JoystickThere have been a few reports out since the start of the year and all exploring the key trends for 2013… Chatting to my fellow IC crowd founders the other day got me thinking about some of these and I think we need to look a little deeper…

As the rise of social continues (you can see my thoughts that the future is not social here) we are constantly looking at ways to engage people with shiny new tools.

We can invest all the money in the budget on the tool but if you don’t invest in the launch it will never really work. I have this conversation about every initiative the business does, please put budget aside to tell people why you’re doing what you’re doing!

But back to social and a key trend of 2013 which is gamification. In a world of budget cuts and organisational change adding a bit of gaming to a tool should be great right? Almost. Whilst most people play games and with the rise of the smart phone more people are playing games than ever before it doesn’t necessarily mean the principles can be applied across social tools:

Badges for activity

But what activity? You can get a badge for your first comment online, but what if that comment is offensive? Or you get one for adding a profile picture and that too is something inappropriate. Basic gamification like this does not necessarily engage the right behaviours so whilst it is a key trend I do think we need to consider how it is applied.

It’s fun, but will people use it?

As the Olympics came to town we explored an online game to track sales throughout the period. It was a great concept of an avatar athlete that got stronger the more sales he/she made. We could have spent a fair amount on the project but I pulled it before we got it off the ground. Why? Because the business couldn’t forecast the impact of the Olympics and with such an unknown I couldn’t justify the spend nor the time when I had teams that didn’t even know if they would be open!

I’d still like to do something one day but  it needs to be right for the business, support the strategy and enhance the culture. Would love to hear examples where this has landed well that we could all learn from to embrace the trend for 2013.