You really don’t know how tempted I was to call this “Badges?… We don’t need no stinkin’ badges…” as that phrase comes up every time we change anything about badges – but I managed to restrain myself.  Moving on.

As most posts, this idea came to me as I was reading the boards and I decided to move it to the blog to make it more “sticky” and central.  You can see the original thread here if you’re interested but we never really go into the following discussion.

The basic idea is this: In badges, we have the ability to “sort” in the sense that we can group collections of badges together.  We currently do this in a very rudimentary way in that we show the writing/rating stars first by themselves… then everything else (or it may surprise you to find that writing/rating stars are, architecturally, badges).

However, there is nothing to say that we can’t expand the number of collections (I’ll move away from using the word “group” as it’s used in another way with badges that you’ll see in a minute and would likely cause confusion) in order to provide more semantic value to badges.  This is especially important to consider as the number of badges available number several hundred with no sign of slowing – though no user can get every badge, they can still accumulate (potentially) a dozen (or more) which begins to get confusing, visually.

So, first, terminology:

  • Badge: single instance of badge architecture.  I.E. Channel Steward Arts & Entertainment
  • Badge Group: group of badges served out of single template (most importantly using a single icon).  I.E. Medical Professional Badge group: Medical Doctor, Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, etc.
  • Badge Collection: collection of badge groups sorted for visual needs. I.E. “star badges” (writing/rating) and everything else.

So the basic premise of this is to examine how we might further narrow the collections, suggestions of a strategy, and a request for feedback from the community.  This is not something currently slated for development however it is something which is beneficial in two ways:

  1. It is easy to implement.  Would require no changes to architecture, only to data (badges) and some UI tweaks (for visual presentation).
  2. It is likely needed soon.  The argument being that a user having dozens of badges becomes useless unless they are sorted and displayed in a manner which presents meaning and value – in all senses of the words.

My initial proposal for sorting follows.  Feel free to constructively criticize:

  1. Star Collection – first both for legacy and because provides a “baseline” for credibility / credentials.
    • Writing Stars
    • Rating Stars
    • (any future star badges)
  2. Credential Collection – establish authority in subject areas.
    • Professional badge groups – medical professional, journalist, etc
  3. Results Collection – show success in areas, which builds upon itself.
    • Contests won
    • Marketplace articles sold
    • Stock content articles sold (proposed)
  4. Helium Collection – things internal to Helium.
    • Marketplace Approved/Premier
    • Channel Steward badges
    • Editorial Advisory Board
    • Creative Writing badges

Would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and constructive criticism, as I said.

Hope this helps.

Reposted from the boards, straight from the man who would know:

I will take a look at the description in the user guide, but the business case we were trying to solve was to make it possible to get in the game with 10 rates. A very dry and logical description of the implementation would go like this:

There are two ways to earn rating stars:
1) Complete at least 10 rates in the last 30 days and maintain a 75% score or better and get 1 star.
2) Complete at least 30 rates in the last 90 days and qualify for up to 5 stars based on the chart provided in the user_guide.

The 90 day and 30 day periods are evaluated daily for the prior 30 and 90 day periods. The evaluation which results in the most stars will determine how many rating stars you have earned.

So, some quick guidelines:
– It is not valid to mix and match scores and counts from different rating period calculations.
– Pretty much if you qualify for a star in the standard 90 day period, the 30 day period has no value other than to confuse.
– You can only qualify for 1 rating star with the 30 day calculation.(no bonus stars, no levels)

John Rozen
VP of Operations