the IDC research study Worldwide Enterprise Social Software 2012-2016 Forecast companies will invest 42.4% more each year on enterprise social collaboration software. In 2011 the revenue from this category was US$ 0,77 billion and by 2016 this will be a soaring US$ 4,5 billion. According to this study, IBM Connections is the number one social software platform (US$ 105,4 million revenue).
At the same time gamification has entered the enterprise arena and is quickly becoming more accepted. Until 2011 gamification was mostly seen in business to consumer applications. But since 2011 gamification has become more widespread in combination with social software for the enterprise.
For IBM Connections there are now several vendors that integrate gamification. Bunchball, a long-time gamification solution provider, added support for IBM Connections with Level Up back in february 2012. Since june 2012 Badgeville introduced a connector to leverage their gamification engine to IBM Connections. ISW recently released their new version of Kudos, which introduces peer-to-peer badges (Thank You). And last week yet another player entered the arena - The Hive - which got an interview with Chris Miller on IDoNotes episode 126 Tembo Social interview. Apparently there is a huge demand for gamification to leverage user adoption of social software, for them to emerge.
It’s not enough to just provide a social software tool and expect your employees to start sharing knowledge and collaborating in a more open, transparent manner. A social platform itself does not change the routines and attitude/behaviour of employees. They must be stimulated to start using the tool, to learn more of it's features and to become more engaged. Gamification does just that.
It seems that the time is ripe. All three components seem to come together and are a perfect fit: growth of social software, general agreement on the importance of user adoption and gamification for social software as a means to accomplish that.