Badges: yea, nay or meh?

By default, Discourse (the software this forum uses) awards badges to members for participation.

You can see the full list here.

How does everyone feel about these?

Here are some pros and cons (this post is a wiki, so feel free to add your own):


  • Can encourage new members to become involved and reward them when they do
  • Can help new members get a quick idea of who is who in the community (e.g. by distinguishing more established members from newer ones)
  • We could potentially create our own badges for community-specific activity, especially when this platform is linked to the Fixometer (e.g. has attended ‘x’ repair events, ‘is a member of a local group’, ‘has created an entry on the repair wiki’ etc.)


  • Some people find badges annoying or generally don’t like them. This could mean they backfire by discouraging some to participate

As I see it, there are 3 options - feel free to vote (and post to explain your choice)

    1. Keep badges as they are
    1. Keep badges, but change them (e.g. remove some, create new ones)
    1. Get rid of badges completely

0 voters

I personally like badges and in other communities they’ve worked well to foster my engagement (e.g. StackOverflow - - and given Jeff Atwood founded both, I imagine it’s done pretty well in Discourse!)

While the existing badges aren’t that useful per se, I think they are harmless, and a fun way to encourage interaction, so I vote to keep them, but think about including new ones as well.

In my opinion they work best when they are about personal engagement, not competitive, and it looks like the existing ones are the former, so that’s fine.

I think the badges are a good idea on the example of showing who is new/more active in the forum. I like to use them to see if a member is vested in a community or just looking to take information and not add much. I think keeping them simple of best - no need for several custom badges specific to individual users.