This site was created to assist the Games Research Group at the University of Central Florida. The idea behind this site can be summarized as "FitBit" for writing. We want to let users log how much they write, to both help them track their efforts and to gamify the process to encourage them to write more.
The original logging method was a Google Spreadsheet. This method was a little difficult, as log entries made the document size grow to a relatively unmanageable size. Personally I was turned off from participating due to the overwhelming complexity of what was already being displayed on the sheet.
After talking with Thomas, aka Dr. McDaniel, he explained how tracking minutes spent was a great metric to work with. This required me to rewrite a few portions of the site, as I had originally decided to use word count as the metric to track progress. This metric was not ideal, as Thomas explained, because editing and revising could reduce a person's total word count. Hours could be spent, with only a minimal number of new words being added.
Both metrics are used on this site to track progress. Badging was the initial method to help encourage participation. That process has begun to be automated, to simplify the work required by administrators. In addition to badging, I expanded this area with some different ideas implemented from other sites. I took the idea of how FitBit shows you graphs of your progress, and applied that the user's time and word count. These visualizations should help them understand how they're doing, and hopefully encourage them to write more.
Silvia, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. American Psychological Association: Washington D.C, 2007.