SXSW. Day two keynote. Seth Priebatsch’s The game layer on top of the world. Didn’t know what to expect.
Came out beaming, energised, in awe of what a room of 3000 people had achieved in one minute [this crazy card swapping experiment that highlighted the power of decentralised networks and people working together for a cause], and of the new layer that was going to sit on top of the web and make everything better.
Talked about it with everyone, came back home, talked about it some more, ardently defended it in a Twitter exchange just yesterday, and then tonight, after a day ruined by some areshat walking through the wrong door, I started reading up on gamification yet again. The doubt seeped in, and now I’m writing this.
Or maybe it started with that Twitter exchange yesterday, and Pon quoting Josh Williams, co-founder and CEO of Gowalla.
Badges are bullshit. Social validation is the primary driver of activity on the web.
I have been thinking about this over and over, nodding to myself in agreement. He’s right, you know.
Why am I writing this post? Why am I going to get Posterous to post this to Twitter? Why am I hoping someone retweets it or comments on it? I can’t completely quantify it, but I can sure as hell tell you it’s because I want to know that I’m being heard on some level. Is that social validation? Surely it is.
“The last decade was the decade of social — it took connections between friends, family, and coworkers and put them online. It’s called Facebook. The social layer traffics in connections.” Conversely, Priebatsch says that the Game layer traffics in influence — “It will influence where we go, what we do, and how we do it.”
I liked that last decade. That last decade enabled people to be heard, connections to be made, social validation to be had. The Game layer doesn’t feel personal. The Game layer deals in big ideas, and seems like a vehicle for businesses to influence how we behave.
Am I already so disillusioned by it that I’m taking it completely out of context? I just said yesterday that game dynamics, where relevant, applied on top of a social context makes complete sense, but as much as that’s true from the viewpoint of what Foursquare should do, today I’m thinking purely about what motivates us [or is it just me?].
Can you feel the doubt oozing out of me with every question mark that adorns this post?
I’ve gone completely off the rails, and this post will never end, and it’s probably a deeply psychological question on what motivates people, on and offline.
I’ve got a gazillion tabs open on motivations, but I can’t be bothered reading any of it, and I’ve actually been listening to this TED talk by Dan Pink on the surprising science of Motivation, and I like what I’m hearing.
As per the comment, I should clarify that for the most part, I looked at this from the point of view of content CREATION, but I still think it applies on some level to curation, and others reciprocating via “likes” or whatever.