UK Blog Awards 2015 – submission from An Coppens,  (nominated for Best Company Most Innovative and Digital and Technology Blog ).

My introduction to the impact blogging can have on a business came in the early 2000 when I blogged regularly for another business I ran at the time in Ireland. Thanks to the blog then I gained article-writing requests, speaking opportunities and also a TV-guest expert opportunity, which sent that business into major growth.

Therefore when I started Gamification Nation in 2013, I knew blogging would form an active part of our strategy. Originally, I started by sharing writing occasionally and sharing a lot of great articles I found about the topic online. I was very much absorbing the topic, completing a masters in gamification design and learning as much as I could about the topic. Although I had been using game elements and psychology for nearly 15 years in learning design, the term and concept of gamification was new to me.

In December 2013, I decided to start an active blog strategy, I knew it was a massive commitment and it would take effort to keep up. In my view it would also put me firmly on the map as a gamification designer, when clients would go looking online. In the world of gamification the gamification leader board exists where web presence and social media activity of gamification experts is tracked as a measure of your ‘Guru’ status. I had already made the top 100 without and active blog strategy, but this summer I reached 7th place and have managed to remain in the top 20.  Although for me real business counts more than vanity status, it is important to be part of the industry tracking modus.

The real effect is that I speak at conferences nearly monthly, which has each time resulted in new client opportunities and some fantastic partnerships with organisations across the word, which allow us to offer services well above what would be possible on our own. In fact my bold move for conferences is to make participants dance as well as earn rewards if my part is workshop based.

Keeping up 3 blogs a week is a challenge and when travelling around Europe for clients, not always guaranteed thanks to haphazard WIFI. I came close to missing a post in Belgium, but some creativity and loaned dongle devices later it went live anyway. I combine writing with info-graphics, and video, but so far I am still the only writer on the company blog.

Our themes are as follows, every Monday we have Gamification Mechanic Monday, every Wednesday it’s Gamification Stuff we Love which can be campaigns, tools platforms and every Friday I share the Feminine Gamification Viewpoint. The latter came about when I saw gamification heading the same way as the games industry, namely design for everyone mainly created by guys, who felt women and men behaved in the same way. I look for research how behaviours differs between genders and how this may impact on designing applications for behaviour change, engagement and transformation, which is what gamification effectively has the potential to do.

So although it takes a good chunk of time, often late at night or at weekends, blogging has put Gamification Nation firmly on the map and for the foreseeable future, we intend to keep up the themed approach.

We obviously have also a bit of gamification happening on our site with a neat plugin, which tracks your activity of sharing and commenting our blog posts and logs our top readers and sharers in a leader-board. Unfortunately I can’t set it to track votes for the competition, but we would sure appreciate yours in the innovation category on this link:  and in the digital and technology category on this link: 

#UKBA15 #BeBold #Gamification 

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