There are a variety of ways to motivate contributors to contribute to a project.
If you Know Your Community you should have some insight into their needs and interests. Creating a strong, collaborative environment, where you use Feedback Loops and acknowledge contributions, will help the community feel valued.
You can also try to Deliver Individual Value as a more direct means of encouraging contributors to complete useful tasks.
Gamification is a means of motivating contributions by introducing game design ideas into your project’s website. Game elements could include:
- Awarding points for carrying out certain tasks, such as adding new data or completing reviews
- Giving badges to mark specific achievements, for example for being a regular contributor, contributing a specific number of records, or participating in an organised campaign
- Creating leaderboards that highlight the most frequent contributors
Creating a project or campaign Progress Indicator can be considered a form of gamification, as it may motivate increased activity towards completing specific goals.
While gamification has been successfully applied in a number of collaborative projects, it’s important to recognise the potential downsides. For example, a leaderboard might end up incentivising people to make lots of contributions, regardless of whether they are useful or high quality. Make sure game elements are designed with care to ensure they incentivise the right behaviour among contributors.