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We here at Social Edge are lucky enough to work with Ben Zweig and see him create amazing communities. But if you haven't met Ben yet, check out this profile on him here in How I Work: An Interview with Ben Zweig from Social Edge


Have you worked with Ben? Share with us your Ben stories, and what you've worked on with him, please.


And thanks to Libby Taylor and Emilie for putting together this interview - great job!

Yesterday's Jive Developer Days 2016: NYC — Stop 1 was a hit - so glad we got to see everyone. For four hours on June 8th, Jivers Ryan Rutan and Rashed Talukder, with the Social Edge tech team duo of john_reynolds and Robert Hanson answered questions and offered solutions to attendees.


A special thanks to Ryan and Rashed for helping us put together this great event. And of course thanks to our hackathon attendees/registrants without whom there would be no event: atruex and aschedler of New York Life; sergia and iibrahim of ASA; manish0109 (NBCU); l9rezn (Kellton Tech) nnrmiller (Judge Group); arihalbkram (Chubb Insurance); helmahmoudi (Faurecia); sandeepshanu (CapGemini).


Finally, thanks to the Social Edge NYC team for taking care of the details and keeping things flowing at our WeWork office: amara_mastronardi glungari meghanconnor ruth_neighbors.


Looking forward to the next one!

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Getting warmed up for the Hackathon!

From left to right: Ryan Rutan (Jive), Alex Truex and Andy Schedler (New York Life); John Reynolds (Social Edge)

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Hacking away!

From left to right: Munish Chopra (NBCU); Sergia Dupoux and Ibrahim Ibrahim (ASA); Rashed Talukder (Jive)


Let the coding fun begin!

The NYC Hackathon is well underway, with Ryan, Rashed (left side, foreground) and Rob Hanson (right side, foreground) at the ready to answer questions.


The 1st NYC Hackathon Crew - thanks for coming everyone!

From left to right: John Reynolds and meghanconnor (Social Edge); Rashed Talukder, Lea Reznick, Sergia Dupoux (front and center); Ryan Rutan, Ibrahim Ibrahim; glungari and ruth_neighbors (Social Edge)

As mentioned in Jive Developer Days 2016: NYC — Stop 1,  in Jive Developers Social Edge will be hosting the 1st Developer Hackathon at our WeWork NoMad office in NYC on Wednesday, June 15, from 1-5 pm ET.  Our office is at 79 Madison Avenue, 2nd floor. For those attending, please look for the WeWork entrance on 28th Street, just off Madison Avenue, and give your name at the security desk. Please ask for amara_mastronardi when you get there - other Social Edgers will be on hand to get you where you need to go, including meghanconnor, ruth_neighbors andpatrickd


Topics on the agenda include Simple Stream and custom view tile integrations. Attendees will huddle in small groups and either  Ryan Rutan Rashed Talukder john_reynolds or Robert Hanson will help as needed.


We're looking forward to seeing everyone - should be a great event!

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited onto a podcast with the Digital & Social Media Leadership Forum to talk about the impact of gamification in online communities. You can access the 15 minute recording here.


Through different client engagements with Social Edge, I've come across a variety of perceptions on gamification. I truly feel that gamification can support and amplify the success of online communities, and I thought the podcast would be a great opportunity to share my experiences. Equally important is the flip side of misunderstandings/common pitfalls of the field. When thinking about the term itself, gamification comes across to some as non-work related or not important activity. In reality the term refers to game-like mechanics being used to teach and engage users through mechanics like instant feedback and transparency to drive desired  strategic behaviours.


Designers of social software systems have long employed aspects of gamification to encourage repeat usage, increase contributions, and establish user reputations. For anyone that has ever played a game, from freeze-tag to Candy Crush, you will be familiar with the idea of being rewarded. Things like points, extra lives, upgrades or successfully freeze-tagging all your friends, all let you know you are playing the game correctly. As you progress you become more proficient at games, leveling up until you eventually complete the game (or until no one wants to play freeze tag with you anymore). All the while, the game tracks and reports what you are doing well, what you have completed, what you still have to complete and so on.


When implemented successfully gamification can help to:


  • Teach - onboarding users into new systems and ways of working reduces training time and increases time to valuable participation
  • Motivate & Engage - tapping into intrinsic & extrinsic motivators results in increased participation and repeating activities/user retention
  • Reward - successfully understanding your audience and rewarding them in ways they care about creates engagement and ownership in the community
  • Measure - understanding the objectives for your community


Turning on badges, points and levels is only the beginning; gamification will not become self aware (that's pretty much Skynet and that scenario did not end well for anyone). So diligence on reviewing strategy is definitely required, and key to success. Also, look at the elements that you believe will make your community valuable to your organization; think about how can you get your audience to that definition of success as quickly as possible. Then think about the techniques available with gamification and how it can help you engage your audience so both you and your audience can ultimately succeed.


Gamification should be a tool to measure and evaluate the success of online communities. The next time you think your audience isn't familiar with gamification, just remember we've been gaming all of our lives and they just need the right environment to get back in the game.

Social Edge and [ARCHIVE] TemboSocial are teaming up again, this time in a webinar featuring TemboSocial president Steven Green and Social Edge strategist meganmurray. On Wednesday, June 15th at 2 pm ET/11am PT, both will share their expertise in Jive community engagement. They will also review the ROI of a super engaged community, and how tools such as polls and surveys, can take your community to the next level.


Join our webinar and learn from real world use cases on how to build successful, engaged communities - register here: Register for TemboSocial Webinar with Social Edge