WhatsUpGold: A Case of Getting Gamified

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The Outcome

WUGspace launched in 2011, and by all accounts it's been a huge success. Users clearly love it, as evidenced by the soaring numbers of participants. "When we closed the old community down there were just over 2,200 members, including internal accounts. As of today, I have 11,982 members, in less than two years," says Williams.

A big part of building this level of engagement has been the reward features that were so important to Williams. Users are rewarded for all sorts of participation, such as posting a new forum topic, uploading a picture, or attending a webinar. Completing a profile will get a user 50 points, and submitting a script to the script library is worth 25 points. Users can win prizes-from pens and T-shirts to Amazon gift cards-and gain admittance to new areas of the community by achieving higher levels of participation. For instance, Williams says he often runs beta programs that only some users have access to on the site. They then have the ability to comment and give feedback.

Even with all this success, Williams still has plenty of things he wants to accomplish with WUGspace. At the top of his to-do list is creating an ambassador program that enables some of WUGspace's most committed community members to help monitor and run rewards programs and give out points and badges to their fellow users, taking some of the day-to-day tasks off of Williams' plate. "It will foster more activity from other people," he says.

Also on the to-do list is adding more content to the site. "One of the things I really love about ... our customers is being able to help them get the most out of their software," Williams says. He would like to be able to create more blog and video posts to help WUGspace users get more out of WhatsUpGold. He has already started a How-To blog, and he hopes to also empower community members to contribute to these content streams so they can share their know-how with each other.

While happy, engaged users are always the goal of running a community such as WUGspace, external validation doesn't hurt either. Williams and WUGspace got just that in the form of an award in 2012. "[WUGspace] recently won a SuperNova award," says Rahal. The award comes from Constellation Research, Inc., and it "recognize[s] leaders who fearlessly pursue implementation and adoption of disruptive technologies within their organizations." If that isn't a sign of success, then I don't know what is.

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