Replicating the sensation I feel when I am able to help, as well as the comfort I feel when someone has helped me, is something I strive for in building 2BalanceU. Recently someone asked me why people would bother. This struck me as both an interesting and puzzling question. First of all, I know I’m not the only one who finds gratification in the simple act of giving (especially when it comes from so little effort and no cost). Is this a Western versus Eastern approach? Is it a gender based motivation? Am I being naive? If so, I prefer to assume the best of people unless they prove me otherwise (which unfortunately some do, but that is another topic).
So, fine, I built in an incentive system to the new version to help those who need a little push to participate. I must say, I am very curious as to see the results as to whether the incentives will be used, passed on to others, recognised as status, or ignored. If points are provided for all of activity beyond lurking or surfing (for example; inviting new members, posting an inquiry, recommending resources or events, sharing a resource externally, giving feedback, searching,…) do we derive satisfaction simply by participating? Of course, this is assuming that the activity provides us with useful information as well.
Given my natural curiousity, I felt the need to be sure that those who wish to can use their incentive points as gifts to others. After all, some of us feel there is far more to gain by giving than receiving when we already are blessed with too much. Perhaps is comes back to “karma” or just guilt or because we can. Whatever the motivation, it sure feels good to help and to know others care enough to reciprocate.