Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gaming for Attention and Collaboration in the Enterprise

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The New York Times today had an article titled 'Why Work Is Looking More Like a Video Game' that caught my eye. Just last week i was discussing with some colleagues the learning and collaboration benefits of 'games' but creating a 'brokering' game around attention and collaboration within e-mail conversations is a great idea and i am anxious to find out more about how enterprises may actually be able leverage this.

In this article two services are reviewed, one is a CRM solution Entellium that provides some 'gaming' like functionality and the other is a very interesting concept out of a Palo Alto company Seriosity. The idea is to create a virtual economic community within the Enterprise around corporate e-mail communications. From the Seriosity website "It tackles the problem of information overload in corporate email using psychological and economic principles from successful games". E-mail information overload is indeed a huge problem in the enterprise- things like Subject line 'rules' (e.g. Proposal Approval) and Outlook flags do attempt to provide some sort of priority but how powerful would attaching monetary value be?

The service includes an e-mail add-on called Attent and is described in the article as "Employees assign one another “Serios,” the currency in Attent, for ideas, completing tasks and so on, and use them to help distinguish their e-mail from normal corporate spam. Over time, Attent users can gain not only Serios but also badges of excellence for, say, linking engineering and marketing, much as public skills rankings are widely used in online multiplayer games. Others in the company can see the badges, and presumably tap those people for help when they need it."

I always try to maintain a high level of personal 'currency' within the corporate groups i work with- the question would be would i be savvy enough to use my Serios to my advantage?

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