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#SCNis10 and the Icing on the Cake, Gamification

Icing on the cake, cherry on the cake… There are probably a lot of different ways in the world to explain the delight of adding something good (icing, cherry, gamification) to something already good (a cake, SCN).

icing on the cake.jpg                                                     la cerise sur le gateau.jpg

This is how I feel about gamification on SCN. Happy Birthday SCN! I hope you like the gamification present πŸ˜‰

When we launched gamification in April 2013, many of you said that this was a new SCN, and I was just blown away. I knew gamification was fun, and great. I knew it would lead to many positive changes in the community, but I did not expect that our members would see this as a major, positive change in the community.

What is gamification?

Well, for those who are really not “in the know” yet, I will give the definition one more time: Gamification is the use of game elements such as points, scores, badges, ranking, etc in order to provide meaningful information, feedback, and drive behaviors.

Like any good thing such as good food and a good ingredient, gamification will only taste good if it is not too present, not too strong, and added and consumed responsibly. For a community member, this means: Play around if you like, go on a “mission” to earn as many missions as possible, but do it well and with good thoughts in mind: contribute responsibly. For a community manager like me, this means: Add missions that are interesting and valuable to the community and keep quality in mind in order to drive the positive behaviors that everyone expects from a professional community like SCN.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 11.08.46 PM.png   Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 11.02.53 PM 1.png    Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 9.10.03 PM.png

Why gamification?

SCN thrives with content, good quality content. The community tells us what content is valuable so that we can curate it to all members. Gamification was brought as a tool (not a magic ingredient!) to help us increase contributions, engagement around content, and reward quality content

The results on SCN

The numbers are very encouraging: In the first month within the launch, activity on SCN increased by 400% and engagement around content almost doubled (as reported in my blog). We are still seeing sustainable growth of activity and community engagement, as the graph below attests.

content engagement.png

Gartner reports that “by 2014, 80% of Current Gamified Applications Will Fail to Meet Business Objectives Primarily Due to Poor Design”. But I don’t think this applies to our community, does it? πŸ˜‰

None of this would have been achieved without a team hard at work: Audrey Stevenson and Sean Yang who work long hours with me to keep up with the enthusiasm that gamification has generated; and the recent addition of Jason Cao to the gamification core team. All of this with the valuable guidance from Jeanne Carboni.

Enhanced SCN reality

SCN has been gamified since 2004, very shortly after its inception, but the recent addition of missions and badges has made a difference. I think there will be a before and after extensive gamification in the community. Points and badges are tools to showcase expertise and are used to assess content reputation, but they are also a way to identify personalities and hidden gems that we may not know of. I really love how the gamification module is giving me additional information about SCN members (in no particular order):

  1. What achievements they are most proud of (see the “Me In Three” feature in your user profile, reputation tab)
  2. What else they like doing, something I may not have expected (such as “Wow, I knew Jürgen L is a great moderator but I didn’t realize how active he was on so many levels!” See his profile and badges)
  3. How they can still surprise me and prove that I will never know everything about the community (see who so far has earned the Thought Leader badge)
  4. If they are coming to SAP TechEd (see Audrey’s blog)

How are you experiencing gamification and how would you call it a milestone for SCN? I look forward to your comments!

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  • Laure Cetin

    First of all great thanks for initiating SCN project. I am sure it will go miles and miles in coming days.

    Personally i am loving SCN gamification. It is just amazing and attracting. There is always an excitement to get a badge and i am sure SCN has been doing tremendous help to achieve them by sharing so many docs, blogs etc.

    i have posted few lines @coffee Corner. Not sure whether you have checked it.

    Love with SCN Gamification

    Cheers to your stupendous work and for SCN’s 10 years celebration. πŸ™‚



    • Hi Jitendra,

      Thank you, I’m glad you like SCN gamification. I just read your poem, I would like to like it but I can’t as it has been a contentious situation in the Coffee Corner if you see what I mean πŸ˜‰

      Keep up the good work!

  • Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for explaining the Gamification Concept. I am new to SCN and was really wondering from many days that whats the meaning of Gamification. And your blog resolved my query πŸ™‚

    Its really attracting and a nice way to reward for somebodys contribution. If a person is putting efforts in creating a blog and is resolving queries he/she must be appreciated and thaked. This gamification is one of the good way to do so.

    Thanks SCN for introducing great feature πŸ™‚



    • Thanks Priyanka, I am glad I could enlighten you. If you are interested in gamification we also have a space on SCN: Gamification and of course on the internet you can find a lot of information and research papers.



  • Thanks for mentioning me, I feel already naked 😳 , the glass human being

    I was already sure that gamification has attracted many – even without seeing statistics, and I am certain that SCNs gamification does not fall under Gartners 80% which are mainly meant  for poor design.

    Still I believe it is just the beginning of a longer journey and it will keep you and your team busy with designing new targets which may even be much more difficult as I wish they should go into direction of quality

    I am not sure if I got gamificated, I personally feel resistant like for ads in the TV. I can’t remember having given a single “Thanks” as a comment just to speed up reaching another

    Pay-it-forward or to get an easy 2-points-like. But as you could see, I am certainly proud of “Super Answer Hero” for 100 correct answers as this is really talking about quality. And the surprising badges from hidden missions are enjoyed too, as they confirm that one is on the desired way without even knowing about it.

    I am certainly curious about future achievements that come along just while doing what I did for a long time already.

    • I agree Juergen. I wish everyone was as kind hearted and selfless as you. I think that if someone who has the Pay It Forward badge doesn’t live up to the rules of engagement that’s pretty bad, isn’t it? I wouldn’t be proud of it myself.

      I know that there are concerns about quality on SCN, I share some of them, and I think that the higher the activity the more concerns we may have, it’s proportionate. But I hope that gamification does more good than bad.

      We have a long way ahead, anyway, you are totally right. I’m challenging our vendors to keep “scores” in the background and have a system of reputation weight, but it all takes too long πŸ˜‰

  • I visited SCN this year only because someone @ mentioned me, and then I became a regular. Answer Hero and other badges related to answering questions are my favorites.

    There is a minor typo in this post.

    When we launched gamification in April 20123

  • Thanks for sharing info on Gamification Laure!

    Tammy will soon complete “Super StoryTeller ” badge as it is 97% completed

    and then only 4 will remian πŸ˜‰

  • Thank you Laure Cetin for your dedication to put the icing on the cake AND a cherry on top. I remember your devotion and dedication to this project. Using your skills and determination, you were able to overcome many hurdles, resulting in improved engagement in the community. Your tireless efforts included sleepless long nights and fully loaded weekends of configuration and testing. The results reflect your commitment to the program.

    Also, another special shout out to your team: Audrey Stevenson, Oliver Kohl, and Sean Yang.


  • Thank you Laure Cetin  for sharing this blog and for your dedication an efforts to bring gamification for us. It was really a good move and it engages the members to contribute more quality stuff. Although design and functionality of gamification is working perfectly but there is always a room for improvements and I am sure you guys will improve and bring new ideas and thoughts and SCN as a whole and especially in gamification.


  • Hi Laure,

    Good Day!

    Each and Every one like SCN Gamification. This is a great tool which motivate ppl to post more blogs, documents, discussion, comments, likes, pictures and so on.

    Keep motivating us and we all will be motivated.

    Have a fruitful day!


    Hari Suseelan