More and more, social web sites are becoming viable web portals. Yet we've seen social networks rise as the next big thing, then lose their luster as users set up camp on the next platform. A spoof by The Onion speaks of Friendster in archeological terms. On a January 2010 SNL "Weekend Update," Seth Meyers reported Myspace as "an abandoned amusement park."
Meanwhile, the universal appetite for social media is very strong, and social networks rapidly adapt and infuse user experience with API game mechanics and activity streams that provide fresh content to keep user's interest. The biggest question is, "How do you keep things fun?"
ShuffleBrain's Amy Jo Kim talks about the principles of game mechanics as they relate to social networks. She gives a few tips on making content-sharing easy and open to syndication within the platform or across the internet, according to the goals and structure of each community. Game mechanics allow the user to relate herself to the game. Kim talks about opportunities to hold collections on the social network, to gain points, and appear on leaderboards, to get feedback, to have exchanges, and to customize one's virtual presence and space.
Using examples including Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, Kim shows how each provides game mechanics, accessible tech, and syndication.
Amy Jo Kim CEO of ShuffleBrain, is an internationally known expert in on-line community architecture. She has helped design social games and social architecture for such companies as Electronic Arts, Digital Chocolate, Viacom, eBay, and Yahoo!. Her book Community Building on the Web was published in 2000 and has been translated into seven languages. She has a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from University of Washington and a BA in Experimental Psychology from UCSD.
This free podcast is from our BayCHI series.