Tuesday 15 April 2014

Gamification at Collaborate2014

Collaborate 2014 had a mobile app, not uncommon nowadays in fact almost a necessity but this one was worthy of note.

I loved the mobile app it really did help to plan my agenda, and to be able make selections on the move, rate presentations, comment on the experience and interact with other delegates was fantastic. But I do have some feedback:

Syncing calendar:
This is a really good option, the ability to be able to copy into Outlook and therefore merge with private meetings with excellent, however if you later selected another session and selected copy it duplicated those that had already gone over and over the course of the week this happened to me three or four times. A nice thing unlike the Oracle Open World agenda planner was that you could select more than one session in a timeslot so that if you went to one and it turned out to be no good you could quickly pop your next choice; however combined with the calendar syncing that meant that some time periods I had seven or eight entries in my outlook and responding reminders.

Social Media Syncing:
There was also a great feature that allows you to sync with Twitter or Facebook, I try to keep work out of Facebook because believe what I do have non - Oracle friends but I love Twitter and for a conference it’s a great way for people not attending to have some of the experience. However ,and I think it is a simple enhancement, the Collaborate2014 hashtag #CLV14 should be added automatically and not have to be entered each time. 
Not being forced to sync with Twitter was also good because it measure could be selective and not flood Twitter with all the comments happening in Collaborate. It also meant that delegates who do not normally use twitter could take part within an audience limited to those using the app.

To encourage participation the app gave points for comments, likes, check in to sessions and feedback. I wish Ultan O 'Broin from the UX team have been there to give his wisdom on this example of gamification. It did encourage people to take part and there was a leaderboard that showed the top 20 participants but it also drove very annoying behaviour. Yes I love twitter and I’ve always got plenty to say and at the point the conference finished on Friday I was in seventh place but I added comments; many of those higher in the leaderboard gained their points by simply liking every comment, assessing every session, speaker and exhibitors in fact I’m not sure how some of them had time to attend sessions. It will only need to tweak of the scoring but it did become very annoying. This isn’t sour grapes I never wanted to be first and actually walked away the moment the conference finished, but it was fun and I met with the other leaderboarders  at the Collaborate Party.

This was the best conference app I’ve seen and with a few tweaks could be better.

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