A few notes and observations about the first day of my first Gamification Summit 2012 in San Francisco. Overall, this was a great day – I met quite a few people, heard quite a few good presentations, and started to get a sense of what’s going on in the gamification world right now.

The conference opened with a short introduction by Dopamine‘s Gabe Zichermann, who laid out his three pet peeves about conferences and how he was going to address them.

  • His first pet peeve was long, boring sessions. These were addressed by having each session formatted basically like a TED talk, with an 18 minute presentation and some time afterwards for audience Q&A. This had pluses and minuses – perhaps I’ll get to those later.
  • His second issue was boring box lunches that most conferences have, and since this event is being held in San Francisco, he had some of SF’s famous food trucks in to cater lunch (I had a Cubano Sandwich from a sandwich truck whose name I unfortunately do not remember). For dessert we had cupcakes from another truck – lots of them!
  • Gabe’s final issue was a desire to fix the live-tweeting aspect of a conference, to make it smoother and more integrated with the program itself, and of course, given the topic, to gamify it. The answer to this was Memecube, a new application developed by Dopamine that integrated a conference schedule and a Twitter client, along with some game aspects. Unfortunately, the morning started out with Memecube not really working, so a lot of people ended up on regular Twitter. Happily, Memecube was working fairly well before lunch, and it was a good experience at that point.

Those were the logistical changes that Gabe made. In my next post I’ll talk about some of the content we learned about.

About the author

Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.

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