A New and Exciting Addition

In addition to representing my time and the learning I did while at Spirelight, this site will also host a handful of topics covered in Digital Media and Society as well as a blog!

Have I come Full Circle?

My past two blog entries have discussed two different fields I plan on working in and applying my communications, marketing and advertising knowledge to post graduation, and even while I am still studying. Hospitality and parenting. This week’s blog topic, Gamification, can be applied to both. Gamification sounds like the process of transforming another process into a game. This is close, but not quite the definition. Gamification is when game design mentality is applied to areas which are non-game oriented to create an engaging, and even fun, process (Brand, J., Digital Media and Society, November 14 2016). How can gamification be used in the hospitality workplace? What can it do? Children play games all day anyway, how is gamification any different? These are all questions I had initially when I first heard of the term ‘gamification.’

(Herger, 2015)

Gamification is becoming more and more present in, not just software and a digital world, but society in general. This trend brings game studies together with human-computer and other concepts already in existence (Sebastian, Dan, Rilla & Lennart, 2011). As Blake Mycoskie said in his interview with Fortune.com (2016), people want to do something more than just work, creating a purpose or end goal offers just that. This is done by utilising intrinsic motivators which encourage us to take on a task simply because of the satisfaction that follows its completion. Five of these motivators are social interaction, mastery, progress, autonomy and purpose (Paharia, 2014). I feel as though in the workplace and at home I will be able to employ gamification in a similar manner. However, I have a feeling these tasks may need to result in prizes because most waitresses don’t take orders just because their autonomy allows them to do so.

Should I take a page out of my mother’s book, I could employ the mastery motivator and create a goal of my child to make the honour roll. Working towards receiving grades of 80 or above in each class for an entire term, not only instills my child with drive but hopefully with pride and faith in him or herself. The goal provides something to work towards, whatever game console or permission to use lifestance, 2030’s social media platform of choice. In the workplace we have been using a similar tactic, who can sell the most desserts in a given month; the most successful was awarded a gift certificate for a massage. This tactic boosts employee focus and productivity by providing goals, which Kittle (2016) states are clearly defined, measureable, indicate status increase, and should be meaningfully rewarded. Perhaps then, my managers got it wrong. Perhaps instead of a massage, offer a bonus equaling the price of the massage, or allow the winner set their schedule for a particular week, working as much or as little as desired.

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On speaking with Chris Herbert, former owner and general manager of Finders Keepers (FK), we agreed that most of the FK staff wanted monetary rewards, which on reflection, was correct. Us young, studying, and working women did want money. But Chris made an interesting point which was that not everyone does. He does not. Which made me realize that given the business, industry, and employee base, the rewards will need to vary. They could even be personal, given how well managers know their employees (which they should to a certain extent). Often companies ignore those who they would like to complete a task or reach the goal associated with the free massage. In order to reward them properly, managers need to understand which value segment employees are in. Understanding these segments will not only help devise rewards, how to apply rewards to goals, but the goals themselves (Pokorny, 2013). Tasks should cater to stabilisers, pioneers, and altruists; not everyone will excel at selling the most desserts in a given month, for not all employees are drivers.

To link back to my initial application of this blog’s topic, my conversation with Chris also landed on his son, my future children, and how I will be surprised by the lack on control I will actually poses. While this may be true I suggested utilising what little knowledge I have, but soon will, of intrinsic motivators to give my children control over themselves, the ability to reach goals and their rewards. On further pondering I had discovered a desire to observe my future children, determine if any of these ‘employee segments’ apply to them and if they do, which segments they fall in. I will then link these to the intrinsic motivators that apply to him or her. I will do this, not to raise excellent bedroom cleaners, but children who are able to realise what needs to be done to achieve, give them the drive needed to achieve, be rewarded, reward themselves, and most importantly, instill confidence and courage in my children. I would like my use of gamification to inspire my children to be creative problem solvers, curious, ask questions AND figure out how to answer them. I feel as though the use of gamification will be incredibly useful, not only in the workplace, but the home as well. I also feel as though this links wonderfully with the topics discussed in my first two blogs and will allow me to delve deeper into my understanding of their application.

(BabyLeague, 2015)


References

BabyLeague. (2015, January9). HOW TO MAKE CHORES FUN! [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYYlOqjawPU.

Brand, J. (2016). Digital Media and society [PDF]. Retrieved from https://ilearn.bond.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-659098-dt-content-rid-4349146_1/courses/COMN12-302_163/DMS10sm.pdf

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011, September). From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: Envisioning future media environments (pp. 9-15). ACM.

Herger, M. (2015). Raising Curious & Creative Children with Gamification. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.udemy.com/raising-curious-creative-children-with-gamification/.

Kittle, M. (2016). Five Intrinsic Motivators and How They Impact Employee Engagement. Retrieved from http://www.bunchball.com/blog/post/1591/five-intrinsic-motivators-and-how-they-impact-employee-engagement.

Paharia, R. (2014). How Gamification is Revolutionizing the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.bunchball.com/blog/post/1608/how-gamification-revolutionizing-workplace

Pokorny, M. (2013). Getting to know your employees and what motivates them. Employment relations today39(4), 45-52.

Witter, S. (2016). What the Founder of TOMS Shoes Is Doing Now. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2016/09/08/what-the-founder-of-toms-shoes-is-doing-now/

Because the way it is received has changed… the way we use it has changed.

(Finders Keepers Bar & Dining Lounge, 2016).

Participatory culture goes a step beyond its assumed definition. These cultures often develop around traditional media platforms that fail to reach objectives associated with them (Flew, 2014). Traditional media outlets often encourage contingent interactivity, which consists of three levels that levels sound nothing like interactivity. The first level, no interactive, is where a message is not related to any of the messages before it. The second is reactive, where a message is related solely to the message immediately preceding it. Lastly is interactive, when a message not only relates to several previous messages but also the relationship between them (Rafaeli, 1988). So what is participatory culture?  It is a culture in which members are not simply consumers, they also contribute and produce (Brand, J., Digital Media and Society, October 31, 2016).

Participatory culture goes hand in hand with community media, whose goals often mean that media makers, who are not professional, are encouraged to participate and provides a platform where views are able to be expressed. Community media is distinguishable by its content and the motivations behind it and its methodology and organisation (Flew, 2014). Chris Atton (2002) argues that community media is not alternative. Alternative media is not only de-professionalised, but is able to get media lacking characteristics of large-scale media institutions into the public eye, and willing to share media in ways that require minimal investment in an effort to for it to be distributed without being hindered by costs associated with publication.

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In contrast, the concept of citizen journalism is alternative, and therefore not the same as community media, but similar.  Public citizens gather, share, analyse and publish news and information (We Media, 2003). In his 2008 article, Jay Rosen makes a very clear definition of what citizen journalists do. He says that citizen journalism is “when the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another.” In this case, the tools are already at their disposal. However, it has been criticized, most notably for its objectivity. Citizen journalists are often potential activists, writing in fields they support (Citizen Journalism, 2016). That being said, this interaction, sourcing, creating, and dissemination brings us full circle in participatory culture, in which citizen journalism is one of many forms and segments.

This culture extends to the convergence of media, and while Sherry Turkey (1995) saw identities as being able to become changeable as a result, Flew (2014) shared a contradicting argument which spoke to me in a way I could not reject. “The combination of media convergence- the distribution and accessing of media content across multiple platforms- and more interactive social media are dramatically reducing barriers to media participation, thereby radically transforming media production, distribution and reception.” As a communications coordinator in hospitality I will be able to use participatory culture in a handful of ways to increase traffic, sales and revenue. I will be able to understand that by taking part in this culture we aren’t changing who we are, we are expressing different parts of ourselves, sharing ideas that may not be inline with our usual self, but still express who we truly are.

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(Finders Keepers Bar & Dining Lounge, 2016).

At Finders Keepers we choose our offerings based on how we see consumers influencing what the region desires. They do this by sharing their thoughts, likes and dislikes, and rating what is already being offered and happening, not only locally, but worldwide. Our ladies’ events supporting breast caner are a result of the reactions, shares, comments and word of mouth we seek and employ. This shows true participatory culture because the business and consumers are interacting in ways to provide what is truly desired. As a result, an Oktoberfest and Movember inspired October theme was also introduced (Sausagefest Menu, 2015). By scanning the local region, searching travel and review websites, social media, and receiving feedback, we are able to encourage and utilise this culture. Both the food and beverage menus are revamped every six months and incorporate much of what we take from our use of TripAdvisor and Facebook.

Based, in part, on the information offered from the participatory media culture we live in, we are making changes which are primarily aesthetic. These allow us to speak to our target market in ways, and times, we have not before.  We will remain an intimate venue specialising in share plate dining, that encourages interaction and emphasises the creation of experiences for our guests. The desire for breakfast and lunch, interest shown in businesses with corporate social responsibility, and exclusivity have encouraged us to share that side of our personality, knowledge and ability with the world (and our customers.) While our social media tactics will remain similar and digitally our identity is not changing, we have still leveraged participatory culture and express ourselves in different ways.

(Best Version Media, 2014).

Best Version Media, a media company in Wisconsin, has a similar view of themselves and their culture as Finders Keepers. Their video explaining their culture reflects Flew’s (2011) point. “What drives people isn’t simply what they do, rather its who they become while they do it” (Best Version Media Culture, 2014).  They continue to ensure that the media and advertising they produce is strong and result of the best versions of themselves, which are produced at the same time. I do realise that this is not exactly what participatory media culture explains, however, it is still culture used in media and highlights the points in this topic that I connect with.


 

 

References:

Atton, C. (2001). Alternative media. Sage.

Best Version Media. (2014, October 28). Best Version Media Culture. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehlFN6ABQRE.

Bowman, S., & Willis, C. (2003). We media. How audiences are shaping the future of news and information.

Brand, J. (2016). Digital Media and society [PDF]. Retrieved from https://ilearn.bond.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-659089-dt-content-rid-4349141_1/courses/COMN12-302_163/DMS08sm.pdf.

Citizen Journalism. (2016). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_journalism#cite_note-wemedia-4

Finders Keepers Bar & Dining Lounge. (2016, May 28). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/finderskeepersbar/photos/a.1407090662875956.1073741829.1400290886889267/1700064480245238/?type=3&theater.

Finders Keepers Bar & Dining Lounge. (2016, September 5). Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/finderskeepersbar/photos/a.1400296040222085.1073741827.1400290886889267/1734634643454888/?type=1&theater.

Flew, T. (2014). New media: An introduction. Oxford University Press.

Rafaeli, S. (1988). From new media to communication. Sage annual review of communication research: Advancing communication science16, 110-134.

Rosen, J. (2008). A most useful definition of citizen journalism. PressThink, July14, 2008.

Sherry, T. (1995). Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York, New York.