Do you think that this is a kind of system that would work well with news sites, too?

I am a big believer in gaming mechanics in general. I think that we’re going to see more of this kind of thing, just like we’ve seen social media take off. My hunch is that a lot more companies are going to figure out that gaming mechanics are an interesting and fun way to engage and reward users. Whether it’s news or anything else, I would place a bet that this will become the next interesting frenzy around media.

Will it be as big as Twitter, as Facebook? I can’t say. But as it relates to a news outlet, all media companies want repeat visitors, we all want people to engage in the content, to comment, to ask questions. There is logic to it. For sure, there are other kinds of properties, properties like mine and properties for hobbyists, where there’s just a real sense of passion. But when you look at The Huffington Post, for example, they obviously have their super users. People are being rewarded, and I imagine that it has contributed to their success in getting certain people to come back and continue to really participate on the site. Even The New York Times wants people to Tweet and share. If you’re getting “credit” to do that, if you’re incentivized to do that, is there a better chance that you may do it? I think so.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner