The gamification of Read.Cash
Nobody here has the slightest doubt that Read.Cash is an excellent and very successful system. It has filled the imagination of many content creators with passion and has been the hope and salvation of many people in these difficult times. However, have you ever wondered why it is successful or why do its users like it so much?
If they were asked that question, most people would answer that it is because the system pays them to create content and they all want to receive money. Well yeah, that's one of the great advantages of Read.Cash, but the real reasons go a bit deeper than just that.
Truly this great project has fulfilled many objectives, helping many people not only from an economic point of view, but from education, entertainment and much more; in times when it was really needed. Huge thanks to the great MarcDeMesel and all the Read.Cash team for this excellent opportunity and we will continue to contribute to this great community.
In this post I am going to do my best to explain the success of Read.Cash from a Gamification point of view. More specifically using the Octalysis Framework, from the great gamification guru Yu-Kai Chou. It is valid to clarify that I am only a fan of gamification, so this analysis is simply my consideration of the characteristics of Read.Cash and an exercise in people's motivations.
If you don't know what gamification or the Octalysis Framework is, you can visit other posts of mine that talk about it:
Octalysis level 1 and its 8 core drives
This review will only cover level 1 of the Octalysis Framework. It describes how the characteristics of Read.Cash contribute to each of the core motivational drives and their organization. To refresh a bit on what core drives are and what areas of motivation work, here is a short summary:
Core Drive 1: Meaning and Epic Calling
It is the drive that a person feels when he is doing something greater than themselves and/or was "chosen" to take that action. This drive is also part of the feeling of belonging to a community. You belong to something greater than you as an individual and the tasks you perform have a higher meaning, even if they do not benefit you particularly.
Core Drive 2: Development and Achievement
It is the impulse that a person feels to progress, grow, develop skills, obtain achievements and, finally, overcome challenges.
Core Drive 3: Empowering Creativity and Feedback
It is the impulse that a person feels when they express themselves in a creative process in which they constantly discover new things and try different strategies or ideas. Not only do people need ways to express their creativity, they also need to see the results of their creativity, continually feed back and adapt.
Core Drive 4: Ownership and Possession
It is the impulse that a person feels towards his possessions. When a person feels that he owns something, he innately wants to make what he owns grow and improve. It is also expressed when the user feels like an owner or an important part of a process, project and / or the organization.
Core Drive 5: Relationship and social influence
It is the impulse that a person feels towards social relationships with other people. This drive can be expressed in various ways such as: mentoring, social acceptance, social feedback, companionship, and even competition and envy.
Core Drive 6: Scarcity and Impatience
It is the impulse that a person feels to want something simply because it is extremely rare, exclusive or immediately unattainable. The fact that people cannot get something right now motivates them to constantly think about it and take actions to get it.
Core Drive 7: Unpredictability and Curiosity
It is the urge that a person feels when they do not know what will happen next. It allows you to constantly ask yourself what can happen and how to react to it.
Core Drive 8: Loss and Avoidance
It is the urge that a person feels to prevent something negative from happening. Avoid losing previously achieved tasks or processes or admit that everything he did up to this point was useless because now he is quitting. Furthermore, opportunities that are fading have a strong use of this core drive, because people feel that if they do not act immediately, they will lose the opportunity to act forever.
Read.Cash is a content publishing site with a variety of features that allow the author to publish according to his wishes. In this sense, it is easy to overlook great features that Read.Cash has that, although it seems strange, are not so common and are very important.
In fact, one of the most important aspects of the system that I find that perhaps goes unnoticed is its high level of inclusion. Read.Cash strongly attacks the core drive 1(Meaning and epic call) and 5(Relationship and social influence) with this feature allowing any user who wants to, can make their publications without any limitation.
There are no language, nationality or capacity limitations. Anyone is free to create a user and start creating content and interacting with other users, receive payments, comments and opinions on their content. Not all sites like this have that possibility, many even ask you for references of your capacity or quality to publish or put you to the test before letting you publish.
This freedom makes people feel better because it creates creative freedom and lets you experiment, while welcoming you to a great community where you can express yourself and share. Furthermore, it also means that there is a lot of diverse content and in different languages and genres for all tastes, directly targeting core drives 3(Creativity and Feedback) and 5(Relationship and Social Influence). Of course, as a well-done post generally takes a lot of preparation and dedication, core drive 4(Ownership and ownership) is also strongly activated.
BCH as a community and movement
One of the constant topics in Read.Cash and one of the fundamental objectives of mister MarcDeMesel with the system is to create a large community of lovers of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Donating large amounts of money in BCH to increase its utilization and for everyone to be able to see its excellent capabilities. Certainly Read.Cash has achieved that goal to a great extent using the core drives 1(Meaning and epic calling) and 5(Relationship and social influence) making us all part of this great community and at the same time communicators of the great capacities of the BCH.
Many users have even taken these actions out of the system, creating projects, talks, and other activities to contribute to these goals, strengthened by excellent use of Core Drive 1(Epic Meaning and Calling).
BCH as payment
Of course, the fact that your content may have some remuneration in the form of payment is a very good incentive. However, the way that Read.Cash pays is very interesting. As payments through tips can come both from other users and from an automated algorithm of the system; the author has to think about how to make the post in a way that the potential donors likes it, activating drive 5(Relationship and social influence) and of course put all his creativity to the test with core drive 3(Creativity and feedback).
We never know if we are going to receive a tip from another user who has liked our content and therefore we try to do the best we can. User tips are always uncertain and not so large. Which motivates us using core drive 6(Scarcity and impatience) and 7(Unpredictability and curiosity).
A cool detail (in my opinion) is the fact that it is not known how exactly the TheRandomRewarder's payment algorithm works to receive payments not from other users, but from Read.Cash itself. Much has been speculated about what the factors that influence receiving more or less tips from this mechanism should be, however, this information is not public (at least that I know of) and therefore intelligently and with great force adds the core drive 7(Unpredictability and curiosity). To make matters worse, payments are made little by little and a few cents at a time, adding more than drive 6(Scarcity and impatience).
Of course, receiving payments activates core drive 2(Development and achievement) and 4(Ownership and possession), making the activity much more exciting and adding a sense of progress and achievement as the payments grow, as well as the ownership of the money received.
Owning a user is common for many systems like this, but the user in Read.Cash is very significant.
No person who has achieved some achievements would like to lose his user. It is not only the money that is in that wallet, but also the followers, the sponsors, as well as all the relationships that you have been able to achieve with it. Other users recognize you through your username and relate it to the quality of your content.
There is also the fact that your comments and posts also affect your reputation both positively and negatively. Therefore, people normally take great care of this. This behavior demonstrates the force exerted by the motivators that manage to make you feel owner of your user and therefore responsible for it.
These characteristics make extensive use of the core drives 2(Development and achievement), 4(Ownership and possession), 5(Relationship and social influence) and 8(Loss and avoidance).
As I said before, Read.Cash accepts everyone equally, many types of content and in different languages. Therefore, there is room for a large number of different people with many different interests. This is where communities come into the picture.
Communities are a great concept, because they allow you to group interests and help users to more easily find the content they want and can join it, making this task even easier. Of course, it also allows you to contribute content to these communities, publishing for it. These posts in communities help a lot to the visibility of your content because it is more likely that someone who is interested will find it in a community related to the topic in question.
You can also create and manage new communities yourself, allowing you to create all these sensations with your own ideas and topics.
All these characteristics strengthen and make a lot of use of the core drive 1(Meaning and epic call) since you feel part of a group with common interests and you are also contributing to those interests. For these same reasons, the core drive 4(Property and possession) influences you a lot, you feel that it is your duty to help and contribute because it is yours and you are part of it. And of course drive 5(Relationship and social influence) is essential because you are not alone. Your content is shared with others, you receive comments and competition from other users.
Another cool feature of Read.Cash that I love is the Boosts. This allows you to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for your publication being shown preferentially for a certain time. At first it does not seem like a very attractive feature because it spends the few BCHs that you have earned with so much work, but as you gain more experience you realize how important it is.
It even reaches the point that it becomes a weapon of essential use, giving your content more visibility, which allows it to reach more users and in the long run giving you better results. But of course, why is it so attractive?
The fact that BCH costs is a direct attack on your core drive 6(Scarcity and impatience). You want to have this priority for as long as possible, but of course, you don't want to waste too much money either. In other words, you are continually evaluating which publications are worth promoting, for how long and to what percentage of the audience. Touching the drive 5(Relationship and social influence) in that assessment and also the 8(Loss and avoidance).
To top it all, you don't know for sure if that investment you make is going to have a positive result and you look forward to it. Almost so much that drive 7(Unpredictability and curiosity) eat you up, hehehe.
The sponsor and sponsored system is also a great feature. For those sponsored, it allows receiving other types of payments from users who recognize the quality of their content. On the other hand, sponsors in exchange for a monthly payment to their sponsored, receive the possibility of advertising in the sponsor boxes of their sponsored. Both users win from this relationship.
There are also other interesting and important details. In the sponsors box, they are not shown in any order. No, that would be a waste. They are shown ordered according to the monthly amount they are paying. Also, not all of them are displayed in the same way. The first 3 are shown larger and more prominent and in total only a few are shown. It also shows what each one pays.
In this way the sponsors are actively competing with each other to be in the best positions, thus giving more payments to the sponsored in exchange for that publicity. HEHEHE, it's great, and it shows in a spectacular way how to activate with great force the core drive 5(Relationship and social influence).
Notifications are quite normal in many systems, they are nothing new. However, I will mention them because they affect me so much. I don't know about you.
Through notifications, the system notifies you of any changes that have occurred with your publications, those of the users you follow and much more. But the notifications that we are all constantly waiting for are the ones that tell you that you have received a tip from a user or from TheRandomRewarder.
I do not know about you, but to me, that payment possibility keeps me constantly entering Read.Cash to verify. That drive 7(Unpredictability and curiosity) of notifications keeps me on my toes all day constantly checking to see if I get a red bell. HEHEHE is an obsession. Most of the time to find out that my sponsor's payment is overdue and I have to pay again. ARRRGGGGG !!! HEHEHE
According to all the characteristics described above, my consideration is that Read.Cash gets the following scores for the use of each core drives:
- 1 (Meaning and epic call) - 5 points
- 2 (Development and achievement) - 3 points
- 3 (Creativity and feedback) - 3 points
- 4 (Ownership and possession) - 2 points
- 5 (Relationship and social influence) - 5 points
- 6 (Shortage and impatience) - 2 points
- 7 (Unpredictability and curiosity) - 2 points
- 8 (Loss and avoidance) - 1 point
These results are very good and highlight the reason for the success that the system has achieved. Above all, because the core drives that it uses most strongly are 1(Meaning and epic call), 2(Development and achievement), 3(Creativity and feedback) and 5(Relationship and social influence) which are mainly associated with positive and intrinsic motivations. These motivations are the longest lasting and healthiest, and those that provide the user with great satisfaction in using the system and the results obtained from it. In the long term it is the use of these positive and intrinsic motivators that will allow the system to stay fresh and relevant for a long time.
However, the fact that the other motivators are negative and extrinsic does not mean that they are bad, much less that they should be avoided. It is true that one should not rely solely on extrinsic motivators such as 2(Development and achievement), 4(Ownership and possession) and 6(Scarcity and impatience) because using them incorrectly can cause long-term disinterest. However, they are very powerful in keeping the user motivated if properly balanced with the intrinsics.
Negative motivators on their part create feelings of restlessness and stress, but also in a controlled way they can contribute a lot. An intensely positive system can also bore its users because they do not feel that there is any danger to face and therefore there are no challenges to overcome.
It is best to achieve the most stable balance possible between all the motivators that create an enriching experience for the user.
Read.Cash is clearly a fantastic system, however that doesn't mean they can't be improved much further. Low scores on some of the core drives indicate that there is scope to create mechanisms and characteristics that utilize those motivations.
For example, some experience or development system that allows to give more value to the user, not only to its content. Perhaps certain potentialities of the system that are only available when a certain status is reached.
In many cases, just including highly customizable avatars will achieve good results. Building or customizing something from scratch can greatly increase the sense of belonging.
Another great technique is to create collectibles based on some achievement mechanism. This measure attacks several core drives (2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The more pieces you have, the more tied you will be to your user and the more likely you are to take the action required to earn those pieces. You also do not want to lose or change your user so as not to lose what you have won and you will also want to show your achievements to others.
Today we love our post to be liked, but they are not so important. Even the payment received at times is not enough to get us out of our procrastination habits. Sometimes we have the general idea for a publication and yet we do not dare to do it, I will do it tomorrow.
A silly but cool idea (at least I like it) would be to have something like a personal pet within the system. I know it seems silly, but imagine that that pet in your care can only feed on the "likes" or "upvotes" you receive. Sooner rather than later, users would feel owners and responsible for this beautiful creature and therefore it is much more likely that they will keep publishing to feed it.
I also think Read.Cash needs a bit more of the 6 and 7 drives. Maybe you can create time limited events or offers to increase the stream of posts, maybe contests or something like that. Something that create more challenges and situations of scarcity or urgency to act to win something.
I hope you liked this whole topic and that you feel a little more excited about Read.Cash.
The different levels of complexity of Octalysis
While the Octalysis framework explained so far is great and provides a lot of help in designing great experiences, it's still not all. Designing which characteristics an experience will have based on the 8 core drives and their balance of extrinsic, intrinsic, positive and negative motivations is only Level 1.
That's right, all of this is just the first level of complexity in the Octalysis framework. There are 4 more levels up to 5, of which only the first 3 are public. With each level you can further customize your experiences and they are just great.
If you want to know more about Octalysis and these great concepts you should stay tuned to my posts. In them I will give an example of how this framework would be used in real experiences and we will continue to explain levels 2 and 3.
Gamification design is an art. I wait for you…
There is still much more
The Octalysis framework is a complex and extensive discussion of how to drive people's motivations to perform certain functions. There is no way to explain it in this article alone.
That is why this is part of a series of articles that I invite you to visit to better understand this world of gamification and to realize how great it is and how much it can help the world.
If you found this article interesting, you may want to learn more about it and read some more, consider subscribing to my user and you will find out when I publish something new.
Thank you all…