Discobot, badges, and gamification


This is an interesting blogpost about gamification. One of the creators of the Discourse forum (which is what Tomnod uses) wrote the blogpost.

I’ve never been much interested in badges, etc. But, I’m also not much into video gaming. When I do play online, the game needs to be pretty straightforward: “do this-- get that”. If it is not in “plain English” or obvious, I’ll rarely come back to that game. So things need to be intuitive for me, with BIG bread crumbs or SIGNS. Blinking signs would bother me, but things like this I can understand–
Feed your baby NOW!
Collect 10 vipers.
Get your Free Gift — love those!

So, the Badges are supposed to be a bit like games, with a visible goal to achieve and a way to achieve them. But like @EmeraldEyes said, on some badges, even the Regulars missed the bread crumbs. This tutorial thing was more like having ONE Easter Egg in a popular movie, and only if you are in the “insider loop” would you know what the Egg was about.

But hey, I grew up on Nancy Drew mystery books, and Easter only happened once a year! Give me a clear cut mystery, and I’ll solve it. Just don’t make it like “Clue” (No, it was Colonel Mustard with the Lead Pipe in the Conservatory! ), or I’ll turn bleary-eyed and walk right by Col Mustard every time.

All this brings me to the point of my post (finally, huh?).

When Mel started, one message I sent her was about revamping our Badges. Like, the 100, 300, and 1,000 goals seem way, way too high. Even the 25 likes/post will be tough for us to do, unless we campaign for more people to come to the Forum! (hint, hint :ear: ) No? Yeah, that might be hard for us to recruit folks. However, Tn has hundreds of looks on some threads :+1: We’d love to see you’all post in the Forum. :smiley:

If we could persuade Mel to change those high number badges, what kind of badges could we suggest to her to wave her magic Admin powers and write them up?

Are there other badges that you think would be nice to have?

How many badges are too many?

Will you hate it if you achieve all existing badges and have nothing else awaiting you?

Just how important is this badges thing to you in the Forum?

Would appreciate your input.


Ah but I’ve just realised the way to do that; we need to campaign. And to do that you need to check out the the users list. You see there’s a whole list of forum Users up on the menu bar in here “image” and we actually have 2655 users in the forum, though I doubt even the half of them have come back for a second look :confused: Then there are those who like to loiter and read but nothing more, which is fine. And some of those probably don’t even log in to read the posts, because you don’t actually need to. And then there are us regulars and irregular regulars probably about two dozen or so, who are actually active posters (which is a personal record for me…I’m usually a loiterer :rofl: )

I’ve been thinking that this would be the ideal post to direct newbies and basic users to the tutorials and the new Sudan campaign (if they are unaware of it).

So my 3 chosen campaign victims are @Tom_Poleski because I just love his owl avatar :smiley: Looks like he joined only a week ago or so. He’s a Citizen scientist extraordinaire! So naturally, I’m curious as to what interesting discoveries he’s made :grin: Or maybe he’s decided we’re all a bunch of nutters :peanuts:'s :crazy_face:
My second is @imtb he was clearly active in the last Sudan campaign back in June, maybe he’d be interested in this latest one (although maybe he’s already on it :wink: )
And thirdly is @Deb1 because I just couldn’t resist those emerald eyes :heart_eyes: :rofl:

Maybe us regulars should set ourselves the challenge of campaigning 2 basic users each week…or when/if we have the time over Christmas because life gets a little quiet over the holidays :wink:


GMTA… I’ve invited people over this year.

I’m not sure how many Tn members get Forum emails every day. Plus, if members don’t come regularly, the mail supposedly stops. I think that “feature” defeats us trying to grow the forum.

Maybe in 2018, we can brainstorm with Mel to see how we can encourage more people to come, and to interact. Perhaps Tn could write and send out a survey to the entire Nodder List and get feedback about why they don’t come to the Forum? Does everyone know we exist? :writing_hand:

You know, just occurred to me… the little cloud on the platform isn’t intuitive (imo). But Tn has the front screens on every campaign where Mel could add at the top:
Questions? Visit the Forum at forum.tomnod.com (or press the cloud icon inside any campaign)

I’m still looking forward to feedback about updating the badges.


Ok, I’ve got my stupid head on today . . . what does that mean :blush:


I don’t think those are “clouds” Cagey, they’re speech bubbles…at least that’s what I’ve always seen them as :thinking: But they could have labelled the bubbles as “Forum” maybe :smirk:


GMTA = Great Minds Think Aloud (or was it Alike, maybe?)


GMTA = Great Minds Think Alike


Yep . . . that just confirms it . . . I’ve got my stupid head on today . . . better go find the other one before the kids get home from school :crazy_face:


It should have an OPEN sign on the bubble. Or “FREE FOOD”


“FREE FOOD”…I like that one; that would certainly draw in the crowds :smile:


LOL not stupid at all, it saved me asking! :blush:
So, according to Cagey’s answer, definitely a case of GMTA. :+1:


I suppose that also depends on how there email settings in their profile, or even chosen not to receive emails summaries/notifications :confused:
But I would have thought, unless they’ve opted out of emails/notifications altogether, if you send out an invite to a post then an email is sent to them :thinking:
Plus whenever I’m mentioned in a post I get an email, but again that’s because of how I have my notifications set in my profile.


I just couldn’t resist reposting your post from another post you’ve split into two posts :dizzy_face: :rofl:

image 'Cos yeh, that would draw them in :laughing:


Goofiness Makes Tomnod Awesome!”


Repeat that 5 times as fast as you can - and let me know if you get cramps in your tongue. :laughing:


I like lists and statistics - so I’m visiting the list of Users quite a lot.

I checked how many badges we all have, and made a list. To be on the list you need to have at least one badge, and have more than one visit during the last three months (since Sept 21), AND/OR have a total of at least 15 visits to the Tomnod forum ever.

Maybe we should start a thread where people could write why they don’t visit the Forum any longer, and invite all on my list that haven’t visited the forum during the last three months?

Another alternative would be to ask @Mel_Nod to send out a Notification (the bell at the upper right corner of the campaign window) inviting every user to visit the Forum.


I don’t know if anyone is interested in my list (if not - I can delete this post later…), but here it is:

[Maximum possible badges: 49]

cageycat 34
AKE235 31
EmeraldEyes 31
Helen 30
Jim7 29
HappyMapper 25 [Latest post: Aug 30 -17]
Pastor_Ruth 24 [Latest post: Dec 24 -16]
Shaul 22
Claus 21
kateg 21
Bob1 20 [Latest post: Feb 15 -16]
Beverly1 19
Mariet 19 [Latest post: Aug 21 -16]
Mel_Nod 19
Stilman_Hector_Danie 19
Bjarne 16 [Latest post: Nov 6 -16]
Thistle 16 [Latest post: Dec 31 -16]
Danny 15 [Latest post: Nov 20 -15]
lucy 15
Matthew 15 [Latest post: Nov 4 -15]
Mike9 15 [Latest post: Nov 7 '16]
Newtonian 15 [Latest post: Nov 3 -16]
Claus2 14
Doug4 14
Kathleen 14 [Latest post: Dec 14 -16]
martins_binocolo 14 [Latest post: Mar 3 -17]
Michael10 14 [Latest post: Dec 20 -16]
tomnodcollin 14 [Latest post: Apr 11 -16]
Wilms 14
Dave1 13 [Latest post: Mar 3 -16]
E-Bear 13
James [tomnodjames] 13 [Latest post: Jan 8 -16]
Jon_Saints [tomnod?] 13
Penny 13 [Latest post: Dec 29 -15]
ZosiaSu 13 [Latest post: Sep 9 -15]
elburcher 12
Brudigan 11 [Latest post: Apr 12 -17]
karstdiver 11 [Latest post: Aug 1 -15]
mappinandrappin 11 [Latest post: Dec 25 -16]
Martin_Ebel 11
Noel 11 [Latest post: Feb 3 -16]
Amy 10 [Latest post: Jun 13 -15]
Avinoam 10 [Latest post: Jan 21 -16]
Emiliano 10
Harold 10 [Latest post: Jan 25 -16]
Jim1 10
Michelle4 10
ParrotHeadWNY 10 [Latest post: Jan 11 -17]
shahar 10
tomnodryan 10 [Latest post: Mar 3 -16]
William 10 [Latest post: Oct 4 -16]
Ben_Ketteridge 9
btvoss 9 [Latest post: Jan 7 -16]
Eye_in_the_sky 9 [Latest post: May 27 -16]
Gene 9
jaimeskelton 9 [Latest post: Sep 21 -15]
Kelly_H 9 [Latest post: Sep 2 -17]
Morrell 9
petro 9 [Latest post: Nov 18 -16]
Susan 9
Suz 9 [Latest post: Feb 20 -16]
tomnodjon 9 [Latest post: Oct 25 -15]
Cheyenne_Cameron 8 [Latest post: Mar 13 -17]
FirstLook_SuperHero 8 [Latest post: Jan 21 -16]
hello 8 [Latest post: Jul 30 -16]
Sean_Kohler 8 [Latest post: Apr 23 -17]
Tomnod 8 [Latest post: May 12 -15]
Anne 7
Annette 7
cpflucker 7
DaveG 7 [Latest post: Jan 28 -16]
Francine 7 [Latest post: Jan 13 -16]
gwinsgolf 7
James1 7 [Latest post: Aug 23 -15]
Linda_Staehler 7
Peter1 7 [Latest post: Aug 31 -16]
Sandra 7
Sotis 7 [Latest post: Dec 9 -16]
StanleyT 7 [Latest post: Mar 8 -16]
Tammera 7 [Latest post: Oct 12 -16]
w_galileo 7 [Latest post: Mar 18 -16]
bentleychuckle 6
CG1 6 [Latest post: Aug 20 -15]
Claire 6 [Latest post: Jul 30 -16]
Doug3 6 [Latest post: Mar 2 -16]
Louis 6 [Latest post: Aug 22 -16]
Neil2 6 [Latest post: Oct 28 -16]
Norbert_Dichter 6 [Latest post: Mar 21 -17]
oregongirl 6 [Latest post: Sep 13 -15]
pommystuart 6
RemoteSensor 6
Bargao_Henriques 5 [Latest post: Apr 19 -16]
Beth1 5 [Latest post: Mar 21 -16]
cyrlaurent 5 [Latest post: Sep 16 -15]
Diana_Hamilton 5 [Latest post: May 13 -17]
imtb 5
joanne 5
Kathy 5
Longshot 5
michael13 5
Ole 5
Otavio_Lima 5
Rick 5 [Latest post: Jun 11 -15]
Rosie 5 [Latest post: Jun 5 -15]
Sophie 5 [Latest post: Apr 5 -17]
TeddySAT 5 [Latest post: Apr 17 -16]
claudia4 4
Dust_Bunny 4 [Latest post: Jul 27 -15]
Geoffrey 4 [Latest post: Dec 1 -16]
Jane1 4 [Latest post: Feb 13 -16]
Jeff_Franzen 4
Marcela 4 [Latest post: Nov 5 -15]
Margaret 4 [Latest post: May 23 -15]
maria_alejandra 4
markus 4 [Latest post: Oct 7 -16]
mayrainman 4
murblond 4 [Latest post: Jul 28 -15]
Nancy1 4
patricia 4
Rod 4 (Aug -16)
Sarah1 4 [Latest post: May 6 -16]
sattlerster 4
Alan 3 [Latest post: May 13 -15]
Bauke 3 [Latest post: Jul 10 -15]
bobconner 3 [Latest post: Sept 9 -17]
Colleen3 3
Deb1 3 (May '15)
Eliana 3
Florian 3 [Latest post: Jul 31 -15]
jason8 3 [Latest post: Dec 22 -15]
Jaxwoman 3 (Aug '15)
Kara 3 (May '15)
kateg5 3
Laisve 3
Latina 3
Lisawright 3
marian 3 [Joined May 12 -16]
nologic 3 [Latest post: Feb 17 -16]
Norm 3 [Latest post: Aug 8 -16]
Paula2 3 (Aug '15)
Ron2 3 [Latest post: Aug 26 -16]
Amal 2
Flav 2
junku 2 [Latest post: Jun 13 -15]
Leandra 2 [Joined May 13 -16]
marcelopitz 2 [Joined Apr 16 -16]
monique 2 [Joined May 15 -15]
pat3 2
roye 2
whitney1 2 [Joined Jan 3 -16]
Adrien 1
Bumpymunky 1
Caroline1 1 [Joined Feb 19 -16]
Cor 1 [Joined Sept 24 -15]
crawford 1 (May '15)
Daniel7 1
diego_iannone 1
fer1 1
ferreirab 1 [Latest post: Oct 31 -15]
gh1 1 [Joined Feb 24 -16]
ichetucknee 1 [Joined Mat 13 -15]
JuanPa 1
Judy2 1
Julian 1
kateg2 1
ken 1 [Joined May 19 -15]
Khia 1 [Latest post: Sep 27 -16]
klaudia 1
Luli_Riani 1
r11 1
Rosemary 1 [Joined Sept 29 -15]
Russ 1 [Joined Jun 16 -15]
slfries 1 (May '16)
tarrow 1
Teri1 1
Tom5 1 [Joined Feb 16 -16]



I’m surprised that I’m at the top, since I only actively sought out getting 3 of them. Shows how much that regular interaction on the Forum triggers earning the badges.

You can take Pastor_Ruth off the list. She is too ill to return. :frowning: {{{hugs to her}}}

As I wrote in another post, Mel would need to balance how many emails she sends at once, if she did this, so it doesn’t trigger an email blacklisting of the company. There are actually thousands of members who have never visited the Forum :frowning:

I still think adding one line of text to the front page of the platform (www.tomnod.com) above every campaign can let folks know the forum exists. .

I also think it’d help if our expert Nodders posted info, help tips, and links to useful journal articles. I’m not expert enough to do this, though I have tried…

What do you’all think?


This is a great discussion. Thank you all for your interest in keeping the forum a lively place that will draw new and regular members alike!

So when a person signs up for Tomnod, their email automatically gets logged on a list that I can use to distribute to. I coincidentally just sent one yesterday about our active campaigns - I hope that many of you also got it (though it depends on your settings and if you unsubscribed at any point). The email had a link to the forum, but I could make it more central in a future email as well.


This sounds like a much better starting point than mass emails that will more than likely be deleted without being read.
It would highlight that the forum exists, provide an easily identifiable link to the forum, and leave it up to the individual whether to interact or not.