Creating Badge Reward Systems

7 Jul 2010 - 10:10am
4 years ago
5 replies
2792 reads
johnwromano
2008

Has anyone seen any research or good resources about how to effectively create a badge system to reward users for participation within a community? I'm looking for information about methodology, specifically things like what what kind of badges users respond to, and what kind of thresholds to use.

Comments

7 Jul 2010 - 10:27am
Chris Avore
2009

I can't recommend this book as I haven't actually read it yet, but it may address some of what you're looking for:

http://www.amazon.com/Building-Reputation-Systems-Randy-Farmer/dp/059615979X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278516320&sr=8-1

I'm considering trying a badge-like reward system for a number of behind-the-firewall tasks in various communities of practice, so I'll be monitoring your thread quite closely ;-)

7 Jul 2010 - 2:08pm
Hatsharpener
2010

I'm working on something similar at the moment.

There are different type of "badges," that reward users for participating. Your choice will probably depend on whether you are trying to simply encourage participation, or give users a method of judging the reputation of each other.

There are grade-level style "badges" that assess overall performance in the community (or certain aspects of the community), and achievement badge collections that reward users for accomplishing certain goals. The former has the advantage of being a somewhat more accurate and concise summary of a user's reputation, however after a user has been in a community for a while, it becomes difficult to shift that rating at all, decreasing the incentive for participation. The second allows you to appeal to people's collection instinct and encourages participation, however it is less useful to other people in the community as a method of judgement, since a long list of badges may be difficult to comprehend at a glance.

Overall my main recommendations would be

 

  1. Make sure that you're rewarding users for rich actions that will make your site better. Be sure you think "how can they game this?" Or more importantly "If they 'game' this, is that OK? WIll it help my site?"
  2. Make the path to rewards visible. Foursquare, for instance, has seemingly random achievement badges that appear without warning and do not necessarily imply that there might be another "level" in that same goal. This works fine for games and game-based apps as periodic encouragement, but might be frustrating to users in a reputation system who are trying to get a better reputation but cannot see how to get there.

 

You might try looking at the work of Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone on reputation systems in their great social interface work.

http://designingsocialinterfaces.com/patterns/Main_Page#Reputation

7 Jul 2010 - 12:44pm
hersh
2010

John,

Stack Overflow has an excellent and detailed badge/reputation system working for them. http://stackoverflow.com/badges Worth a look.

7 Jul 2010 - 3:06pm
Charlie Kreitzberg
2008

I recently look at a mod for vBulletin that I thought had some nice ideas. I don't know that it is based on any research but intuitively, most of the algorithms made sense.

You can see it here:

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=199556

Scroll down to the section titled Calculation of the Score

Charlie

============================ Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ph.D. CEO, Cognetics Corporation

www.cognetics.com

-----Original Message----- From: ixdaor@host.ixda.org [mailto:ixdaor@host.ixda.org] On Behalf Of johnwromano Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2010 2:03 PM To: charlie@cognetics.com Subject: [IxDA] Creating Badge Reward Systems

Has anyone seen any research or good resources about how to effectively
create a badge system to reward users for participation within a community?
I'm looking for information about methodology, specifically things like what
what kind of badges users respond to, and what kind of thresholds to use.

9 Jul 2010 - 7:31am
smitty777
2010

Good old Slashdot has an interesting achievement system.  The actual achievements don't really mean anything (think "Who's Line Is It Anyway?"),  but they also have a Karma system that awards you points and abilities.

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