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Bryan Person
Q2 - September 18, 2009 - Is there any danger in creating a reward system that's "too" generous? Have any tales of member abuse along these lines?
Reward inflation is dangerous. Rewarding too many people with VIP status, special access, thank you notes etc makes it less special. - Richard Millington
it depends on the cost to the company for the most part. But I think if it seems to easy to get it may be undrvalued. - Arié Moyal
As for abuse, it depends on what you're rewarding. - Arié Moyal
Not sure that "too generous" would be the perception on the part of community members? Seems to me they would be grateful for what they receive - particularly if they know it's not something that is tied to almost all community members but rather those members who have made valuable contributions. - Starwind
@Arie: Any chance that 12 months free could be too generous on your part? - Bryan Person
As with any bonus type of situation you need to understand that whatever you reward, others will emulate. Make sure you're rewarding the right behavior to enrich the community. - Joe Kikta
There is a thin line between being awarded for merit and being rewarded for gaming the system - Lou Ordorica
I hate to say this, but giving rewards is very similar to training a dog a treat when it jumps through a hoop. You give a reward for when the dog does what you want. But if you give the reward too easily, you don't get the action you want. Rewards must be used to reinforce the specific behaviour you want to see again. - Richard Millington
@Lou any reward that has anything resembling a monetary value is going to be gamed hard. I avoid them. Rewards should be monetarily worthless, psychologically priceless. - Richard Millington
@Lou @Richard My point exactly. Definitely need to be careful - Joe Kikta
If you're using a virtual badge system, you need to be careful not to divulge how they might be able to "game" the system for higher status... because they will. - Jim Storer
Lou - providing you're setting specific guidelines and the reward is more along the line of perceived value to the community member, I think you stand less a chance of gaming the system. - Starwind
I think its important to understand the operational strategy here - how many members, how many resources, what would you like to see that you are not... and then there are day-to-day thank yous that never end. - Rachel Happe
@Brayn A year is a major contest prize Usually it's 1-3 months. - Arié Moyal
(Sorry for my typos today) - Arié Moyal
Rachel, you add a good point about the day to day thank yous - I think thank you has become underrated, yet two words we need to use more often. - Starwind
New Q3 has been posted! - Bryan Person
Seems to me that acknowledgement, as some have already mentioned, can be a stand-out reward. People love their names in "print." - Starwind
@Jim Agreed not all rewards should have actions tied to them. Not only will it allow people to game the system but it will also limit the type of contributions you'll see. In a way what we are doing is new and there may be contributions we haven't thought of. - Arié Moyal
Anyone willing to share a past example of members "gaming the system" in a community? - Bryan Person
@Starwind Indeed I think most people would LOVE a thank you note I've been told it helps to send thank you notes after job interviews - Arié Moyal
@arie my current area of interest is in the value of lurkers... they may not accumulate many "stars" in your community, but could be the ones spreading the word about what's going on (via channels you're not tracking) - Jim Storer
@Jim The silent majority! We know they are being influenced, the challenge is understanding if this supports or detracts from your community objectives - Lou Ordorica
@Jim: Watch for Q4. I'll make it about lurkers! - Bryan Person
@Jim Indeed, how *DO* you engage lurkers? - Arié Moyal
@Bryan Oops... - Arié Moyal
@Arie: Hold your horses! Just kidding. Question coming in a few minutes. - Bryan Person
@Bryan My horses have a mind of their own! LOL - Arié Moyal
@lou - right on. depending on how your community's set up they might be reading a lot, just not participating. we do a lot of phone outreach to check in on "quiet" members, but we can do that because we're relatively small. - Jim Storer
@arie i don't think it's always about engaging lurkers... they might be predisposed to lurk in your community. figure out where they don't lurk and you're onto something. maybe they're the ringleader of a local F2F event, facilitate a conference call, something other than the online. - Jim Storer
Q4 - just posted - is all about lurkers! - Bryan Person
lurkers lurk because they want to lurk, they don't want to engage or they're just not ready to. maybe we should focus on giving them more to lurk at. - Megan
@Jim You can also do that because you have their phone numbers LOL But if I tried calling my facebook app users I'd probably get a lot of uninstalls - Arié Moyal
@megan - i like to figure why they lurk. like you said, it could be a lot of reasons. - Jim Storer
@arie right... i'm fortunate. YMMV. heading up to Q4 - Jim Storer