Incentives and IdeaScale

2438188271_dcd7a302f9_zLast Wednesday, Professor Olivier Toubia from the Columbia Business School outlined the earmarks of a good crowsourcing campaign that incorporated incentives. Toubia’s research confirms that not only are crowdsourcing incentives effective, there’s a way to incentivize that improves engagement, idea quality, and overall online behavior. We thought it would be a great opportunity to share with our network how they might adapt IdeaScale to those practices.

Toubia began by outlining the benefits of using a crowdsourcing platform to gather innovative ideas.

-It allows ideas to be submitted anonymously (so that people feel comfortable being as creative as they would like). IdeaScale does offer the option of anonymous submission.
-And it allows ideation to occur asynchronously (so that users can participate at any time).  And, of course, IdeaScale is live all day, every day.

He also said that challenges that were limited to a specific timeframe were often more effective, as well. This is something that IdeaScale clients have been doing for awhile. Take, for example, NASA’s latest IdeaScale community designed to gain guidance on what the next version of nasa.gov should look like. The community was open from November 19th – December 14th. That’s just 25 days, but the site was jumping the entire time, boasting 1,500 users who submitted over 300 suggestions in less than a month.

Toubia’s model also shared quite a few qualities with  IdeaScale product.

-In Toubia’s model, users could assign points to ideas. In IdeaScale, users can vote ideas up or down. Not only can ideas be voted up or down, but comments can, as well.Report or Flag idea

-In Toubia’s model, contributing ideas were threaded so that you could see how users responded to each other’s ideas. In IdeaScale, all ideas can support a threaded feed of comments so that the conversation around one idea is always catalogued.
-In Toubia’s model, users could challenge each other if they thought an idea was inappropriate, off-topic or if the user was trying to game the system. In IdeaScale, any user can flag ideas or comments to report abuse.

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But perhaps most significantly, Olivier Toubia found that the most effective way to engage users and get them to create great ideas was to reward them not for simply submitting an idea, but rewarding users who created the ideas that generated the most engagement from the rest of the community. In IdeaScale’s gamified experience, there’s a badge for this. The IdeaScale lightning rod award is awarded to the person who has received the most amount of votes on their ideas or comments. The lightning rod is just one badge in a suite of badges that IdeaScale has automated as part of the badges system.

In the future, IdeaScale hopes to create a custom badge for an idea that not only generates a storm of votes, but also a storm of commentary in order to better align to Toubia’s research.

To learn more about how to apply these qualities to your IdeaScale community, contact support.

For the full video of Professor Toubia’s webinar, visit the video archive here.

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