Are you being played? How tech companies use gamification

When you visit LinkedIn, one of the most ominous features encouraging profile completion is the progress bar telling you that your profile has a long way to go before you’re complete. This very basic example of “gamification” has helped LinkedIn efficiently grow its global user base with relevant, accurate and high-value data.

Badgeville’s Kris Duggan: Six frameworks can gamify employee and customer engagement (interview)

Brands have embraced “gamification,” or using game-like behavior in non-game applications, as a way to engage their audiences. That is why gamification vendor Badgeville has more than 165 customers and is announcing today that it has raised $25 million in a new round of funding. Kris Duggan, chief executive of Badgeville, says gamification will let brands engage and retain their audiences. It also enables companies to inspire employees to collaborate or compete. Badgeville has a “behavior platform” to enable companies to measure and influence behavior by using game techniques. You can give salespeople rewards for hitting targets. Companies can embed the platform in web, mobile, social, and enterprise applications. Duggan’s team focuses on six “frameworks,” or templates that enable companies to improve behavior. Those include core gamification programs for web sites; programs for rewarding community experts; competitive pyramids; gentle guides for completing tasks such as tutorials; incentives for collaboration; and challenges to create competition with company departments. We caught up with Duggan for an interview on gamification. Here is an edited transcript.

Venture capitalist Tim Chang describes the white-hot landscape of game investments

The emerging landscape of games is attracting a lot of money, thanks in part to excitement about Zynga’s upcoming initial public offering and some recent acquisitions such as Electronic Arts’ $750 million purchase of PopCap Games. Tim Chang, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, has kept his finger on the pulse of the game market for years and spoke about the opportunities in games at the recent Casual Connect game conference in Seattle.