i watched this exceptional talk on game mechanics in popular web apps today : Is your life just one big RPG. The second half talks about how through badges and points everyday systems can have a game element to it.
Badges are predefined. Points are a severity total. Badges + Points is similar to jyte's cred concept. With cred, a badge is created on the fly with a key word, and a value is calculated for that keyword based on a participation algorithm. This reignited an older idea of an API for badges that exist beyond a single website. A service that makes it easy to add a badge/point system to an existing, and not necessarily game-oriented, website. A mostly API company, similar in that regard to Urban Airship.