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.

Identified is LinkedIn for the cool kids

While LinkedIn has become the gold standard of resume and career-building sites, the service is too boring and bland for today’s young professionals. So says the co-founder of Identified, a social career site aimed directly at the fresh college graduates and twenty-somethings who’d secretly rather play Call of Duty than build a professional profile. Tuesday, Identified  announced a $21 million funding round.

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.

Gaming

Non-gamers, here’s why you should care about games

As an early investor in social gaming, I’m often speaking on panels to audiences of gamers, investors, and game company execs. At one such event —  the Future of Media conference hosted by Stanford’s Graduate School of Business — the opening question was why gaming is relevant to people who are not gamers. The panelists — folks from IGN, Activision, GaiKai, and Riot Games as well as myself — gave some interesting reasons for why non-gamers should care about the game market:

BigDoor raises $5M for gamification platform

BigDoor, a white label gamification platform maker, has raised $5 million in new funding from the Foundry Group. The platform allows non-game online publishers to “gamify” their web sites by adding game mechanics that improve user interaction and engagement.

Badgeville powers gamified reality TV show Escape Routes

Gamification, the use of game-like rewards in non-game applications, is moving into reality TV. Badgeville will provide gamified achievements to the multiplatform reality TV series Ford Escape Routes, where six teams of two people compete in a road trip competition from city to city.