Blog from September, 2013

Gamification for Corporate Wikis with Karma 1.0

Even though the attitude in companies toward the Social Intranet and Social Business often varies, and is not always positive, things are clearly going in this direction. This is because the up-coming generation of workers is demanding it. The advantage is that these new employees want a Social Intranet and when they have it, they will use it actively. They do not particularly need extra outside motivation. Nevertheless it is certainly helpful to keep the usability relatively simple, and to integrate elements that an on-liner knows from their experience with forums and communities. But what does that mean exactly?

Gamification in Forums and Communties

In Forums, for example, it is already common practice to reward active employees with virtual awards. An active placement in a Community raises the status and the rank of a member and, in the eyes of the others, is more valuable. Beginners often turn to seasoned members if they need advice, since the opinion of a 'Heavy User' weighs rather more than that of a newbie. This 'Gamification' is found in many Social Mediums, and it often serves as a push for a lively network.

In Social Intranets and company wikis the picture is somewhat different. Here the surface is often low-key, and the motivation for intense use is hardly encouraging. If the employees themselves are not intrinsically motivated enough, then the whole expensive acquisition and installation of a tool for team collaboration and for knowledge management is all for nothing, simply because it will hardly be used.

Gamification in Company Wikis with Karma 1.0

In order to counter this, Communardo developed a small Plugin sometime ago for the Company Wiki Confluence, that goes under the name of “Karma”. Karma represents exactly what users of forums and communties have already been used to for a long time: a virtual reward for activities and type of competition among the participants for badges and awards. (New Features in Karma 1.0)

The Sense of Gamification

The System will only be used when

a) it makes sense

b) it offers additional benefits

c) using it is easy and intuitive

d) it is fun

And it just for this last point that Karma has been set up for Confluence. It raises the fun-factor, it offers motivation in the form of points, medals, and badges thus providing more activity and more intensive exchanges. Gamification is thus a decisive success factor for a Social Intranet or for a Company Wiki like Confluence.

And Why Shouldn't You Use It?

If you take an even closer look, there's no reason not to. Of course in the beginning there are always voices that fear that the employees will start to play around the system just to attain points, not using it for what it is intended. Our experience shows that this can indeed happen in the first few days. However this initial playful giddiness rapidly dwindles and Karma's potential can then start to be made use of. It is just like with a new Smartphone or a new piece of software. In the beginning everyone plays around with all the features to get the feel of things. When the initial euphoria then subsides, as it inevitably does, then the new device or system quickly becomes integrated into everyday activity and can be effectively used.

Karma for Confluence 1.0 - Award Your Colleagues Medals

Karma for Confluence is the Plugin by which you can increase the activity in your Confluence, and at the same time reward work production in and with the company Wiki. First of all, the fun-factor of using it eases the introduction of the Wiki, and secondly, the competition between colleagues in Karma for awards and medals means an active and lively use.

Since the publication of Karma 0.9 a few months ago, we have received loads of positive feedback, including numerous good ideas – for this, we want to thank you very much! A large percentage of these ideas found their way into the subsequent development that led to publication of Release Karma 1.0. It is this new product, that I want to take a closer look at with you.

What could the Karma Version 0.9 do previously?

  • users collect Karma points and badges through certain activities in Confluence
  • notification of all information concerning Karma, seen in the user's overview (e.g. activities that were achieved using Karma, ranking list of the user's Karma, and the awards of the user)

What new functions does Karma 1.0 now offer the user?

  • awarding medals to colleagues to honor outstanding work
  • new activities through which the user can attain Karma
  • information in the Workbox on newly acquired awards and badges
  • extensive configuration for administrators and users

In order to further publish Karma for Confluence with new features – which includes further development using your feedback – we have also decided to publish the Plugin in the future with a commercial license, for a fee.

The New Funktions of Karma 1.0 in Detail

Awarding Medals to Colleagues

A colleague has saved you a massive amount of time, earned a big 'thank you,' or is simply the Hero of the Day? Show him your appreciation by bestowing a medal upon them. Your colleague thereby receives additional Karma points and, along with their entire network, will be informed about the new medal in the Workbox.

New Karma activities

Whether it is the setting of personal areas, working on Wiki-sites or searching in the Wiki...the user has now even more possibilities to gather Karma. And this keeps the experience of using Confluence a sheer pleasure even through the introductory phase. In addition, administrators now have the possibility to configure for which available activity the user will receive what amount of Karma. 

Information in the Workbox

You and your colleagues will be informed in your network about the recent badges and medals through a notice in the Workbox.

Configuration possibilities for Users and Administrators

Perhaps there is no reason for some user to want to collect Karma – that is of course too bad. So through their own configuration in the Karma Overview, each user may deactivate their participation in Karma. And in actuality, Administrators can configure all further parameters of Karma – for instance if the users want to be provided with all the possible Karma activities, badges, and awards, including how many Karma points maybe accumulated for each.

We have already heard, that maybe the Karma points of each user should not be so prominently displayed – so now the possibility for adjusting this setting is available to administrators. 

Furthermore we have made smaller improvements to existing functions, fault rectifications and added compatibility with the newest Confluence version – the Release notes give a complete overview.

Do you want even more fun when using Confluence?

Then contact your friendly Administrator or Wiki representative as soon as possible – he or she can generate a 30-day trial run for free at the Atlassian Marketplace. Here you can try out every function of Karma for Confluence in your Wiki at no cost. At the Marketplace you may also just as fast and simply buy a license for 10% of the Confluence costs.