For the last year, we’ve been working on new ways to identify and recognize our members who are doing a particularly good job collecting videos. We’ve added category and sub-category pages that showcase both recent activity and top users, and helpful lists that identify folks you might want to follow.
We’ve also wanted to make Vodpod more fun to use.
Like so many other folks (see our related post on that here) we were inspired and entertained by the cleverness of Foursquare‘s badges. And, we’ve admired how StackOverflow uses both points and badge-like achievements to provide a handy guide to their best members. We tried to take the best ideas from those services, and re-work them to fit the needs of our members and the culture of our service in building our own points and badges system, which we launch today:
Our badges reward video collecting, of course. There are basic, and easy-to-earn, badges for getting your collection started. And others that reward your collecting prowess in particular categories — music, politics, tech, sports, and anime — or in particular endeavors (such as “first discoveries” or collecting videos from a wide range of sites). And there is the elusive Pigeon Badge. We plan to add badges for more categories and types of achievements in the coming weeks and months. Send us your ideas.
In addition to our badges, we’ve also introduced a points system on Vodpod. You earn points when videos you have collected are re-collected by other Vodpod users. You also earn bonus points if your video becomes popular. More details here if you’re interested.
On your account page, we’ll show you how other members you’re following are doing:
We’ve also added leaderboards for categories and sub-categories based on points earned over the past 30 days:
You earn points in a specific category when you collect a video relevant to the category, which in turn gets re-collected by others. If you collect a Saturday Night Live video, for example, which is then recollected by others and goes popular, you’ll earn points in the “Funny” category.
Like all good badges and points systems, there is a game here to be played. What’s the best way to win more points, earn more badges?
Build a following on Vodpod. Invite friends or others who share your tastes and interests to join Vodpod and follow you. Encourage your followers to re-collect the videos they like.
We’d also encourage you to follow other members you like, and re-collect videos from them. It’s nice to earn points for videos you’ve collected; it’s nicer still to help other members by spreading their discoveries.
Re-collecting videos on Vodpod is a little like a re-tweet on Twitter, a “Like” on Facebook, or a “re-blog” on Tumblr; it’s both a means of self-expression, and a way to spread ideas and interesting videos.
Of course, we recognize this won’t be of interest to everyone. If you don’t like all this, just ignore it and keep using Vodpod the way you always have.
But, we’ve added badges, points and leaderboards because they meet our key criteria — making the service more fun, and more useful. We hope most of you will agree.