Sorry good ideas cost money. Send me free dimmers if you want good ideas. I have no free dimmers, so today you only get bad ideas. (functionally, that means I’ve been up 16hrs after 4hrs sleep so this reply may not be entirely coherent. Apologies if that’s the case).
Agreed. And I think framing things this way is a good place to start the discussion.
Personally I think the thread-facing badges should be things that are helpful for another user reading the post to know, that will help make the discussions more efficient (cutting down on unnecessary back and forth to gather info) and also give an idea of the user’s expertise/trustworthiness so the reply can be tailored for the reader.
Country is a good one of course- USA wiring replies are useless if you don’t live in USA. I think which hub the user runs and their rough expertise level is also important- earlier today @EricM_Inovelli sent me a code snippet for SmartThings/Hubitat… except I run HomeSeer, and I’d consider myself a HomeSeer expert who’s competent with Z-Wave. Eric had no way of knowing that, so the time he spent writing out or copy/pasting that code was wasted. If my name line had said ‘HomeSeer Expert’ and Eric saw it, instead of basic code I’d probably have gotten technical info about what Parameter 12 does on a protocol level, which is interesting for me but not for the ‘SmartThings newbie’. Thus seeing this info could foster a more efficient discussion.
Now this sort of thing might be entirely separate of a badge discussion- maybe it’s better implemented as a user profile text field that displays next to your name.
Semi off topic for a second- for q&a areas of the forum, and ONLY for q&a / help areas, I think submitting a thread should have a ‘I need help’ flag. Maybe that means an entirely separate way of submitting- a form that looks like a trouble ticket form (but makes it VERY CLEAR your question will be publicly posted) and based on the info provided, it sets up the question as a post in the appropriate forum area. Anyway, for Q&A posts there should be two buttons next to each reply: ‘This Helped Me!’ (which can be enabled on as many replies as necessary) and ‘This is the answer’ (which can only be enabled on one or two replies). ‘This is the answer’, when clicked, would pop up a question like ‘is the issue you posted about completely and totally solved?’ and if they hit yes the post drops off a ‘waiting questions’ list but stays on the forum. Then users who get a lot of Helped flags or Answered flags will get a badge, which gets more prominent the more they Help and Answer.
Halfway through writing the above paragraph I realized what I’m suggesting is almost a hybrid between a forum and a ticket system. The user would have a ‘my community help requests’ page that would list and link to their submitted ‘tickets’ (aka threads). Dunno if such a thing is worth building (I doubt it exists) but if you can make a few forms that query the forum database you might be able to do it easily. I see it being a 3rd option on the support page- ‘Knowledge base’, ‘Community Tech Support’ (average daytime response 34 minutes, questions are posted publicly), ‘Inovelli staff support’ (average daytime response time 8 hours’. Point is to drive some of the more basic ticket traffic to the forum where us morons support your customers for t-shirts, rather than your support queue where your expensive employees are swamped with basic questions.
While either support ticket is being typed, a sidebar should be constantly searching keywords in the request and suggesting marked-answered forum threads that are applicable and may answer the user’s question.
Anyway back on badges- as mentioned the more a user helps, the more prominent / bright / whatever the icon for that area should be. So someone who answers a lot of Z-Wave questions gets a Z-Wave expert badge, someone who answers a lot of HomeSeer questions gets a HomeSeer expert badge, etc etc.
I’m not entirely sure that rewards program tier should be a badge. It’s nice to brag, but it doesn’t convey anything really useful to other posters.
Finally- the bronze ‘in’ logo next to your name, when I saw it my first thought was it denoted an inovelli employee, and I didn’t understand why it was brown. So I think the graphic itself might need some tweaking- maybe put the stylized ‘in’ inside a gold/silver/bronze medal with ribbon?
That’s all I have for now…