Business doesn't always have to be work. In fact, these days it helps if its fun -- especially if you want to pull in certian kinds of customers.
That's the theory behind gamification
, which makes use of game designs in non-game applications -- think of giving points or virtual currency to people who participate in Web site games or contests, for example.
One company that makes a gamification platform is Badgeville
, which says it now has 200 customers around the world including Salesforce. Badgeville has been used by BellMedia's Much Music in this country to reward people for registering on the Web site, leaving a comment, uploading content, voting on polls.
The piece points out that it isn't just consumers that gamification can be pitched at. For example, consulting firm Deloitte uses the technique to get clients to encourage their staff to take training courses.
It's not the only tool an organization should use to increase participation by customers or staff, but it is worth considering.