In the 2014 Intel Teach Live Birthday Bash, Michael S. Tamayo introduced Code.org. This website shares a series of courses that teach coding in plain English appropriate for most age levels. With a series of short commands, anyone can create a beautiful snowflake.
The simple created the sophisticated.
This same principle applies to the missions we on the Engage leadership team create in Nitro. Each mission in Nitro comprises discrete actions from a limited list of possibilities.
When we enter the Nitro gamification dashboard, we have a tab that lists out all of the actions we can use to build missions.
These are actions that you, the users, do on the website. When we use one of these actions in a mission, we are telling Nitro that it is important and needs to be tracked.
Some of the actions we can use are:
These allow us to track when you create a blog post and when you look at a blog post.
You’ll notice that we cannot track length or quality. We don’t know if you spent half an hour poring over a blog entry or if you opened and almost immediately closed it.
The only limitations we can set are at the mission level. The limited function of actions makes being thoughtful with mission creation even more important.
When we open up a mission, we see the following screen:
This is from one of our newly released Mentor level badges. The purpose of the mission is to encourage full engagement with blogging on the Intel Engage platform.
The actions are used to create rules that you must complete before earning the badge. Each rule has a trigger, which is one of the actions, and a goal. The goal is the number of times the action must be completed to satisfy the rule.
The Metadata line is one of the ways we can limit and tailor missions. For example, if we wanted, we could adjust this so that you had to view blog posts shared in a specific community. Those viewed outside of it would not get counted. We can also limit missions by only allowing them to be earned a certain number of times or only within a certain date range.
For the Blog Master mission, the trigger action is BlogPostEvent-VIEWED. The goal is at least 100 times. This means you must look at 100 or more blog articles on the Intel Engage platform to satisfy this rule.
Of course, this is not the only requirement for the mission. Among other requirements, the mission also has rules that say you must create 30 blog posts—which is something that can only be done within a group you’ve created or with special permission from our team—and receive 100 comments on your blog posts.
While we cannot control for quality, by adding a rule for recognition, we are suggesting strongly that creating high quality posts will be advantageous in completing the mission. A good and useful post is likely to garner more comments, likes, and shares than a rushed or useless one.
When we create a mission, we start with what we want the missions to do. At the mentor level, we wanted to create missions that represented the increased level of engagement and quality we expect from mentors in the community. We also wanted to spotlight ways mentors help and encourage other members in the community.
Then we went to our possible actions and discussed ways we could use and combine them to create missions that would help us meet our goals for mentors.
After we release each mission, we watch to see how you all complete them. If a mission starts to encourage spamming actions, rather than engagement, we tinker with the mission to increase the difficulty or limit its use.
I realize this post is a bit longer than usual, but if you’re still following along, I have the following challenge for you. I’ve listed below some of the actions we are able to use to create missions. Using them, can you create a mission for the community?
Note: If an action ends with a dash, you can add a specific type of content afterward. So, for example, not just likes, but likes on blog posts. If you want to restrict your action to a specific area in the community or to a post that is already on the site, then make a note that you'd need metadata.
|Action||What it does|
|CommentEvent-COMMENT-||Tracks every time you leave a comment|
|CommentEvent-COMMENTED-||Tracks every time someone leaves a comment on content you created|
|FollowEvent-FOLLOW||Tracks every time you follow someone|
|FollowEvent-FOLLOWED||Tracks every time someone follows you|
|LikeEvent-LIKE-||Tracks every time you like something|
|LikeEventi-LIKED-||Tracks every time someone likes content you created|
|UserEvent-LOGGED_IN||Tracks every time you log into the site|
|ShareEvent-SHARE-||Tracks every time you share content with someone else on the site|
|ThreadEvent-ADDED||Tracks every time you create a discussion thread|