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As you may have heard, I’ve been working on a project to add extensive game mechanics to the SAP Community Network (SCN). There have been some game elements in SCN for a while now: we introduced the point system in 2004, and we added lists of top participants (also known as leaderboards) and point levels. What we are about to launch is more extensive, and it’s called gamification. Although some don’t like the term, it seems like it’s here to stay having been around since 2004!

In his recent blog Game On! Gamification Coming to SCN, chip.rodgers explained what gamification is and what  the objectives of the SCN gamification project are. This is a project that I’ve been leading for over a year now, and we are very close to launch. I wanted to share the news with you that:

SCN Gamification will be launched on Sunday, April 28 in the morning CET

There are a couple of activities planned for the launch, and you should join if you can:

SCN Buzz streaming live video on Tuesday, April 23 – watch the home page at 10:30am PT that day and listen to the team talking about the project. chip.rodgers will moderate the discussion including me, oddss, oliver.kohl, jeanne.carboni, and sean.yang15 talking about the project and the upcoming launch.

SCN Game Room, a virtual SAP Connect room open for two days following the launch on Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30 in several time zones – the details will be communicated via a system announcement. Come to the room and “hang out” with the SCN Team and other community members to ask questions, give your feedback, etc.

On Twitter, remember to use our (new) hashtag #SCNGameOn

The Gamification Core Team is comprised of myself, oddss, oliver and sean.yang15, under the guidance of our managers jeanne.carboni. We’ve been working around the clock these past weeks to launch, in spite of the recent spam attacks that impacted our project significantly. We had to modify our strategy to include pre-moderation, testing and bug fixes. There are still a few tickets we are working on now with the intention is to fix them in time for the launch.  The team is working closely with Jive and Bunchball, as well as SAP IT, to fix all outstanding issues for the launch.

As you can imagine, gamification will change SCN and you will be informed of these changes via several blogs and documents, as well as some “tip in a minute” videos we’re preparing. Make sure you follow the core team as well as Krysten Gentile to be kept up to date.

My colleague moshe.naveh already published a blog informing the community of changes about wiki points which will be implemented at the same time as gamification.

A blog series

Now let’s step back a little bit. I want to share my experience as a project manager and there is a lot I want to tell, so I am planning to write a blog series. In this first post I want to talk about the project and how it came to light.  In future blogs, I’ll share more about the project, our objectives, the team, missions and badges, the new points levels, and more!

This is fun!

This project has been exciting for the several reasons:

Gamification is everywhere, we just don’t notice it. The way I see it, by the end of this decade gamification will be embedded in most experiences we have online. The new generation is expecting more fun at work and in their private lives, gamification will soon be seen as a tool to ensure good user experience.

Gamifying a mature, professional community like SCN is a complex task. We did careful analysis of member behavior to understand what should be encouraged and how to best encourage it.  We're talking about serious fun here: Fun via missions and badges as well as surprises for the community, but serious because it is about content, quality and reputation. In an upcoming blog I will explain the thought process behind the mission strategy and design, the way we work towards countering cheating and rewarding quality content with badges.

Gamification will change the way people engage on SCN for the better because it will give everyone something to strive for, and provide helpful tips for successful engagement in the community. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the community when we launch!

The project team has been working very hard to make sure we have a successful launch next Sunday.  And over the last four weeks, we have included many community stakeholders in the process of testing in QA, providing feedback on the system and how it works, and helping optimize the experience for launch.  We’ve had our SCN community team, SCN moderators, SCN space editors, and SAP Mentors all participating and giving feedback and everyone has been very excited and positive about the coming changes.

We are ready and can’t wait to bring the new gamification experience to the community!

Follow me and you will be notified about my other blogs, and learn more about the story of SCN’s gamification!