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Captain Up: Using Gamification to Build Engagement

Captain Up

If you have been reading this site, than you should know, that I enjoy reading Tech In Asia (TIA). They provide a ton of information about tech startups in Asia and tech trends in Aisa. Their information is really good and I often source their work on this site.

Using Gamification to Build Engagement

I happened to be on their site recently and I noticed they have added a Leaderboard. They have recently built a platform for community generated content and they are using gamification to build engagement with their audience. This intrigued me because at the beginning of 2015 I took an online course on gamification.

The course was really fascinating, but I have not had an opportunity to use what I learnt. I am not sure if TIA is using a wordpress plugin or if they designed the leaderboard themselves and I also do not know why they have implemented a leaderboard. In the course, we explored different game mechanics and why they are used, but the leaderboard on TIA seems a little out of place without further explanation.

The TIA’s use of game mechanics got me thinking about Chairman Media. This site currently gets about 10,000 sessions per month, but only around 2,000 sessions are returning users (20%). I have built a site that does well in terms of SEO and traffic (for my niche), but I have not built a community on CM. People come to CM because they are searching for something and then they leave and never come back. This is a big loss for CM.

March stats

Captain Up

So, what is the point of this article? Well, when I was trying to find out more about TIA’s leaderboard, I came across a wordpress plugin called Captain Up. According the their website, “Captain Up offers gaming and social tools for maximizing engagement, retention, virality and monetization in your web and mobile apps.” The plugin allows you to gamify a website.

Captain Up allows you to create badges, leaderboards, levels, and more. These game mechanics allow users to engage on a new level. For example, users can gain badges for sharing content on Facebook, G+, Twitter, or any other platform. Users can also gain points and badges for writing comments or articles. You can even ask users to buy products or donate money in exchange for points or badges. There are many ways to implement Captain Up to increase engagement, retention, virality and monetization.

At this point you might be asking, “Why would someone donate money or buy a product for points or badges?” This is a fair question. When we talked about gamification in the course, we also talked about motivation. People are motivated by many different things, but it can be simplified to intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. You either do something because you want to do it or you do something because of the reward.

What do you think?

I am considering installing Captain Up and playing around with the game mechanics. I don’t know if this is something users are interested in and that is why I am asking now. If you are one of the regular users, would you be interested in CM introducing game mechanics to the site? Would you leave more comments, share, and be more engaged if the site was gamified?

I would try to offer prizes (cash, books, etc.) for the top users on the leaderboard. I would also try to work with brands to provide prizes. I am headed to Japan for about two weeks, but when I come back, I am thinking of installing Captain Up. I would love some comments or thoughts about this strategy, but currently I am failing to engage users. So, I will try something new if there are no objections. Check out the Captain Up homepage and see how the plugin works and let me know what you think. 🙂

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