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Digital Transformation

Gamification of the Intranet

Thanks to @the_real_p_k for a twitter reference to a great short article on gamification at SharePoint Analyst HQ.  I’ve seen gamification come up a lot lately.  Newsgator adds it to SharePoint.  Kudos Badges adds it to IBM Connections.   I think badges and gamification can add a lot to a social network.    A social network tool can help in finding people and information. However, it’s only as good as the content in the system.  If you aren’t described correctly by your profile or by what you do, no one will know you are an expert on blueberry syrup.  If you haven’t added content to a wiki or blog about a specific topic, it cannot be found.  If  you haven’t tagged content to make the finding of it easier then it won’t be found.

That’s where gamification comes in.  You can use it as an enticement to improve the content and metadata in your system.  It’s surprisingly good at that.


Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

So, in terms of consuming, I don’t do a great job. And in terms of contributing, also not so hot. With so many ways to contribute, and no measurable impact tied to any one specific avenue, it’s hard to know where to focus my effort. Because I’m not a active contributor (multiple interactions a day), I feel that when I do contribute, it just falls into a black hole of data.

This begs the question, if I can’t even keep up with social communities in my personal life, how on earth do enterprises get their employees to adopt and effectively use social tools within the organization? Personally, I think they will have a pretty tough time doing so.


Gamification is the infusion of game mechanics, game design techniques and/or game style into anything ( The term is typically used to describe situations where  game play elements are incorporated into non-game situations to solve problems, change behaviour or engage audiences.

Some common examples of gamification are:

  • Loyalty Programs – for every dollar you spend at our store, you collect points. Enough points and you get a prize.
  • Black Credit Cards – if you’re special enough, you get a black credit card. You get special status, status that others are also trying to achieve.
  • Foursquare – if you visit a location enough you earn a badges and points, and you can even be granted a mayorship for visiting more than anyone else.

Most online social communities also have some form of gamification built into their system: CNN iReports hands out badges, Twitter displays the number of followers you have, etc.

Hit the entire article for a more complete write-up.

Thoughts on “Gamification of the Intranet”

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for calling out Kudos Badges for IBM Connections. I firmly believe that game mechanics can drive user adoption and motivate users. With Kudos Badges we have tried to achieve 3 main things by leveraging gamification:

    1) Motivate users to adopt Connections and contribute higher value content. Thru leaderboards, ranks, and badges users are motivated to increase their usage. They get higher Kudos Points and Rank by other users “Recommending” their content which encourages them to create higher value content rather than just stuff!

    2) Educate users of the more advanced features of Connections. Encourage them to explore across the entire feature set of Connections. Badges start out easy and get more difficult to achieve as they advance. Each time you get a badge it suggests what you could do to get to the next level/badge such as exploring a new feature or using a more advanced capability.

    3) Make the system flexible enough so that organisations can tweak the ranks, points, badges, and even integrate external applications such as Sales, HR, etc and award Kudos Points and Badges for these external systems.

    Gamification definitely has its place in the world of business. We use so many methods to motivate and guide our employees and gamification is just another method that can be used.



  2. Indeed…!! Gamification plays a vital role in engaging people and achieving positive behavioral change. Intranet is a highly useful tool for engaging the employees and collaborating their work but gamification enhances the efforts by turning the digital work activities into rewards. Great initiative to accelerate goal-based progression by setting milestones through interactive gamification techniques.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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