Badges, gamification and reward systems at FeverBee

(Sarah Hawk) #1

Continuing the discussion from Gamification - are you using it? Want to?:

Off the back of this comment by James, and this recent post by Rich, I’m keen to implement some meaningful badges here.

I’m in a catch 22 situation though. If I ask you what you think would be valuable, the rewards will be anticipated.

I’m interested in hearing about the badges or reward systems that you have on your communities. @ralphm – how are you using badges at SitePoint these days?

(Alessio Fattorini) #2

I’m using badges heavily and I’m setting up personal badges base on skills and competencies as Rich suggested
That’s my badge system:

(Sarah Hawk) #3

So that’s a LOT of badges! Have you considered getting rid of some of the native Discourse ones so that your own ones have more value?

(Ralph Mason) #4

Pretty much being lazy and going with the system defaults—apart from some custom ones added in from our old system.

In terms of Discourse, badges are not very prominent. (I never notice them, TBH.) Even if they were noticeable, a bigger issue (in my mind) is whether people actually care about them anyway. How to make them meaningful is a big issue. So many sites have badges of various kinds, but I’m never really convinced by them. People endorse me for all kinds of weird things on LinkedIn—things they have no idea if I’m any good at or not—which makes the whole recommendation system meaningless (at least in my eyes).

I’d love it if there were some kind of authoritative source of merit that we could all rely on. But I’m not aware of many. Nobel prize? Pulitzer Prize? Not enough of those to go around, unfortunately. :slight_smile:

A community can set up its own standards, of course, but how many people would really deserve them? I think a disservice has been done in the past by labelling people a “guru” etc. just because they’ve been around a long time—regardless of whether their contributions have been truly guru-like. Other things like upvotes get gamed horribly, too, so they are worthless—even on StackOverflow, imho. It’s way too random what does and doesn’t get upvoted to be truly meaningful.

Edit: wow, I re-read that and felt like it was a bit of a downer. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to sound morose. But I’m in a phase now where I’m questioning what’s really of value in life, and what’s actually worth striving for. Finding what is truly meaningful in any enterprise—including an online community—is no small challenge.

(Sarah Hawk) #5

Nope, not a downer at all. In essence, that’s what’s being called into question in the topic that this one stemmed from: the value of badges. I agree that Discourse makes them hard to find (and devalues them in their prevalence).

I’m attempting to explore ways to make them meaningful, for all the reasons that you mention. I thought of you because in the early days the annual awards (and subsequent badges) were so successful and I wondered if you’d refined that system at all.

Thanks for your input, as always. :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Alright, I’m giving this a try.

I’ve created a Valued Contributor badge. It can be earned by sharing a resource or post of exceptional value (fairly obvious, given its title!).

The first person to earn it is @Jeffrey_Otterspoor for taking the time to document and share his learnings from GamePoint’s offsite community event.

Jeffrey, you have the option to use the badge title as your user-title if you’d like. Thanks again for your post. :slight_smile:

(Jeffrey Otterspoor) #7


Thank you very muchos :wink:

Handling negative views about Discourse
(Richard Millington) #8

My take on this is that most communities don’t need 10 badges, they need hundreds of badges each used and given when a member has made a unique, special, contribution to the group. They should recognise the achievements of members and help them understand that we value and want more of their expertise on that topic.

For example, I think it’s fair to say Hawk is one of the better experts on Discourse migrations out there given her success both here and at SitePoint. I’d give her a badge that only she and a VERY small number of people can have based upon that.

These are the kinds of badges we value.

So we need way more badges which way fewer people can get.