Point System and User Incentives

I am working on a collaboration tool with a DoD customer that awards points to members for activities such as posting articles and commenting on existing ones. I would be interested in learning of any ideas others are using as rewards (via points) to encourage greater participation in their sites. Our system offers no rewards other than the satisfaction of seeing your point score and ranking. I appreciate any ideas and suggestions.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Pam Broviak

I belong to an online community called Thinkbalm, and they have been using a system of points/rewards based on a system called Spigit. Members post ideas then others vote on them and post reviews. So far it seems to be an interesting method of collaborating on issues and solutions.

Adriel Hampton

This is the first site I have participated in with a point system. Have to say, it is a motivator. I would look at how points and rankings are used here. I find recognition/friendly competition a suitable reward. Perhaps access to increased features/tools/apps at a certain level would be cool, too.

Paulette Neal-Allen

yes, but you also don’t want to reward “me too” responses the same way you reward responses that required actual thought. At the school, for hybrid classes we (the instructor) normally post a new forum topic related to the week’s subject and require each student to have one original post on the thread, and one response to another student’s post. I’ve seen a lot of posts I didn’t think should really get credit for being a “response”… and I would think that you would hate to see that happen in an environment such as this, or with your DoD customer.
I would respectfully disagree with Adriel about ponts being a motivator, for me. I’m enough of a big mouth that I would respond anyway. I think that the “GovLooper of the Week”, OTOH, could be more of a motivator.
That said, James, if it were me I would spend a lot of time talking with your customer about what the true goal of the system they are asking for. If they are looking initially to just get people involved and used to checking in, making comments – a straight point system for posts and comments would be the best way to go. If, however, they are hoping to encourage meaningful content that is related to the system – maybe having other people “vote” on their responses and giving them points for that might be a better way to go.
The above opionion is my own, of course.

James Brown

Paulette…you correctly identified my issue. Many users on this system are using the “me too” responses to generate points. And although the system does not reward for points, point scores can be used as support for bonuses and better employee reviews. I like your approach to this using the one original post requirement. Merely replying with “I agree” or “Great job” does not merit any award. Your approach would require more attention to gardening and peer review but it provides incentive for quality not quantity. I will have to look into adjusting our system to focus on peer review awards to cut down on “drive by” comments.

Paulette Neal-Allen

Re-reading my post above, I don’t think I fully explained that I *do* think there is a time and a place for a straight points-for-contributions system. There are an aweful lot of people who are unfamiliar with a community like this, and just getting them to get on and start making some comments – any comments! – might be a desirable initial step. Kind of like how Solitare on the computer was a painless, mildly amusing way to get people to initially overcome their fear of the Graphical User Interface and using that “mouse” thing to interact with it.
So I do think that a frank discussion of what the customer really wants to see from the system is the only way to get a system that provides true value – but you are doing that 🙂

Hey, happy holiday week, everybody!

April E.

Humm…this reminds of my Borders, BestBuy, Grocery Store, and many more rewards cards, I carry around. If I buy I get points….needless to say, I’m one of those that usually ends up donating points to a worthy cause since it is too much of a hassle to actually use the points to buy something else. With that example, I’m not positive I would see a benefits in giving points. What do you get for the points? If there is an interest in something, people will post.. A not-so popular topic could mean something too. 🙂

Sarah Bourne

While there are plenty of folks like April, Paulette, me and many others, who will participate for the sake of participating, do not underestimate the motivational power point systems bring to bear. Jake McKee puts it in “Questions & Concerns” at http://www.90-9-1.com/ , “People will give up their first born for a gold star next to their name. You might find some useful insights via the “Additional Resources” at this site.