I am always looking to find ways to get my members more invloved and stay using the site longer. I have been looking at the gifts feature to help with this. As you can make your own gifts im creating one's called tokens, each of these will have a value on them from 1,5,10,25,50,100. These will be my awards gifts as im the only one allowed to give them out. So basically I can then send members who are adding frequent content etc a token. This will also be used for members who enter my competitions, so if they enter they will receive a token, winners of said competition will then get a further higher value token and the prize. You could use smaller value tokens for quick online comps like quiz's.
The purpose of doing this comes into play when you have say a competition to run which only allows certain members with the right value of tokens to enter or if your paid access and a paid up member is always very active on the site they will accumulate a great numbers of tokens so say they reach over 500 tokens they could invite a friend to join who will be given a comp period.
This hopefuly this will drive more participation and another benefit is they then get used to the gifts idea and maybe will start to buy their own to give out, not tokens but gifts from the store.
With the new member categories coming this may come in useful for tracking these members who are given tokens. You could create a category for the members you give tokens to so each time a member who gets a token for the first time will then be added to the category. This makes it easier to see the list of all members who have tokens.
What do you think ? There are so many way to use this so will be interesting to see what other ideas you come up.
John Bizley ya great idea
Thanks and glad you like the idea
Good idea! And how do you do it? do you pay for each gift?
Pleased you liked the idea, you first will need to add the gifts feature onto your network. Next you will need to create your custom gift images, these should be 64x64 pixels in size. I create mine in photoshop and type the value onto each one. To upload them into the gift store follow this link to the help guide on ning . I was planning to create my own database to record who has received tokens but since Ning has announced the member categories that should do the trick but will wait to see once its added this week.
When a custom image is uploaded to the gift shop or if I attribute one of this uploaded gifts to a user am I charged?
Another question: is it possible to attribute a gift to a user automatically, for example based on quantity of groups the user has entered to?
Notice now in the gift shop it's USD 0,5 (25 credits) per custom gift if I use as an award for the users. It could be used for a token/badge system (manually as I could see) in the way I need and I've seen at the creators forum many are looking for this kind of system.
But the problem is that it would be too expensive to activate a token/bagde system in my network using custom gifts. Suppose 500 users, each achieving about 3 tokens per month in a token/badge system with for example 50 different tokens. An example, Foursquare have hundreds of different tokens/bagdes: http://squaregrader.com/badge/summary. Total of USD 750 per month added to a Ning Pro Plan.
And for a system that is not automatic, these tokens (gifts) can't be automatically sent to a user based on a certain amount of groups, replies, invites of this user.
It's a very good idea you described using the gift store, it may be applied in some networks, but for a system I'm seeking it's not affordable, I'll continue on my researches...
That is a great idea! I will haveto transfer this ot my network but I like it already! Thanks for sharing!