"Nice Post" threshold is too high for most sites, can we make it easier?

The “Nice Post” threshold is too high for most sites, including Meta Discourse.

I think that @codinghorror has made at least four posts in the last week that would be worthy of being described as a “nice post”, however he recieved a “Nice Post” badge for … one.

Actually, let’s look at the dates of the Nice Post awards:

  • Last Tuesday
  • Two weeks ago
  • Two weeks & two days ago
  • Four weeks and a day ago
  • Four weeks and three days
  • Six and a half weeks

That is a frequency more suitable for a “Silver” badge, not Bronze! Bronze badges should be easy, or at least attainable with a bit of effort.

I think that the current situation is untenable - it’s denying many people and communities the ‘gamification’ incentives the system is clearly intended, but failing, to provide.

I think that the default like thresholds for the badges should be reduced. Here’s my proposal, with numbers from this site as of last November:

  1. Welcome badge (1 like) stays where it is. Count: 17,000
  2. Nice Post (10 likes -> 5 likes) More reasonable & possible with small to medium sites. Count: 1300
  3. Good Post (25 likes -> 10 likes) This replaces the previous Nice Post levels. Count: 165
  4. Great Post (50 likes -> 25 likes) Replaces previous Good Post. Count: 12
  5. Legendary Post (N/A -> 50 likes) Replaces previous Great Post. Count: 1

(NB: The numbers for 25 and 50 likes have not changed in the interim.)

This proposal adds the previously missing level in the tiers between Welcome and 10 likes.

Even these aren’t great ratios, though: compare to Stack Overflow, with approximately a division by 5 in each tier, rather than 10. But I think it’ll do.


I agree with you, all my posts are

I dunno, defaults are a tricky thing. Ideally these Nice / Good / Great levels should be dynamically scaled to the community norms, e.g. based on the median and standard deviation of the number of likes a typical post gets on that community.

Problem is, that’s a shifting target. What about in 2015 when the community is 6 times larger and the average post gets 3x the number of likes? Do we grandfather in all the old badge awards at the lower levels somehow?

I would prefer to err on the side of safer defaults and let communities scale these down to whatever level they need, rather than having them be too low at launch of a community and take things away from people.

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Yep, one of the problems right now is that you can’t scale them at all: The badges are ‘system badges’, so you can’t edit the name, or query, or anything, except for disabling them outright. And the names aren’t that forgiving to adding a new one below them - What’s good, but lower than “Nice” and “Good”?

BBS definitely is fine with the current 10 likes threshold - they’re getting 5-6 Nice Post badges a day!
But the exponential dropoff in the higher levels is way sharper there - 8703, 545, 15.

We get plenty of Likes given

yet except for Nice Topic, none have been granted


Some more numbers:

Nice Post
|     Good Post
|     |    Great Post
|     |    |
8703  545  15 Boing Boing
591   50   3  Turtle Rock/EVOLVE
108   18   5  SpongePowered
1389  15   0  TDWTF *
179   12   1  Meta
50    9    2  Green Heart Games
265   7    1  Soylent
239   4    0  Stonehearth
116   3    0  Folksy
10    3    0  SmartThings
43    0    0  How To Geek
27    0    0  Ember
22    0    0  Popcorn Time
2     0    0  Ubuntu
1     0    0  Lockitron
0     0    0  New Relic
0     0    0  Couchbase
0     0    0  SketchUp
0     0    0  SitePoint
0     0    0  Dwolla

I wouldn’t focus too much on Sitepoint’s, I believe the main cause for our lack of stats in this area is our community doesn’t like a lot of posts. I primarily see Staff and TL3’s liking posts than the rest of the community (not sure if our stats line up with that information, but I believe it to be true at this stage).

I’m not sure what to do about it though either. Trying to get people to use the feature has been an uphill battle for us. We still get several posts of “Thanks”, or “That was good”, or “I liked this article”. All of which fit nicely with simply liking the article or the original post it was in response to.

@HAWK, maybe we should have a brain-storming on how to get people to use the “like” feature. I’m not sure what more we can do to get them to use it…

I think the best solution for that is to add new tiers & badges instead.

So following @riking’s new standard, if my forum became insanely popular, I would simply add a “Beyond Legendary” badge for posts with 75 likes, possibly along with a new “Platinum” badge tier.

Exponential growth isn’t a “problem” most communities will be faced with.


For sure. Start a thread at home. :slight_smile:

So what happens if the badge criteria is raised (or lowered) after achieving them?

If you do that for an existing badge, then you will indeed screw over those users. Discourse will do a recount, and find that they didn’t deserve that badge after all!

That’s what this is about:

And it’s why I’m suggesting we avoid that problem altogether by adding on additional tiers instead.

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I’d ban or at least change their realnames to something nasty if my users started giving me a hard time about badges or make new insulting ones to make up for the loss so I might be the wrong person to comment on this, but FWIW in my opinion the badge system needs to be either highly configurable (as it sort of is AFAIK?) or completely disabled by default.

How I see it, the trust levels in general need to be much more refined and should at least coexist with predefined, standalone user groups as an assistive technology to automate moderation.

I’d say that if we’re counting, why regard posts or topics that have not been liked at all? Well then we would have the problem with types of participation - some people prefer not to like posts especially if they’ve already replied to it and congratulated the person directly.

If that’s not confusing enough, then we might have categories of posts with different levels of importance; second hand category might benefit a lot from trust levels, while general chit chat does not, it would be completely disabled for “friday night drunk category” and very important with “dentistry pro tips” -category.

So back on topic, if the thresholds are a not up to date, they should be fixed and if the users are a problem, well, I’d say there’s no technology that can help you with that other than moderating with an iron fist… :muscle:

edit: just logged in with uber admin and noticed that there are trust level groups and the possibility to add groups for static management etc. so :blush:

@riking just wondering if you might have any stats related to pre / post the Likes column being removed from list pages and the post icon being given reduced visual intrusiveness.

i.e. Might it be be an “awareness” issue or is it a more general thing?

I wouldn’t think that the volume of likes would be related to the likes column being displayed. The number of likes a post of comparable quality across gets should be roughly proportional to how many people read it, and therefore how many people are on the forum to read it.

BBS has lots of participants who know about liking, enough so that they reach 10 likes on a post 6 times a day. Meta doesn’t have enough volume to hit 10 likes except on extremely rare occasions, and neither do several other forums (clearly, based on the numbers).

Maybe a solution would be to let the admin plug a number in for the badges…? Or perhaps a site setting for one of three sets of numbers.


Late to the party (from here), but…

Depends on if Revocation is checked:

As pointed out, in its current state, the badges will be rescinded

I’ll just drop this here (what’s that * for?)…

Ok - without the ‘abuse’:

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asked the same thing :smiley: