re: How do you feel about chasing internet points, badges and the gamification of everything? VIEW POST

re: I notice a lot of people talking about your point of gamification with regard to a means of retaining users but I wanted to address a different poi...

This is a big part of the pressure to get badges, is the impression they leave, or I think they leave on others.

What are the expectations we have of serious authors? If I see some people with no badges, and then another with a lot, it triggers from internal concern of legitimacy.

Is a user with more badges a "better" member of the community? Is a member without badges just passing by, or disinterested?

This definitely happens with follower counts on other platforms. To the point of creating catch-22's, you don't get followers unless you have followers.

In theory one could run a test. Take a top contributor to dev.to and toggle their badge display on/off for each viewer of their profile and measure the follow rate. If badges have no influence, the follow rate should be the same.


This a good point, however, doesn't that remove the value of the actual work? Whether a user has a lot of badges or not, wouldn't well-written posts and engaging authors naturally attract readers and commentors? Are you not proving that by this post alone? You admit yourself you were tempted to write only one line item to prove the post was guided by a badge; yet, being a quality author you couldn't make yourself do that. As a result of that, look at all the engagement and interaction on this post. Not because of any badge, but because you had geniune thoughts and insights into an important topic.

Though it might have some affect on follow rate (sidenote: is that the only measurement of success? What about post reactions/comments/etc?), I still think people in general value quality over quantity. I think at this platform especially it seems that way. I've been here since April, so I can't really back this up with a lot of experience.

wouldn't well-written posts and engaging authors naturally attract readers and commentors?

The answer is unfortunately no. Refer to my article on the internet lottery Were the internet not so punishing, then perhaps the badges might not feel as much like grinding. But for a lot of people the 16-week badge could very well mean 16 articles with zero feedback -- even if the quality is good. :(

On dev.to I've not done the one liner responses, but on other platforms I have. Snark and cynicism is often as rewarded, if not more, than quality content. This is why gamification must be treated carefully, to understand what is really being encouraged.

I'm just providing more thinking points. I'm not really disagreeing with you.

I appreciate that. However, I took a brief peek at that linked article. Doesn't seem like there are actually any sources listed?


You make a good point - whilst I would assume the value of badges exponentially decreases with the increase in number, having no badges at all could have a significant effect.

Though another thing that's interesting to consider would be if having a small number of badges is better or worse than having no badges at all.

In any case, I do like the idea of running a test of some kind and I would certainly be interested in the outcome.

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