Sunday, 29 March 2015

Gamification is thriving inside the enterprise

I interviewed Mario Herger, CEO and founder of Enterprise Gamification Consultancy to learn more about the state of gamification inside large organisations.

Opinions may vary, but there is no denying that the use of gamification inside the enterprise is becoming an effective way to engage staff with their organisations.

"If you want employees to share knowledge and collaborate, you need to have not only a platform but motivated people," says Mario Herger, CEO and founder of Enterprise Gamification Consultancy LLC. 

Herger, who comes originally from Vienna, has been living in Silicon Valley for over 13 years. It was his passion for innovation that brought him to California where many technology trends are born. He started exploring gamification at a time when just a few people knew about it. Then, as often happens, he decided to turn his interest into a profession.

Today, Herger consults, trains, speaks and writes - he has already produced seven books - on everything gamification-related.

The power of reputation

"Putting the tool out there and hoping that people will come is not helpful," he says. "You need to create a culture of collaboration. Ensure that people express their thoughts and feelings and can discuss their ideas openly. Don't punish them for what they say online. Instead, encourage further conversations."

Herger believes that gamification can be very useful to engage employees especially around the adoption of new tools. For example, "many online communities tend to use 'reputation systems' to involve their workforce. They give their staff certain types of feedback that allow individuals to build up an online reputation. Even a simple 'Thank you for the great job' with points attached to it can work.

"Suddenly, you have some employees who had never shown up at meetings coming up as very knowledgeable and helpful inside those virtual places."

Beyond games there is empathy

However, many argue the opposite: that gamification is just another management fad and attempt to force staff doing something against their desire. Can it work in the long-term?

Herger relishes the challenge and notes "to make it work, first we need to fully understand what gamification really is and what it is not."

He starts with a basic definition. "Gamification is the use of game design elements in a non-game context."

This does not mean playing games. "You look at elements used in games, which are funny and engaging, and you apply them in business context such as a group on an enterprise social network."

He also likes to stress that "you need to create empathy with the players. Look at their motivations and interests. You are helping them achieve their goals in their working lives, while also benefiting other stakeholders - usually the company, the colleagues and the customers."

Roadwarrior at SAP

Over recent years the number of organisations investing on enterprise gamification has grown remarkably.

Herger has plenty of examples to share. He likes to talk about Roadwarrior, a game used for training sales reps at SAP. "Selling technology can be a challenge since the industry is very dynamic. It can be difficult to keep up with all the information and changes that need to be processed on a daily basis."

Here is where Roadwarrior enters the stage. The game educates SAP's sales staff through a simulated meeting with a customer. Employees learn how and what to respond to customers' questions, while also improving their knowledge on the technology they are selling. "Offering information about the customer's company prepares the sales rep to tailor their requirements."

Sales reps earn badges and points when they answer the question correctly and implement a good meeting preparation. Players also see the progress of their peers and other teams, which sparks further learning.

Ultimately, Roadwarrior fulfils three purposes: "It turns learning about SAP's mobile applications and technologies into fun. It puts sales reps into simulated meetings with customer, and it lets the players socialize with each other. And, last but not least they serve their customers better."

Onboarding at HCL

Another good example comes from HCL, a global IT services company with offices in 31 countries and 90,000 employees worldwide. "The company was looking for an online platform that could engage new hires between the day of offer and the day of joining. They wanted to ensure that the new staff was ready from day one as well as better predict their hiring needs."

HCL used MindTickle's cloud based platform to create online learning communities for new joiners and deliver pre-boarding content in an engaging manner. "The candidates were presented with individualized tasks and were rewarded with new materials as they completed each task. Learning was treated much like a game where they could earn badges and “level up” as they went through the content."

This helped to increase HCL’s branding with new joiners, engagement between the company and the new hires and also increase the preparedness of the company’s hires.

The power of smiley to workplace productivity

Smiley Time Recording is an application used by Slalom Consulting, which gamifies the experience of tracking time. Back in 2012, the consulting company needed to find a way to manage their time correctly and promptly. The game they implemented was very simple and user-friendly, yet effective. It tracked the time employees took to perform tasks and it assigned smiley faces on a weekly basis depending on the speed of reporting the time. The game also played on the still-friendly element of “shamefication” - employees were given a crying face and the text “You’re making this hard on everyone” when performing their tasks too slowly.

Silly as it might seem, the game worked. Slalom Consulting ended up with 90% of its employees collecting four smiley faces each month!

But, it's not about badges 

The business world is obsessed with badges. But "a badge is nothing else than a game design element. There are hundreds of them including points, leader boards, stars, medals, currencies and coins, being nominated as an hero and so forth."

Those are all extrinsic motivators. They all have an appeal to people as they recognise achievements and successes. Yet "they need to be tied to the most important intrinsic motivators."

In fact, it is the intrinsic reward that really drives and engages people. And, each of us is motivated differently. "It can be belonging to a community, making relationships, having autonomy, having power, or feeling that I am learning something new. The people responsible for gamification activities need to take into account this diverse demography and create games that build upon different motivators."

"It is like manufacturing cars. How can a carmaker create a positive driving experience? It all depends on the people who need to drive the car and their motivations for driving it."

Collaboration vs. competition

While tapping into the competitive nature of people has been an obvious approach in gamification initiatives, Herger believes that it is less than ideal for the evolving state of engagement.

“Competition works in the short period, but it is nearly always bad in the longer term. Ultimately it leads to unethical behaviours. It destroys the opportunity of doing things together. There is plenty of research showing that.”

In fact, for him the best gamification activities are the ones that “teach companies to collaborate.”

That is why “focus should be given on doing better work, not beating others. That is how great things are achieved.”

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This article originally appeared on simply-communicate

Sunday, 22 March 2015

'Connected' - when employees at Balfour Beatty go mobile

Balfour Beatty’s UK construction division works hard to make sure messages reach out across the company communications. With around 900 sites all across the UK - which can vary from large city centre projects to small and remote sites - the need to interact effectively with staff in the field is very high on the agenda. Yet, it is extremely challenging too.

"We can struggle to get communications out in the field; some people just don’t get time or connections to access emails regularly, some of our people may work in joint ventures so access is that bit more complicated, and some don’t have email accounts," says Head of Internal Communications Richard Howat (pictured right).

The same applies to delivering critical business information and processes. "And while we work closely with HR and IT, there can be a lag while we get to understand who’s started and who’s left the business across all of our operations and strategic business units."

For the communications team, this can mean spending valuable time just to make sure that the email data is right and up to date, and that people’s details are segmented correctly to allow them to be part of communities of practice.

Then it all changed. In January, for the first time ever the team (Laurence Ager; Gemma Castle; Sharon Lascelles and Katie Willison) started experimenting with Balfour Beatty Connected, a mobile news and safety news app provided by TheAppBuilder. Reflecting back to the last three months he has no doubt that the new channel is another very valuable tool to engage with hard-to-reach employees.

The soft launch

Connected was introduced through a 'soft launch'. "We deliberately wanted to test it with the people who had told us they had problems accessing news and company information through other channels."

Howat's team went out from the beginning of the year to those large projects. They shared their pilot app exclusively to test their thinking and gauge people's reactions. "We wanted them to think and feel that they been listened to, and that Connected could be another way to close that information gap."

Publishing news and beyond

The main aim of the app is initially to deliver news; and the news functionality also workes well to share safety updates. "We have people we work with regularly as part of our team on site – the supply chain for example – and the app is a useful way of also involving them in what we’re doing, if they choose to access it. We don’t need to know their details, or personal information – it’s an open and inclusive and very immediate platform.
“It’s early days, but establishing that kind of relationship could have dividends in extending what we do to include, for example, key processes or information they need to know and access easily to work with us."

And, all of this is managed in a controlled and engaging environment managed by the Communications team, and accessed through personal smart devices though a generic log-in.

Two-way communication

"Clearly there’s a lot of potential with social communications to build genuine dialogue. We’re starting with including the simple feedback option that TheAppBuilder provides within the app. We’ve already had people using it, and we’ve adapted because of what they’re telling us – even if it’s a just gentle nudge to update an item they want!”

The power of having apps that people are familiar with, on devices they are familiar with, offers further potential. “It’s entirely possible we could extend what we’re doing to offer teams the ability to gather feedback from people through the app, offering quicker ways to understand what people want to raise or have questions about. There’s certainly food for thought when it comes to offering a fast and compelling alternative to some traditionally paper-based processes – perhaps in sharing good practice in safety on site for example – and if down the line it offers efficiency savings and wins us time in how we process that information that’s all to the good.”

Between internal and operational communications

Howat believes that to do his job effectively it is important to have a stake in the needs and goals of the business. "As a communicator I need to be aware of what happens in the different areas the company operates. More than that, I need to understand their key drivers and have options for what I can do to help them achieve their goals."

So, two key pieces of advice he gives to other communicators is to "understand operations" and "be a trusted, but challenging business partner."

What do employees read?

Having clear metrics on how staff relate to the mobile app is a big help for the team. For example, from the Google analytics they know that typically people spend 8 minutes on content, and that videos are very popular.
"It is just so convenient for workers in the field to watch a short video and get a message straight away, perhaps to support a huddle or daily brief, without issues around formats, firewalls and filesizes. We were also quite surprised at how people appreciated having a selection of posters to download – although we then had to think about how to let them print where they had no wireless printers!"

As expected, safety information is also highly 'touched'. "It’s that balance we can give by selecting what we publish on the app: having it to hand, but not having so much choice it becomes irritating or loses immediacy. We are like the local convenience store of internal comms, not the hypermarket of the intranet."

Ultimately, this data is very helpful. "Because we are in a fairly early stage, we are a small team and this is one of many channels, we also need to be realistic on what we can deliver. And, certainly we need to understand what is really useful to peopleand what we can offer that’s unique."

Social media

Another big difference that Connected has made relates to social media. “We were active as a company on social media, but that is mainly externally as a marketing and as a recruitment/ advocacy activity."

Now with the app it is so much easier to think about integration. "The interactive and multimedia elements are just a swipe or a tap away from broadcast material, and again, the mobile platform takes care of delivering high quality media and a more immersive experience without hassle. We know we can recruit people effectively through social media such as LinkedIn; we shouldn’t expect that to end when they walk through the door!”

Distribution - the benefit of the App Store

Perhaps a year from now it will be easier to understand how to safely distribute an enterprise app. But for the moment all communicators are wrestling with the question of whether their organisation should use an enterprise app store or the Apple and Google apps stores.

Howat likes the fact that Connected can be downloaded through the app stores. "We are already used to it in our personal lives. It’s on an icon on the home screen. We are familiar with installing an app that way; and we can easily point people to where it is. If you’ve ever tried to describe verbally an intranet breadcrumb trail you’ll appreciate the benefits! In fact, people come to us and say they’ve seen it and how do they get access? And, it is just professional and easy as it should be."

He has a point. People's expectations around the quality of work communications are the same as the ones they have externally.

Even Jonny Kirk from TheAppBuilder comments "Apple and Google have invested millions in making their App Stores work so it’s a no-brainer to piggyback on that investment.”

Also, Howat appreciates that the App Store makes all the updates easier to track. This means that "as a communicator you don't need to worry about technical issues, updates, formats etc –all the process stuff. We can just focus all our attention on doing communications on a platform that looks good and works well."

Keep experimenting

To other organisations that would like to go mobile Howat suggests being brave and experimenting.

"Have a go with it. Allow yourself to test and understand how you are going to manage it. Initially, select a group of people who can see immediately the benefits. Be open on what doesn’t work, share positive outcomes and feedback that actually prove that the mobile app can be a compelling platform for the organisation. Then, ensure you quickly build on that. Typically when we show people within about five minutes they’re thinking how they could use it for themselves!"

Given the good results so far, he is now ready to make Connected more widely available. “That’s the first step; and then as we take stock, we have the ability to listen to that customer demand and plan what we can do next – or perhaps give them access and advice to do themselves.

"It’s one of the few channels I can recall showing people and getting that genuine instant lightbulb moment. Not just of recognition that it’s valuable, appreciation that we’re trying hard, but that it could have wider application.”

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Richard Howat and Jonny Kirk were on stage at SMiLE London on 11th March. Here is the video interview:
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This article originally appeared on simply-communicate

Sunday, 15 March 2015

#SMiLELondon March 2015 - Memories and Resources

SMiLE London by simply-communicate was back on 11th March. I was very honored to co-chair the conference with Marc Wright. Over 200 internal communicators gathered at St. Paul's etc.venues to connect and hear the latest on social media inside large enterprises. The result? Let's the following tweets tell us. 

Storify of #SMiLELondon 2015, 11th March (Part 2)

During the day we used the seenit app to gather delegates' view on SMiLE London. Here is the final video:

More memories of the event - these pictures taken by talented photographer Ben Eden (Thank you!) If you want to see all of them, here is the entire collection on Flickr.

   



You can read some of the case studies that we showcased at the conference on the following articles on simply-communicate:



Novozymes crowdsources the future - by Gloria Lombardi 


How Vodafone is talking in Circles - by Gloria Lombardi 

Building a solid platform for the future - by By Lawrence Clarke 

I am very grateful for the feed-back and inputs received on SMiLE London so far, including the following blog posts:




simply-succeed announced at SMilLE London - by 4 Roads

How to build your collaboration footprint - by Belinda Gannaway

SMiLE London 2015: social means humans. Now what? - by Casilda Malagon on IABC UK

SMiLE and be happy! - by People Lab

Beezy at SMiLE London - by Beezy

SMiLE and be Appy - by Glass Digital Media

SMiLE London top 5 take aways - by Deanne Beattle

To conclude, it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to co-chair the event on Wednesday. I enjoyed every single minute and interaction. So much fun! Huge thanks to everyone: our great speakers, experts moderators, sponsors, wonderful attendees, followers, our photographer and the entire team - the whole community basically! And, many thanks to you Marc for your trust and guidance!

I look forward to continuing exploring social media inside large enterprises to make our organisations more engaging and productive.

Let's keep on SMiLEing! #SMiLELondon

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Holacracy - management fad or miracle?

Defined as 'bossless' holacracy is a relatively new way of running organisations, which promises agility and adaptability without resorting to politics or painful meetings. Until not long ago, little information existed to help researchers and practitioners examine its impact on business. However today, new analysis and documentation is shedding fresh light.

Will this (r)evolutionary approach to work take off? Can it really help us going through significant changes?

For Co-Founder of Evolving Organisation Nick Osborne, the answer is yes. Osborne is currently the only Certified Holacracy Facilitator in the UK. Recently he ran a workshop at The Impact Hub Westmister in London, where I met and talked with him. I wanted to find out what makes this practice special - or controversial - depending on your view. It is well known that successful organisations such as Zappos want to adopt it, while others are rejecting it entirely. I wanted to put the hype to one side, and discover whether holacracy really has a place in 21st century enterprises.

Holacracy - social technology for purposeful organisations 

Spring 2012. Osborne had been studying and working with The Integral Model for many years when he stumbled across Holacracy thanks to his network. "It was the Waking up the Workplace series of interviews. Those were global conversations to awaken a world of conscious business."

It was at about that time when he also heard that HolacracyOne had a strict Certification and Licensing programme to quality assure the practice of facilitating and coaching around Holacracy.
In fact, Osborne likes to clarify that he is not yet a Certified Holacracy Coach. "I am a Certified Holacracy Facilitator. I am in the process of taking my assessment to be certified as a Coach. To get experience I have been doing informal and unpaid coaching." He hopes to be certified as the first Holacracy Coach in the UK in a few months.

What's Holacracy?
  
Osborne claims that Holacracy contains many of the best practices that we can find in collaborative approaches, such as "increasing participation, engagement and finding ways for people to be heard." But at the same time, the management practice retains some important elements of hierarchy, including clarity of decision-making, authority and clear accountabilities, which can easily get lost with more collaborative approaches.
As Osborne puts it, "Holacracy is a system that combines the elements of both hierarchy and a more collaborative approach, which fit the best in today’s world. It synthesises them into a new and different kind of system altogether."

What's different about Holacracy?

Osborne has been working with collaborative methods as well as participatory ways of running organisations for nearly 20 years. Over this period he has collected more tools and processes than he cares to remember.

"For people wanting an alternative to hierarchy, there is a mind-boggling variety of different methods to work with. Many people and organisations use a pick and mix approach to create a combination that fits their organisation and culture."

This can be appropriate for people who want to work collaboratively while choosing a combination of tools to fit with their own culture, values and members. To help with these choices Osborne has produced a series of short and entertaining animations called Self-Organisation Beyond Hierarchy, which also describes the distinction between hierarchy, collaborative and agile approaches.

Some of the tools that can be used with the pick and mix approach are also included in the Conscious Collaboration trainings that he delivers along with Psychotherapist Justine Corrie. These combine inner/personal dimensions of what happens in groups, Mindfulness along with group processes such as blended decision-making, gradients of agreement and conflict management; others can be found in Frederic Laloux’s book 'Reinventing Organisations'.

However, Holacracy has a different approach entirely. "It’s a like a pre-packaged system, which comes with a set of rules defined in the Constitution."

There are different types of meetings, each with their own pre-defined process. And, it also invites a dynamic steering "to enable organisations to adapt in a fast-changing and complex world; so it fosters the evolution of more agile organisations."

The Holacracy Constitution uncovers a minimum set of rules required to work on a foundation of distributed decision-making while leaving room for creativity, innovation and adaptability.

Probably the simplest way to describe it is in terms of a game. "If you think of how most organisations work today, there are some explicit rules in policies and guidelines. But also, most of the ways that things are done are implicit, taken for granted, assumed and expected. These implicit expectations often lead to misunderstandings, interpersonal difficulties, politics and conflict. It is hard to play a game well if people have different understandings of the rules of the game."

By contrast, within the Constitution all the rules are written down for everyone to see. "Everyone is subject to the same rules, including making all the expectations explicit."

A paradigm-shift

It is said that adopting Holacracy will bring about a paradigm-shift in how organisations work.
That is an iconoclastic statement, but what does it actually mean? "It is hard to describe in abstract terms without experiencing it. But it’s a shift in the very foundations of how power works in an organisation."

In Holacracy the power is distributed in a way that fosters leadership in everyone in their roles, and within a framework of clear accountability.
There are other systems that decentralise the power of hierarchy. For example, the Viable Systems Model, Sociocracy, Adhocracy and Wirearchy. Yet, Osborne thinks that Holacracy is the most rigorous and cohesive as well as the best fit for today’s fast-changing and complex world. "This foundation of the distribution of authority and leadership enables faster, more responsive decision-making and better ways to harness the individual and collective creativity and genius, which are so often stifled in organisations.
"Meetings are reported as being more effective and satisfying, employee motivation and engagement increases and absenteeism decreases."

Another key element he appreciates in Holacracy is that it supports people in taking personal responsibility, "fostering more conscious organisations." Ultimately, all the above factors help to "improve social, economic and environmental productivity, as well as value-creation and sustainability in organisations."

Zappos and beyond

Zappos is the most popular, largest and best documented example of a company who has adopted Holacracy. However, in December 2013 the number of organisations claimed to be using it was already around 500.

Osborne himself is applying this practice inside his own company Evolving Organisation. It has been an interesting journey so far and he believes that it can be beneficial for many more organisations. This is especially true if we think of it in terms of the development of social technology.

"Hierarchy is well-suited to an environment which is relatively simple and stable - few people at the top can see and know enough to be able to make good decisions on behalf of the whole organisation."
However, as the environment becomes complex, it is almost impossible for a few at the top to see, know, understand and process all the diversity and complexity in their environment to make good decisions. Indeed, "many other people in the organisation are sensing a much wider range of diverse information than in a more simple environment. It is almost impossible for this to be processed through a conventional hierarchy."

That is the reason why Osborne encourages the use of more inclusive, participatory and collaborative ways of working, which can integrate multiple perspectives. "We are seeing a shift away from hierarchy towards more collaborative approaches. This also expresses cultural shifts around placing more importance on relationships and connections in a networked world."

Osborne suggests that whether the pick and mix approach of different collaborative methods or the adoption of Holacracy is a better fit for your organisation, depends on your existing culture, values, personalities and power structure. There is no single solution - it is about finding out what fits best for your situation.

Ultimately, when either of these practices are done well, it leads to more satisfying and nurturing workplaces.

But, don't be tempted to make risky jumps; it might be prudent to do some training first. Osborne says, "unless these approaches are done with skilled facilitation to swiftly integrate the multiple perspectives, organisations can get swamped in lengthy shared decision-making processes."
Surely, such talking shops are the last place we all want to work.

Is Holacracy for you?

How people work and communicate with their colleagues is an area of intense debate. Increasingly, as people are demanding alternative ways to operate, organisations are seeking to apply innovative solutions. Whether Holacracy combines the best - or the worst - of hierarchies versus collectivism is a moot point.

There might be a place for Holacracy inside some businesses, but we know that one size no longer fits all. Osborne suggests that "You may well find out that Holacracy is not for you." Perhaps the challenge is to be flexible enough to experiment and work out if this practice can be a good fit for your company. What is certain is that Holacracy is not a free-for-all like many people seem to think it is. Rather it has many rules just like a command and control approach to management; "but the rules of Holacracy create different kinds of organisation than the ones we are used to."

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This article originally appeared on simply-communicate 


Sunday, 1 March 2015

#TwitterFlock - exploring the mobile apps developer community

Last week I found myself surrounded by the developer community at South Bank in London. Surely, it was not my normal milieu to be at #TwitterFlock surrounded by coders, but as a member of the twitterati I could not resist attending the first ever UK mobile developer conference by Twitter.

Mobile apps have officially entered the workplace. Considering their undeniable impact on how we communicate, being aware of how they are built can be useful even for people who don't necessarily code or define themselves as 'tech types'. So, what better opportunity to learn how this explosion of applications is driven by some of the greatest experts in the field?

The interactive presentations ran throughout the day centred on Fabric. Attendees saw a live demo of this modular mobile platform to build apps and heard about its "Kits", which is 'tech-speak' for key features.

Here are a few highlights I took away.

Crashlytics Kit

I found particularly interesting the Crashlytics Kit, which captures apps' crashes in real time and provides developers with actionable insights as they happen. The functionality creates powerful and elegant reports very quickly. Thanks to advanced aggregation algorithms, the feature analyses stack traces and de-prioritize lines of codes that are not relevant while highlighting the interesting ones. In other words it highlights the small part of code that is causing all the trouble. Like finding the rotten apple in a barrel of Braeburns.

As part of the analytic functionality called Answers, developers can also view the top issues at a glance through a graph, and know what needs their immediate attention. As a result, dealing with crashes becomes easier and faster.

"All apps crash. But if you understand why this happens, then you can address core stability issues," said Product Manager Brian Swift.

Crashlytics also examine the performance of the devices as well as the operating systems that an app is run on.

Every metric is accurately kept up-to-date, which means that if someone would like to know whether the new version of their app is better than the old one, they just have go to the dashboard to find out. Plus, the feature provides real-time alerts when it detects new issues. Yet, to minimise noise and maximize action all the notifications can be customised - so developers feel in control of the information. 

Among the apps that are benefiting from Crashlytics is BlaBlaCar. Product Manager Benjamin Retourne talked about how their ridesharing app has become more stable and reliable, while experiencing a crash-­free user ratio above 98% on both Android and iOS.

The same benefits seemed to be felt by the event booking app YPlan. CEO Rytis Vitkauskas said that Crashlytics has helped them to maintain a success rate of 99.8%. "Thanks to this stability we have been featured multiple times on both the iOS and Google Play Stores, and have one of the highest 5* ratings in our category with over 5,500 four or five star reviews."

Digits

What about signing up to an app through your mobile number? Digits lets users safely create an account as well as sign in to an application with neither password nor email authentication or other social media accounts; a simple code is securely sent to their phone once they enter the number. The benefits are multiple not just from a technical viewpoint - it makes onboarding very easy - but also this approach reflects a shift in the way we are managing our online identities. 

Firstly, not everyone is keen to disclose their entire social history and personas - a thing that easily happens when signing in through other apps (e.g. You enter Pinterest with your Facebook account). But by contrast your phone number is already an identity that you publicise everyday.

Also, this type of sign-in can involve a wide range of demographics across the globe - think about emerging markets, which account for more than 70% of the world’s mobile population, and for which the telephone number if the primary identity.

Twitter Kit - When Twitter amplifies your app's voice

Twitter Kit also provides an easy-to-use mechanism for showing tweets within an app. Why is that useful? Because, as Bryan Sise put it, "Apps are competing in a crowded marketplace," and "enabling users to share great tweets can help developers to drive app growth organically."

For example, we heard from Mobile Lead at Citymapper Joe Hughes, how their urban navigation app is using Twitter Kit to feature live tweets from transport agencies. On top of that, their app for iOS is also able to pull the tweets from its users on to their City pages. Thanks to this crowdsourcing exercise they are giving real-time and useful information to people.

"The Tweets we pull into the app fill the gaps in the status info provided by the travel agencies. We love that our users can benefit from Twitter content inside of our app, giving them a more complete picture of their city’s transport options."

So when you are planning your journey you will get live tweets from others on the same journey warning about delays.

Another interesting example came from Game Insight, a global developer of games for mobile and social platforms. We heard from CEO Anatoly Ropotov that his app uses Twitter Cards to let players move directly from their Twitter feed to the sections of the game that are more relevant to them such as player profiles, groups or replays.

Also, the sharing of tweets allows Game Insight to create conversations among players both within and outside of the game. “We added a real­time feed of the #cloudraiders hashtag right into the game to ensure that any game-related conversation on Twitter appeared completely native and that players could reply directly.”

So what?

I came away from #TwitterFlock with the head buzzing with coding jargon, but I have to admit that as a communicator I really enjoyed the event. 

When you get closer to the coding community you begin to realise the challenges behind the miracle that gives you more information in your hand than astronauts had on the moon. I revelled in the enthusiasm for building new tools and creating new ways of working and living that are truly changing our society. 

As communicators we tend to reflect on what the world is like; at Twitterflock they have their eyes firmly on what the world could be like.

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This article originally appeared on simply-communicate