On badging systems for incentivizing open source contributions

/me leans in

I’m not one for ‘magic internet points’ but I will say — as a part-time boardgame designer — that set collection is a pretty strong mechanic that people are more than happy to work towards. A lot of badge schemes lean on set collection to increase participation from those who are already participating.

My case in point here is 24pullrequests.com which saw ~16k people contribute a pull request a day, every day during December. The only additional reward being a calendar of gifts and a public profile.

Also I am commenting because I have a massive thread of emails on this subject in my client. Activity attracts activity :slight_smile:


After this thread I definitely understand more about the sustain communities thoughts on badges, budget, psychology and design but I’m not sure we’ve gone anywhere with what we could do about it, even if it’s testing something and seeing how it sits with us.

What’s the vibe check on exploring this in a way where there’s an artefact/output of some sort and seeing how that goes?


A great reason to have a badging system, and I’m not shy about saying I want one in Drupal, is it can signpost to community members ways to grow in the community.

Regardless of whether they are eventually implemented, spending time on discovering the routes the community want members to follow is a worthwhile exercise. It improves community understanding.

Given this is an exercise I need to repeat on a big scale, learning here is appealing to me so I’d be happy to help.


Thread moved: From Site Feedback to Sustainer Talk.

I moved this thread into a more general category for extended discussion about badging systems for incentivizing contributions. I also updated the thread title to be more exploratory. I will create a new thread in Site Feedback to discuss the Sustain Discourse badges specifically.

Also, I figured out why this thread went viral. The Site Feedback category sends email notifications for new posts by default, if a user has not set notification preferences. So, basically a lot of people who have an account on this site might have suddenly heard from Sustain for the first time in a while.

I appreciate everyone’s patience while we try out minor tweaks to the Sustain Discourse site. :pray: The goal is to make discussion more meaningful and valuable for you. Now is a good time to look at your Categories settings to subscribe to notifications for what topics are most important to you:

For example: