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Tue Apr 18 2023 -

April Badges Update

What's New - Badge Stacking

Before yesterday, if you had a set of badges in your community like the following:

  • New Commenter (1 comment)
  • Community Member (50 comments)
  • Expert (500 comments)

... and a user ends up with 500 comments, they'll get badges displayed on their comments like this:

[New Commenter] [Community Member] [Expert]

In this particular scenario, we probably only want the Expert badge to show. Well, most of our customers want this, but not all. Not all of our tenants have the same setup and we recognize this.

However, for the communities that follow the above pattern, which is most of them, they want the comments to show the most prestigious badge.

To handle this use case we've added the concept of a badge replacing another badge. By doing this, we can create a flow of badges that a user can earn:

Badge Stacking

Internally, we call this badge stacking. The new badge "stacks" on top of the old one.

We can configure this so by editing a badge and saying that it replaces another:

Badge Stacking Setup

Obviously this can become difficult to track so the badge list has also been updated to provide more information including which badge replaces what.

What's New - Reprocessing Improvements

When you make a change to a badge, we have to go through all of your users and determine whether they should still "earn" the badge, and update all the displayed badge styles, and caches so that the latest version displays.

Reprocessing no longer removes a badge from a user on save even if they no longer meet the criteria unless the configured criteria changes.

Administrators note - you can decrease the threshold criteria for a badge without reprocessing removing that badge. Only increasing the threshold will cause reprocessing that may remove the badge in some cases.

For more, read on in The Commenter's Perspective.

The Commenter's Perspective

Reprocessing badges is very risky as users love their badges - and we recognize that! We don't want to take away a user's badge because they earned the Reply badge due to 100 users replying to their comments, and then 10 users later delete their comments, or get removed by moderators.

The badge should stay, and it does, except...

On reprocessing we don't know those previous comments exist, so the badge could get removed from some users if a badge is edited, like if the styling is updated, or if badge stacking is setup.

This is what happened on April 17th 2023 when we rolled out Badge Stacking and some communities enabled the feature.

Two scenarios were observed:

  1. Users found that some of their badges appeared removed. What actually happened was that all but the most prestigious badges were hidden.
    • You can display all of your badges if you want. Simply click the three-dot menu in the top right of your profile and click Manage Badges.
  2. Some badges did actually get removed for some users, like in the Reply badge example above. To prevent this from happening in the future, we improved the reprocessing system so that the badge will not get removed unless the badge criteria itself changes and you no longer meet the criteria, however we advise against community administrators from doing this because, again, users love their badges.

For Moderators

There's no change from a moderator's perspective, except that you will see less badges displayed in most cases. You will instead see the most prestigious of you and your community member's badges displayed.

Existing Customers

We have completed the rollout of this feature to all existing customers on all tiers! Badge stacking is not enabled by default and must be manually configured.

In Conclusion

We hope you find this new set of features and fixes useful and easy to use.