From Kathy Sierra:
The real pixie dust is when you ask yourself, “how can I help my users get more comments on THEIR blog?”. You want to be the guy who asks, “How can I help my users get more followers and fans?”
What prompted me to write this is the latest magic pixie dust buzzword, one that I am passionately against: gamification. Applying principles of game design to non-game activities can be done carefully, artfully, and with wonderful results. We use principles of game design in our programming books…But the current crop of “gamification” experts are doing nothing more than “pointsification/badgification”, taking the most superficial, surface mechanics of games and applying them out of context to areas where they are, as I have referred to it, “the high fructose corn syrup of engagement.”
Be the one people talk about NOT because of your latest gamification and WOM (word of mouth) campaign, but because it is obvious to your users and those they influence that your brand, product, book has made them better at something. Something they care about…Give people an experience that leaves them feeling a little better about their own capabilities.
via Gaping Void