Help with jQuery Mods and Hacks for your Ning Network!
Many people underestimate the power of this tool called jpoints that we have here on jQueryHelp. TJ the creator of this tool doesn’t really put a lot of promotion in to it because he spends more time writing other codes to help Ning website owners, which makes sense because the main focus of this website is to help website owners who need small pieces of code to change or modify sections of their websites. However, if I were a salesperson at jQueryHelp, the one thing I’d focus on as a promotional tool would be jPoints. This script that gives a network owner the ability to offer points to members and members of a website the ability to send points to other members is indeed a website promotional tool loaded with a lot of potential clearly underexploited here on jQueryHelp. The purpose of this blog is not to ask TJ to now focus on promoting jPoints. For the good of everyone here, he needs to focus on developing more codes for us. What you are going to read in this blog is rather based on imaginations of what I’d do if I had a script like jPoints on my network. In exploring some of its potentials here in this blog I am hoping to stir up more reactions from fellow Ning website owners- useful contributions that may help us have such a script someday.
Sign-up bonus: This is one of the first things I’d want to do with this tool. Set aside a number of points called Sign-up bonus. New members earn this bonus just after signing up. I imagine it showing a message on the sign up page like: “Sign up now and earn FREE 50jPoints you can use for shopping”. After signing up, a message pops up reading for example: “Congratulations! You are now a member of JQuery Help. You have earned 50jpoints. You can go shopping at our shop with your 50jpoints or you can earn more points by being active on this website.” “Click here to earn more points.” This link leads to a page listing activities on the website that earn points and the number of points they earn. On this page the network owner should be able to set which activities can earn points and how many points. This will depend on what the network owner wants to promote. Such a page would be a great way to introduce what we offer on our websites. So imagine an introductory page on your website like this one below:
This list could be longer and vary in a lot of ways depending on a website owner’s objectives. The nice thing is, from sign up, new members are hooked.
Points linked to the gift store: This is where a lot of activity would take place. It would look like what Ning currently offers. A store full of gifts in categories with the little difference that members can buy the gifts using their points earned from their website activity. But don’t end up on just virtual gifts. There is a more interesting aspect dimension to it. Imagine having items in your shop you actually bought from a shop. Say a cellphone you bought for 100US dollars. In your website shop you put the worth of the cellphone at 20,000points for example. Members can get this cellphone if they have 20,000points. With this target set, a full contest has been set up even without you announcing it. Who gets to the number of points first in order to claim that iphone? Ipad? DVD? Etc. Imagine the rest in terms of activity on your site. I’d have something like a monthly giveaway.
Member to member points: When you view the personal page of a member on your website, you see information in this order: Profile picture, name, gender, location, Add as a friend, Send a message. I’d like an addition: Give xxxx some points. This same link should appear below the usual link “Give xxxx a gift” that shows when it’s a member’s birthday. The ability for members to send points to other members would encourage friendship and team work on the site. Think about new group creators distributing a set amount of points to members who join their groups. Think about a member uploading a video he wants everyone to view and comment on using points as an incentive.
Hierarchy and seniority on your network: This is something very important for the growth of our networks. Imagine how much you valued those first 100members who laid the very foundation of your network of 10,000 members today when there was literally nothing to sign up for on your website. They deserve some honor from you. So, I’d place such pioneer members of my website on a monthly pension of say 10points. I’d do the same thing to extremely active members on my network. Give them a kind of monthly salary say 20points. Think of those members you have made administrators and moderators on your website. I’d use this tool to distinguish valued members of my network from passers-by, pay salaries and wages to those who deserve them on specific tasks, subsidize website projects like events and offer incentives for members to do specific things.
Your own small banking system: I’d operate my own small banking system with this currency that bears my name or the name of my website. I’d let people save their points in a bank if they want with the ability for them to earn interests. I’d make loans available. This is all possible with simple organization.
How disciplined are members of your network? We sometimes get members who violate almost every rule we have put in place. Well we do currently have disciplinary tools but they are limited to two things, suspend the member temporarily or forever. With a tool like jPoints I’d try another form of discipline like making guilty members lose a certain amount of points depending on what they have done. Suspension from the network would only be used as a last resort. We do have members that do certain things on our networks and we want to discipline them somehow without having to suspend or ban them. Jpoints would provide a very good solution to this problem.
Looking at the above 6 points and many more I didn’t imagine, it is clear that a well-developed script of this nature would give most of us the break-through we have been looking for ever since we created our networks. Hopefully TJ puts some more thought into this and begin to consider the day he will start giving this script away. My fear is Ning is never going to consider doing this or will come up with something full of limitations that cannot be fully exploited. With the current jPoints we have here I can do most of the above mentioned things. With some more hours of work TJ can get us a perfect script full of all the potentials discussed above and more..
Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to share with us here some other ways you would like to use such a script.
Shanghai, January 23, 2012
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