Improvements to Badge System

by Jeff Atwood

on July 12, 2010

Remember our old pal Sam Saffron? He's been toiling away on a feature that has been heavily requested for over a year now -- associating badges with the posts they were earned on.

As of now, every new badge award -- and most historically awarded badges -- will tell you exactly why you got that badge. The next time you're scratching your head wondering what that old Necromancer badge was for, just click through and find out:

While the exploration and discovery of "why did I earn this badge?" was always intended to be part of the fun, as your list of badges and posts grew ever larger it felt more like looking for a needle in a haystack.

As part of this major overhaul, we also added some bronze badges for our improved bounty system:

![promoter](/images/wordpress/promoter.png) First bounty you offered on your own question
![benefactor](/images/wordpress/benefactor.png) First bounty you manually awarded on your own question
![investor](/images/wordpress/investor.png) First bounty you offered on another person's question
![altruist](/images/wordpress/altruist.png) First bounty accepted on another person's question (not by the system)

(badge names helpfully suggested by gnovice)

As with all bronze badges, the intent here is to encourage people to explore the features and see how they work. And more bounties means better answers, and better opportunities to answer, for everyone!

We've also added a gold badge to reward the master editors, in tandem with the existing Editor (first edit) and Strunk & White (100 edits) badges.

![copy-editor](/images/wordpress/copy-editor.png) Edited 600 entries

Finally, we introduced another set of badges based on accepted answers to specifically acknowledge those users who participate in less popular topics:

![tenacious](/images/wordpress/tireless.png) Zero score accepted answers: more than 5 and 20% of total
![unsung hero](/images/wordpress/unsung-hero.png) Zero score accepted answers: more than 10 and 25% of total

(update: Tireless was renamed to Tenacious)

Remember, all the badges exist as a form of positive reinforcement, to identify and encourage behaviors we hope benefit the overall community.