ISU Derby -- help us design an ISU networking game

What I wanted to do most when I took over as ISU*USA president was to refresh the alumni community, help you network, make it easier and worthwhile for you to stay in touch. We have done good in some activities -- getting contacts and events set up in regions, putting out a regular newsletter -- but there is not as much activity as I had hoped.

Fellow alumni, I have an idea. [triumphant music] But, I need your help.

Last weekend I attended BarCamp Boston. One of the presentations I attended, "Best Practices for Game Mechanices in your Web App" by Sachin Agarwal, gave me an idea about turning ISU networking into a game. Think, for example, of Foursquare.

You -- yes, YOU -- can be a winner at ISU Derby.

The basic idea is this: get points for activity on isu-usa.org, every week the alumnus/alumna with the most points wins a prize. Here are my first thoughts on what you can get points for:

  1. Comments -- Did you know you can add comments to blog posts, alumni updates, and events? It's true! Try it on this post. Suggested score: max 1 point per day; max 1 point per post.
  2. Invitations --Invite an alumnus/alumna to add a profile on isu-usa.org. Suggested score: 5 points for each fulfilled invitation.
  3. Feedback -- Give us ideas for improving isu-usa.org. (Seriously, I know some things are wacky on this site. Help me work it out. Help me help you.) Suggested score: max 5 points per week (totally subjective based on usefulness).

Does this make sense? Is it stupid? Do you have any ideas to make it better? Leave a comment!

For the first week or two, I will keep the score in a spreadsheet and post the leaders to our @isuusa Twitter feed. After refinement I will integrate the point scoring directly into the web site so that your score will be shown beside your name (a la eBay feedback).

This week (from now until Sunday), the prize is: I will send you a postcard for participating. Lame? Maybe. But I will use your feedback and next week we will crown a winner for the week, then a winner for the next week, etc., and real prizes will be given.