How to surface community activity and recognize contributions?

Something I’ve been wrestling with lately is how to recognize individuals in our community for liking, replying, being helpful, etc. Both on an ongoing (eg, each month) as well as for specific posts.

Discourse gives us a ton of interesting data about this kind of behavior, broken down by user. I was thinking of making some of this data public in order to recognize what people have done. However, I’d like to do so in an intentional way. I’m worried that by making some forum data public we’ll create some opportunities for gaming the system and it won’t be the result we want.

So I’m curious, how do folks out there expose data about what happens on the forum to the public? How do you find ways to reward people for their continued contributions over time? Would love pointers to any resources or posts suggesting one approach or another.


It’s not uncommon for particularly engaged community managers to do weekly or monthly community updates and in those draw attention to specific members and topics.

Automated reports are great, but that’s still a numbers game of sorts. It feels very different if someone has taken the time to write about you, or your contribution.


Considering that (or /u in your forum) is public and can be tuned to different time frames, what else would you need?

I’m not suggesting that you don’t need anything else! I am simply proposing that you take this public listing as a baseline for additional use cases.


Yes, the public user page should be your first port of call. It has all the essential stats and is sortable.

I also find it is helpful to focus on new users with good read / reply / like stats in admin, users, new.


These are great ideas - thanks, I actually didn’t realize there was a public-facing “users” page beyond the one that was in the admin section.

So I’m curious - do folks take screenshots and such of the /u page, and paste those into some kind of “community update” thread? I’m trying to strike a balance between “recognize and encourage positive communication in the forum” but also don’t want things feeling competitive.

Does anyone happen to have a link to a community post that recognizes user activity in this way? It would be super helpful to see just how other communities treat this topic.


I guess it depends how important this is to you, but a couple of options would be

  1. adding a link to your pinned banner that says something like “Check out our biggest contributors this week” and links to the users page
  2. adding a graphical sidebar theme component which highlights contributors. The image below doesn’t do that exactly but it could be customised.



On the Tomnod forum where members crowdsource satellite photography for different types of campaigns, some campaigns can be extremely long (i.e.: Hurricane Maria, over 600 days active.). Not many members have stuck with these long campaigns, at least not on a regular basis. For those that have, admin created a new badge which can be used in place of the “Regular” title next to one’s name called “Tenacious Tomnodder.” It is granted manually by admin. Very few members have this title/badge. Of course the name of an added badge can be changed to whatever you wish. Just a thought.