EVO Media’s Geoff Nuval Talks About the New DevHub, Adding Fun to Business, and the Future of Gamification

7/15/10Follow @gthuang

With all the talk about “gamification” of the Web—adding video game mechanics to websites to boost customer engagement, loyalty, and spending—it’s time we spoke in depth with a Seattle company that really has taken the trend to heart.

EVO Media Group, the maker of the DevHub website-building software platform, has been around since late 2007. It released DevHub, aimed at helping bloggers and companies create websites and make money from them, in early 2009, and started turning a small profit itself about a year ago.

In the past week, the company has rolled out a new and improved (gamified) version of DevHub—one that incorporates game mechanics like characters, virtual currency, and a graphical dashboard interface that shows you how your website is doing. So far the overhaul seems to be paying off in terms of traffic and site-building activity. Which goes to show how vital gamification can be to a young business—at least in the short term.

Yesterday I had a chance to connect with EVO Media co-founder and CEO Geoff Nuval. Here are his answers to a series of e-mail questions about everything from the new DevHub to where gamification is headed:

Xconomy: What’s the history of your involvement with the Web gamification trend?

Geoff Nuval: DevHub, the EVO Media Group’s flagship product, is one of the first products on the Internet to completely undergo the full gamification process. Remember, a few months ago it was purely a website builder. Now it is a rewarding, social, fun website-building game with characters called Devatars running the show!

In essence, DevHub is our proof point in the gamification movement that a well thought-out integration of game mechanics and great creative can really increase engagement and virality—within the first 5 days since our gamified launch we’ve already seen a 9x increase in site building activity. That means the average new user now on DevHub is creating a full fledged site! That’s insane when you compare that to the millions of underdeveloped sites and blogs you see on regular site creation systems.

What we’re realizing with our gamble on DevHub paying off is that you can add fun to something serious without losing its effectiveness. This is actually the tagline of the EVO Media Group, “Seriously Fun.” DevHub is only the start of EVO’s contribution to the gamification movement. If you go to our corporate website (www.evomediagroup.com, which itself was built on DevHub in 20 minutes), you’ll find that our overall goal is to bring our knowledge and expertise gained through the gamification of DevHub to other serious systems on the Web, either built internally or via partnerships with already established systems.

The switch to gamification isn’t only something we did for DevHub, we’ve actually applied … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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  • http://www.attenture.com Ian Goldsmid

    Very interesting – and a great idea put into action !

    What wasn’t clear was an answer to the question: Can I use devhub to create a website that itself uses game mechanics? I am thinking of building several gamified web properties – including a gamified Q&A site like stackoverflow …is that possible with devhub?

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