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Michael Tharrington for The DEV Team

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What new badges would you like to see on DEV?

It's a new year and for many of us that means new goals, resolutions, and general self improvement.

Cute mushroom character with a determined face doing pull-ups. The words "this will be the year" appear on screen.

I know lotsa folks like to set goals around writing, which gets me thinking about badges on DEV. We have writing streak badges, community wellness streak badges (for leaving comments), tag-specific badges, and the highly coveted Top 7 badge, just to name a few.

We can always add more badges to the site! So, do y'all have any thoughts or opinions about new ones you'd like us to include? Or, if you don't have specific ideas for badges, but have thoughts on things that you think we should reward folks for, it's totally fine to just drop those rough ideas for us to brainstorm together. Note: we try our best to steer away from awarding badges that might cause unhealthy habits or stress, so let's keep this in mind.

What new badges would you like to see on DEV?

Top comments (46)

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden • Edited

How about some badges for writing a lot of comments that would encourage more users to engage more and be active?

Like badges for:

  • 50 comments
  • 100 comments
  • 300 comments
  • 500 comments
  • 1000 comments
  • 3000 comments
  • 5000 comments
  • 10000 comments

😁

And this could apply to posting articles as well:

  • 10 articles
  • 30 articles
  • 50 articles
  • 100 articles
  • 300 articles
  • 500 articles
  • 1000 articles
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fjones profile image
FJones

There are the streak badges for consistent contributions - which I feel is more in the spirit of DEV than pure quantity. Although the streaks are a bit intransparent, and because there aren't multiple awards, breaking the streak can make it difficult to catch back up... (Also not entirely sure how well they work at actually producing quality over "post something to keep the streak going")

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Hmm, fair point it could still work though with some tweaks I think. In regard to the streak badges I don't think I have seen a way to actually check our streak progress unless I'm mistaken. It's the reason why I lost some consistency streaks because there is no way to see your progress so you are having to do it all manually and guess where you might be at.

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paulknulst profile image
Paul Knulst

I guess if this will happen you will just see many people who avoid reading articles.

They just scroll down and write:
"Cool article", "Great work", "Thank you for publishing this!", etc

All because they want to earn some badges...

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I thought of a solution for this although I'm not sure if it could be implemented though? Probably going to require new functionality to be created for the platform. A way to track the word counts for each comment posted. So for example you can see how many words you are writing before you post a comment. And let's say that you have to leave a comment that has at least 50 words otherwise it does not get counted towards your streak.

So people can spam all they want with short comment replies but it will never add towards their streaks. And if people try to post some long spam response hoping that will count towards their streak then perhaps there could be some sort of AI checking to see if it's a genuine post or just spam.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

That is definitely a downside to some of the gamifying... it's a shame when it triggers folks to do stuff like that. Certainly something we need to consider.

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paulknulst profile image
Paul Knulst

The problem is that people use badges or achievements to stand out. It's like gathering certificates on Udacity/Udemy.

Many people care too much about these things.

And because of this people gather more and more just to be "better" than someone else (at least better on paper/profile)

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington • Edited

Absolutely agree! We don't want to create a highly competitive scenario where folks are judged by their badges and we don't want to encourage unhealthy or shallow, insincere interactions. But at the same time, we also think badges can be fun, encouraging, and let folks know the types of participation we value. It's such a tricky thing to balance and I definitely don't claim that we've got the balance perfect, but these things are on our minds. Really appreciate you flagging these concerns, Paul!

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michaelsolati profile image
Michael Solati

Yes, but to keep it nerdy it should be in increments of 2^x

2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64...

You get the idea.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Like The Fibonacci Sequence πŸ˜„

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Haha true that!

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

I really like where your mind is at with this one! We absolutely wanna find good ways to encourage folks to engage with one another.

I know we were thinking about this when we dropped the Community Wellness Badges, but I also like the idea of having milestones & not necessarily treating it like a streak.

Same goes for your suggestion about article count β€” we have the writing streak badges for consecutive writing, but could also reward milestones.

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aneeqakhan profile image
Aneeqa Khan

I like this idea too.
But maybe have a accomplishment badge like 100 articles or 500 articles.

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jarvisscript profile image
Chris Jarvis • Edited

I'd like that 100 published articles. 250 or so.

Maybe a badge for views, Or is that the same a top 7 (read) post?

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Great idea! I like the comments suggestion!

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tqbit profile image
tq-bit • Edited

Perhaps something like a 'Hidden Champion' badge for posts that

  • have a high reaction/view ratio
  • received less than, say 1.000 views after being published
  • within a month?

To give an example for a 1/10 reaction/view ratio: Posts with

  • 900 views and 90 reactions qualify
  • 900 views and 80 reactions do not qualify
  • 1100 views and 150 reactions do not qualify

I'm not sure what a good ratio would be, though, since it's likely lots of reactions attract more readers.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR πŸ₯‡

Why would you give a badge on low view count posts? 1100 to 150 is a higher reaction relation than 900 to 90 is...πŸ˜…

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tqbit profile image
tq-bit

Due to the limit of 1000 views. Naturally, the limit doesn't have to be 1k, the example was to emphasize the 'hidden champions' nature of the badge.

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perssondennis profile image
Dennis Persson

Gamification is fun, of course there can be badges for everything, like liking 50 posts in a week. However, the usage of gamification on this site shouldn't be about fun.

Rewarding likes will make it look like articles are more popular than they really are, which will disappoint readers when they click in on them. DEV will begin to look like it has plenty of readers, but low quality articles.

Gamification should really be about positive reinforcement. Good behavior should be rewarded. Writing high quality articles is one of such things. The existing badges for top authors of the week and such are really good in that way.

Two new badges I think could increase quality of articles are:

  • high reaction/view ratio
  • many reactions compared to number of written articles (should be weighted against tags, because some tags has very few followers.

DEV is very focused on web, and especially React and vanilla JavaScript. To encourage people to write articles with tags that are less common, DEV could introduce badges for that.

  • badge for a user that has used many different tags
  • badge for writing 5 or more articles with a tag (can get one for each tag).

There's a risk that some of the above badges will lead to tags being misused though.

At last, for users to find high quality authors to follow, and for bragging purposes, you could have an option to view followers and reaction counts for users. Either on profile or in the form of badges for milestones. Regardless of the approach, it should be an opt-in/opt-out solution, since not everybody wants to reveal that.

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perssondennis profile image
Dennis Persson

Also, personally I would want to see a jokes badge, the weekly top article with jokes tag, like we have for other tags. But that depends on if DEV values humorous reading or not :)

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR πŸ₯‡

Being able to view followers, reactions and so on on other people profiles is something negative.

On one side it's almost like a psychological ban to newcomers that try their best, on the other hand it encourages the use of bots and shadow business of like per like, follow per follow and so on and so forth.

IMHO no, it should not be possible in any way, you already have Instagram or YouTube for that.

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perssondennis profile image
Dennis Persson

I get what you mean Joel, and for the first note, I have already mentioned it should be an opt-in solution. With that, lots of people wouldn't activate it and it wouldn't be strange if a newcomer didn't show it. But of course, they could still compare themself like they already do today with reactions.

On the second point, I really don't think main purpose of bots is recieving badges or bragging rights. Bots aren't very playful by nature, they are used to spread information for various reasons. That can already be done today, exposing viewers count would only help them slightly.

Of course exposing viewers counts will infer bad behavior, just as gamification and appreciations in general can. It's not only negative though. One shouldn't forget there are regular people out there, with goals and intentions. The solution to prevent bots shouldn't be to remove features for the real users. Doing that will restrict the potential of the forum and its users.

With that said, I don't think it's a necessary feature, still just a suggestion among them all.

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy πŸŽ–οΈ • Edited

None. Why do sites feel the need to gamify everything? All badges do is encourage warped behaviour to try and game the system and win 'prizes' - making content and discussion less authentic and - depending on how badges are awarded - potentially lower quality (which is an increasing problem already - even more so recently with the big uptick in AI written 'articles')

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wiseai profile image
Mahmoud Harmouch

Exactly. I think it's becoming more and more difficult to escape the sense that all websites are turning into social media platforms or, at the very least, following suit with similar features. For example, I noticed this trend when GitHub began rolling out badges. The internet was created for the free flow of information, but it's turning into a place where people identify themselves and express their accomplishments. There's nothing wrong with it, but when does it become too much?

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integerman profile image
Matt Eland

I think a good badge idea might be to somehow reward users for comprehensive articles that don't get many views or comments over their first week of life on the platform. Maybe mixed with some way of giving these articles a second chance in the community.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

That's a cool idea. Ya know, it might be cool for us to be able to reward posts badges as well as users... hmmm. But even without adding that, I really like your idea regardless.

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integerman profile image
Matt Eland

You actually do pretty well with this already on social. You've thrown a bone to a number of my pieces that hadn't gotten much attention and I've appreciated that.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

That is awesome! πŸ™Œ I'm sharing your note with our social folks as I know they'll be happy to hear it.

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

How about badges for reporting spam? Maybe like the streaks badges.... Badges for spam reports 1, 2, 4, 8, etc.

Perhaps badge can look like a can of spam (if possible without infringing any trademarks, etc the makers of spam might have).

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

YES! I so wanna reward folks who send in valid reports of spam/plagiarism/bade behavior etc. Maybe not separate badges for each, but just something that rewards those folks who help us to enforce our Code of Conduct.

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dev_geos profile image
dev-geos • Edited

Perhaps...

  1. for everyone who likes (articles or comments) without never ever comment : "secret contributors".
    For example : one for 50 hearts in one week (or more)

  2. Reward for reading time in a period (reading time for the whole articles read in a period)

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I think that #1 here would mean that anyone chasing badges would just click the first 50 in their feed and move on. I think that #2 is a more interesting idea but difficult to apply, since it's impossible to tell how much someone actually reads. You can see how much people scroll, how many articles they open, etc., but if they read via an app, or through something like a translation service, or read when they're not logged in... it's impossible.

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dev_geos profile image
dev-geos

Relevant remarks, there is a way to think about it as far as possible.
For my own experience, I was unaware of the existence of the badges and the prerequisites to have them until I started to earn them by my activity on the site. And we must be many in this case.
So I think there will always be cheaters, but that does not prevent rewarding those who actually do it.

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szabgab profile image
Gabor Szabo

Are there badges for people who send pull-requests to github or gitlab projects?
E. G. 10 pull-request that were accepted.
I mean besides hacktoberfest.

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thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

DEV are already the Contributor badge who any people can get when a PR is merged on

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Forem 🌱

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Build Status GitHub commit activity GitHub issues ready for dev GitPod badge

Welcome to the Forem codebase, the platform that powers dev.to. We are so excited to have you. With your help, we can build out Forem’s usability, scalability, and stability to better serve our communities.

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Forem is open source software for building communities. Communities for your peers, customers, fanbases, families, friends, and any other time and space where people need to come together to be part of a collective See our announcement post for a high-level overview of what Forem is.

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szabgab profile image
Gabor Szabo

Thanks. I meant any repo. With some limitations or some more DEV related issue. Post an article on DEV with a link to the pr or include a link to DEV in the pr.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

There were some GH repos created a while ago that exist just to accept any PR, so you can get those badges. Like the subreddits that will upvote anything so you can get more magic numbers.

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szabgab profile image
Gabor Szabo

Oh I see I missing out on a lot of valuable upvotes on Reddit :)

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cloutierjo profile image
cloutierjo

A ghost badge, sent to someone that hasn't connect in years, what a fun way of being reminded that this community exist!

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raviklog profile image
Ravikumar

Consistency Badge(like for ex: every month 4 or 5 articles minimum kind of) ....will help to motivate to write more even if we get little relaxed sometimes

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Don't we already have those? The "n-week-streak" badges, I mean.

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raviklog profile image
Ravikumar

oh. Great it's already there...I'm not that aware...new here...thanks for indicating.

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szabgab profile image
Gabor Szabo

Bringing in new subscribers might be worth a badge. That is if someone reading a post of mine and from there signs up to DEV. It would be nice to award this.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

I wonder how many people sign up just so they can comment that the post they read is inaccurate? I mean, that's as good a reason as any, but the "someone is wrong on the internet" behaviour isn't necessarily the thing you want to reward.

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szabgab profile image
Gabor Szabo

Well, measuring the "valuable users" would be a good metric for the platform as well and I know any such measurement could be gamed: I could create 10 fake comments and 3 fake posts if that's how you measure valuable user, but I assume you can have some metric.

Then you could award the users who write articles that bring in such valuable users.

You could go full pyramid and give a badge to anyone who brought in a person who got 10 badges :)

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brense profile image
Rense Bakker

How about badges for succesfully instigating a flame war with an article, like this one: dev.to/wiseai/17-compelling-reason...

  • bronze badge: 100 article interactions in 1 day
  • silver badge: 250 article interactions in 1 day
  • master troll badge: 500 article interactions in 1 day

It really helps your metrics to have articles like these. πŸ‘Ž

Regex for lazy developers

regex for lazy devs

You know who you are. Sorry for the callout πŸ˜†