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IActionable Bring Elements of Social Gaming to Your Website

In recent years the development of social web based platforms and their integration with real-time group-based gaming has bought about a whole new type of market, one that has extended itself well beyond even the wildest imaginations of its creators. Companies such as Zynga have seen unprecedented success with games like Mafia Wars, using Facebook to spread their influence virally to achieve a player count of around 22 million for Mafia Wars alone (that’s more than twice the number of people who play World of Warcraft the most successful full scale MMO to date).

Zynga aren’t alone, Crowdstar (Happy Aquarium, Happy Island), Playdom (Social City, Tiki Resort) and Playfish (Pet Society, Restaurant City, Hotel City) have all managed to achieve long term exposure to multiple millions of people.  Often these games aren’t complicated, nor do they reflect any kind of real skill on behalf of the player. Yet people seem to find immense pleasure in the idea of a “game” which announces how far they have managed to get to all of their friends, even going so far as to spend real money in some cases so as to get an advantage over their non-paying friends in an otherwise free to play environment.

Humans are competitive by nature, as well as being very social creatures. Which is why the blending of gaming and social media platforms has proven to be such a massive success. Even traditional console based video games have achievement records which integrate with Twitter and Facebook to let the whole world know how you’re doing (which acts as excellent advertising for the software houses behind the games).

Now a relatively new startup company called IActionable is hoping to help make it easy to bring some of that good willed competitive social gaming feel to business and personal sites across the web. The company is currently beta testing software which will allow people to make interacting with their website part of a game, one which will allow users to score points and work their way towards unlocking achievements (which can be set to announce via their Facebook and Twitter accounts).

Providing a fun way for users to interact with your website could potentially come with a number of benefits:

  • It can be used to encourage people to leave useful feedback about your site
  • If you manage to convince your viewership to link your sites achievement system with their social media accounts you will be able to promote your site to a highly targeted audience (assuming the friends of an existing user share similar interests to that person).
  • In some cases the use of a point-scoring achievement-driven system tied to different ways of interacting with your site could lead to an increase in revenue streams.

Using this system you can award people points towards achievements when they leave comments, when they tweet one of your posts, when they place one of your badges on their Facebook account and potentially you could do a whole lot more. Anything on your site that is actionable by the user can become part of an extended game which will help strengthen your on-site community whilst also providing you with a healthy dose of exposure to the outside world.

IActionable are still a relatively new venture, with the developers having only gone into full time work on the project in May 2010. However, things appear to be coming along well with the first integration of the achievement API taking place over at last week. The back end engine that powers the scoring system is run off of a Microsoft Azure cloud based system controlled by IActionable, a service which will require payment to the company in order to acquire working access for your site. Pricing details have yet to be announced, but if you’re interested in trying out this exciting new way to call your site visitors to action then now is a good time to get in contact with them to work something out.

Post image by Pink Sherbet Photography

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2 Replies

  1. Thanks for the nice write up. It did a good job of explaining what we do (which is sometimes not so easy to convey).

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