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El Reg debuts badges for commentards

Badges? We do need some stinking badges!

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Site News Today we introduce badges for commentards. This feature will be rolling out over the next few hours.

We kick off with three badges: bronze, silver and gold, which will appear alongside all non-anonymised comments made by those who qualify.

The Register currently publishes almost 40,000 comments a month, and forum posts account for more than 10 per cent of site traffic. Commentards come and go, but within our readership is a core group, several hundred strong - and not all of them trolls - who are "super-contributors".

We want to reward these commentards with additional forum features, some of which will be reserved exclusively for badge holders. Other new features will roll out to badge holders first before mass deployment.

So from today, silver and gold badge members will get post-publishing edit rights for five minutes - to clean up typos, for instance - and bronze, silver and gold badge holders will have more html to play with. Our html whitelist has been extended to include <sub>, <sup>, <ul>, <li>, <code>, <blockquote>, and <pre>.

From today, all forum privileges will be awarded according to commentard handle - not by user account. This means that if you change your handle, you will lose your accumulated forum privileges. Also, votes on your anonymous posts do not count towards you gaining badges.

The qualifying thresholds for badges are:

Bronze (about 650 commentards qualify)

Operated forum handle for more than one year, and more than 100 posts in the last 12 months.

Silver (about 200 commentards qualify)

Silver badge holders meet bronze requirements and have more than 2,000 upvotes.

Gold (awarded to 10 commentards)

This discretionary badge is awarded by Reg staff, and we are starting off with 10 people who have been very helpful - to us, through news tips and beta testing, for example - and to their fellow readers, through their posts.

Our first gold badge commentards are:

So, do you get a badge? It should be fairly obvious if you look at your posts, but we are also sending out emails to all recipients. So be sure to look in that spam folder ...

Next up

In coming weeks we will roll out a few more commentard voting options - such as "helpful" and "informative" - which will help us to determine new badge holders and new badges.

It makes sense to us to take a leaf from Stack Overflow's book and introduce many more badges - eg, a "birthday badge" marking the anniversary of first post. Tell us what you would like to see - in the El Reg forums, of course. ®

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