The concept of gamification has been gaining popularity over the past 3 or 4 years, adding game mechanics like points, levels, competition, badges for achievements, these are all being added to non-game contexts, like special Foursquare badges – and discounts – being given by Starbucks for check-ins, points and badges for answering questions on StackOverflow and other Q and A sites, businesses have used it to raise employee productivity, even the US military have used it in training.
I’m entering WebsiteDoctor in a challenge called “The Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt“. I love the idea of gamification and I think this particular challenge will help motivate me to take on the Covey “Quadrant 2″ tasks – the ones that are Low Urgency but High Importance, which always seem to fall by the wayside when we’re fire-fighting day to day issues.
One of my challenges with my business is that I spend a lot of time working on and promoting my client’s sites, but I find it difficult to promote my own site. I think it’s somewhat because it’s hard to find the time, which is fairly normal. But another issue is that I seem to have a built-in resistance to self-promotion – I think the phrase is “toot your own horn” – anyway I’ve always found that difficult, and it’s not a good thing to have for business in general, but especially not when online marketing is a major component of that business. So I really hope this Scavenger Hunt helps me with that aspect of things.
I don’t think I’ll have much difficulty with the technical side of the challenges – and if anyone needs help with that side of things, give me a shout on Twitter or email. Some of the challenges might not useful for me personally, for example recording a video with my favourite colour, food and holiday destination, but the challenge has to be fun too, that’s all part of the gamification. And for the record my favourite blue, I like slow roast lamb, and the Loire Valley in France is my favourite destination.
The marketing and social media challenges are pretty cool, some of them will be simple refreshers for me, some of them will be things I haven’t seen before – like Tumblr, which I didn’t use much at all before this week.
The challenges that look most useful to me are the ones involving networking: pitching and accepting guest blog posts, writing good headlines, researching topics and competitors and I’m really looking forward to those!