Best practice for Discourse badges

Continuing the discussion from What are Badges?:

As our community grows, we are getting more requests for special badges – e.g., “Xyz Contest Winner.” Do folks here have thoughts/suggestions on when (or when not) to create new custom badges? From a community management perspective, is it possible to have too many different badges?

I’m trying to decide if we should be be eager to create a new custom badge whenever the need arises or if we should be hesitant to create a long tail of rarely used badges. I’d appreciate hearing any opinions from people managing large communities in Discourse.


We recently awarded that kind of unique badges for all contest winners and for those who placed 2nd or 3rd place in the same contests, retroactively. If you set the unique badges so that they won’t show up on the /badges page and clutter it, there won’t be any problems. I couldn’t imagine any other side effects and we also haven’t ran into any yet.

Awarding a golden badge for the winner, a silver badge for second place and a bronze badge for third place is a rather cool practice. We also created a general badge for contest organizers and that one we let show up on the /badges page. Maybe it encourages people to organize more such contests.

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This question is covered pretty well by this existing discussion:

Short answer:

  • Yes, it’s possible to have too many badges if many of them are trivially easy to get.
  • However, it’s tough to have too meany of meaningful badges, i.e. human-awarded ones that you get for genuine participation in the community.