While he understands why gamification was used in this program, Greg Gifford of SearchLab thinks it had the exact opposite of the intended effect: “The idea is great, but the Industry Email List implementation has completely destroyed the value of the program. I understand why they played things; it keeps people interested and active. But it ended up ruining the Industry Email List integrity of the contributions. "This is especially clear when you look at Google My Business questions and answers. Local Guides received tons of points for answering questions, regardless of the value of the answers.
I saw a lot of very short answers 1-4 words to Industry Email List questions, and an inordinate number is sneaky and totally irrelevant to the question.” To illustrate Greg's point, I briefly ran through Google's questions and answers for businesses. It Industry Email List didn't take long to come up with a series of misleading, pointless or sarcastic answers submitted by a local guide to questions, and all for one luxury chain. This first example, above, perfectly encapsulates the Industry Email List dangers of poorly applied gamification. This is what happens when saying "I don't know" always brings a reward.
At least the Local Guide below passed on the question but offered a different path to the answer (still totally useless to everyone, though). I found many more, but figured I'd end this interlude with this example from Snark Local Guide. (Why are Local Guide veterans more likely to be sarcastic in their responses?) Gamification can ultimately lead to quantity far exceeding quality. As Greg points out, “Since getting points, they've been uploading tons of photos and writing tons of reviews.