badge

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A badge (AKA achievement) is a visual indicator, with a post containing relevant metadata, of completing some sort of accomplishment, usually associated with completing specific tasks within a system that is frequently recognized as "achievement unlocked", or "you unlocked the xyz badge!". Badges typically have a visual icon as well as a short name and description. Badges are also used to indicate specific competencies or skills have been met in educational settings. Badges are typically a gamification mechanism to encourage users to more actively use a system or as a record of learning.

For IndieWeb badges you can use on your own site, see:

IndieWeb Examples

Mike Merrill awards badges to people based on his interactions with them in person.

Greg McVerry sent webmention badges in a higher education course Webmention Badge

Greg McVerry published a badge on toolbulder-badge on the indieweb wiki and received a webmention on his website jgmac1106 Badges

Credentialing at the DNS level

Webmention badges, using the u-reply-of microformats2 property, provide for the ability for the issuer to establish their credibility through the use of their url.

A university websites url, for example, would be attached to any badge sent as a webmention.

This provides a level of identification and credibility without requiring additional files.

Ledgers and Webmention Badges

Third party systems such as webmentions.io provide a record of badge issuance. A learning network could add their own ledger and syndicate badge issuance using the micrformats property u-syndication-of.

Silo Examples

Foursquare

Foursquare awarded badges for checking in to various kinds of venues, or using certain words in a checkin. Some badges were limited to specific events or geographical areas. Foursquare was largely responsible for the rising popularity of badges in online systems, as evidenced by how many later systems referenced Foursquare's badge feature. There are many fan sites that popped up describing each badge and how to earn them.

See: Foursquare Badges for screenshots of ~150 badges.

Swarm

Swarm has largely replaced Foursquare's previous use of badges with stickers, which are now earned by checking in to venue categories and can then be applied to later checkins to earn more coins.

Discourse

Discourse awards badges to users to "reinforce positive user behavior". Some badges are automatically awarded by the system, and others are awarded by admins.

Some badges they award include:

  • Editor - first post edit
  • First Flag - flagged a post
  • Nice Share - shared a post with 25 unique visitors
  • Promoter - invited a user
  • Welcome - received a like
  • 1 year anniversary
  • Campaigner - invited 3 users
  • Tech Support - have 10 accepted answers

Fitbit

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow awards badges to users based on your usage of the site, intending to award badges for being especially helpful.

Some badges they award include:

  • Altruist - First bounty you manually award on another person's question
  • Curious - Ask a well-received question on 5 separate days, and maintain a positive question record
  • Favorite Question - Question favorited by 25 users
  • Tumbleweed - Asked a question with zero score, no answers, no comments, and low views for a week

micro.blog

micro.blog awards "pins" by achieving certain milestones of using the site.

Some examples include:

  • First! - You wrote your first microblog post.
  • Daily Blogger - Unlock this pin by posting every day for 30 days.
  • Photoblog - You posted a photo to your microblog.
  • Night Owl - You wrote a post after midnight.

Other Examples

EFF

EFF provides a member badge like this:

2017mb.png

Open Badges

Open Badges, is an open technical standard first developed by Mozilla in 2011, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation, to establish a portable and verifiable credentialing system as a portable image file. The badge standard was transitioned to IMS Global Learning Consortium, a members-only organization, as of January 1, 2017. The Mozilla Backpack, a badge displaying tool, was transferred to Badgr.io, a badging platform by Concentric Sky.

Baked Data in Open Badges

The badging community refers to a baked badge as an img file containing links to metadata properties using JSON-LD. The same properties included in the Open Badges spec are found in an h-entry but the data is not in the HTML and readily available to human readers.

Endorsements

The Open Badges 2.0 spec, included an endorsement class similar to a like post from a third party to the permalink of the badge.

Criticism

The open standard, is now maintained by a members benefit consortium. Contribution to the "open standard" now requires significant dues that may cut off contributions from a long-standing community.

Open Badges uses JSON-LD for metadata using the schema.org learning vocabulary.

In 2018, Pearson, in the face of years of prior art, was granted a patent for digital badges. Their company was then purchased by Credly, who now owns the patent. In the case of "open" badges The rules of IMS Global Learning Consortium allow members rights to other member patents.

Thus anyone who wants protection from the patent of an "open" badges standard needs to pay membership dues.

In a call with Open Recognition Alliance, a Credly lawyer and a representative noted that the company had no plans to enforce the patent and but will keep it for defensive purposes.

Brainstorming

  • A webmention badge should be an h-review
  • It can have a rating. If the rating is the criteria for the badge it should be listed or linked to in content.
  • Badge criteria may require meeting a threshold on multiple scales. In that case use nested h-reviews and h-review-aggregate.
  • a badge is a badge is a reaction to something on the URL it points at therefore should use in-reply-to
  • Each badge issuance should contain an h-card for the issuer, and h-card for the recipient, the criteria, and a link to evidence.
  • Each issuance should be it's own url so the receiver can decide how to display and link.
  • A badge should have have a u-photo property in the content. Current best practices suggest not to put photos in replies but there are examples of photo replies such as reactionary gifs or photo_reply
  • A badge may require additional microformats properties specifically p-criteria and p-evidence. Until then using p-note should be considered best practice.
  • Badge images should be no greater than 250px and should be SVG when possible.
  • The Open Badges spec as an endorsment class, meaning a third party can endorse a badge issued by someone else. How should this be markerd and verifed by both sites so as not to allow spoofing?
  • an endorsement of a badge can be sent using a like post similar to this example published as a like to [toolbuilder-badge] allowing Template:eddie to endorse the badge.
  • an organization with a wiki, such as fandom could use a similar approach to endorse community badges such as:
 * Endorsement of CSS Grid Explorer Badge

See Also