Points and badges

Points and Roles | Roles and Badges | FAQ

Our points, roles, and badges system measures your social interactions with our content and our community. This system is how we reward and recognize the most diligent and thoughtful contributors—our authors, commenters, editors, admin staff, and more.

This rewards and reconigition system helps us too. We get a better measure of how people are using the website and an idea of what topics interest frequent readers as well as newbies. It also encourages participation and allows everyone as easy way to know who is who among regular contributers to the conversation. You know us, we like to be transparent!

Earning points

Authors, Community Moderators, and other Opensource.com admins have a badge beneath their picture that indicates role on the site. Readers and contributors of the site can also earn roles and badges as outlined by a standard system of points.

New users (who have signed up for an account) start out as—what else?—a Newbie.

After you earn your first 10 points, you move up to the role of Community Member. As a Community Member, your profile becomes active and you can add a photo and short bio. As you get more points, you move up into higher roles with cooler badges, like Open Enthusiast when you hit 30 points, and Rock Star when you hit 100.

The highest badges are awarded to users who earn the role of Open Sensei at 1,000 and Open Sourcerer at 5,000.

To earn points—you participate. Some of the easier ways this happens is when others like the things you say or if you contribute content (like, polls and articles) that get published. You can earn up to 10 points a day by simply rating the things you read, voting in polls, and commenting or rating others’ comments.

You can lose points too! Our system is designed to recogize the most current of contributors—not just those who have been around a while or built up a mass of points from a few flurries of activity. If a user goes more then 2 weeks without visiting the site and logging in, they lose a point per week until they visit again. We'll let you know if you’ve been absent a while and have lost some of your cred, or if you jump to a new and better role!

In an effort to build a system that is easy and fun, the best way to earn rewards and recognition on the site is to keep participating. Points are tallied automatically when you log in and rate, vote, or comment on articles. Keep track of you points, badges, and roles through your Opensource.com account.


Points and roles

Current points scale:

Rate an article (stars) 1 point
Voting (in a poll) 1 point
Giving thumbs up or down (when you rate a comment) 1 point
Getting a thumbs up (on a comment you made) 1 point
Posting a comment 5 points
Submit an event (that gets approved) 10 points
Authoring a poll 30 points
Authoring an article 30 points
Top Contributor (community spotlight) 50 points
Conversation Starter Award 50 points
Social Sharer Award 50 points
Moderator's Choice Award 100 points
People's Choice Award 100 points

We're not handing out prizes when you hit a million points or anything like that. But, we did want a way to show how active each user's account is and how much social reputation other contributors have accumulated. Who doesn’t want to be a Rock Star?


Roles and badges

This is a list of all Opensource.com roles and badges. Some roles and badges can be earned by accumulating points, while others recognize admins or authors. And, soon we'll be adding a few that reward our community members who have truly gone the extra mile—or said something completely brilliant.

Points-based roles with badges

Newbie / 0-9 points Access to all site content
Brand new users fall into the Newbie role--until they earn their first 10 points. Once you've earned those 10, your noob days are over, and you're a full member of our community. Forevermore.
Community Member / 10-29 Full profile with Community Member badge
This is the standard role. Users already signed up when we instituted our scoring system will be placed in this category automatically. Your status as a community member gives you a fully editable profile, where you can post your picture, a short bio, and link to your website.
Open Enthusiast / 30-99 Full profile with Open Enthusiast badge
Now you're really here. You've collected 30 points--reading, rating, and commenting—so you get a new badge. You're an Open Enthusiast, and we're glad to have you. Now others will know you've been around a little bit, and have something to say.
Open Minded / 100-499
Full profile with Open Minded badge
You've said your piece and rated others, and amassed 100 points worth of kudos and cred. Congrats. We like how you're thinking. You're now eligibleto be a community moderator.
Open Source Evangelist / 500-999
Full profile with Open Source Evangelist badge
People are really starting to take notice now. Sharing your open source experience is second nature and you've got the badge to prove it. Keep spreading the good word.
Open Source Champion / 1,000-2,499
Full profile with Open Source Champion badge
You're a true open source ambassador and it's obvious that your evangelism has made you an open source champion. We're so proud. Opensource.com is now your training ground for all things open source.
Open Source Sensei / 2,500-4,999 Full profile with Open Source Sensei badge
Wow, look at you go. You've written articles, commented, and rated comments all over the place--and made Opensource.com your personal playground. You've certainly gone above-and-beyond, and we're showing our thanks (and letting you show off) with this new Sensei badge.
Open Sourcerer / 5,000+ Full profile with Open Sourcerer badge
Your awesomeness knows no limits. We can't possibly thank you enough, but we can recognize your prowess. You've contributed articles, commented copiously, and added immeasurably to our little community. Our appreciation is not enough—but if you're ever in the neighborhood for an event we attend, come over and introduce yourself. Show us your badge, and we'll hook you up with any of the swag we can get our hands on. And probably take you out for a celebratory beverage.

Add-on badges

Author badge

These are our writers—some from inside Red Hat, others from across various industries, and quite a few community members who have become regular, trusted writers and editors. The team of Admins and Moderators will grant Author status, when appropriate. Contact an author if you have a private question or inquiry about their work. If it’s a comment about their article, post a comment.

Admin badge

These are your Admins. They keep Drupal up and running, and fix any problems with the site or with user accounts. Most Admins are Red Hat employees. You can contact an Admin if you’re having a problem with your account. The quickest way to get in touch with an Admin is through our contact form.

Moderator badge

Your channel moderators are all-powerful beings with deep knowledge in their area of expertise. They’re also equipped with the powers of smiting spam, policing comments, and docking points for miscreants and ill-doers in their areas. You can contact a Moderator if you have a question about their channel. The best way to get in touch with a Moderator is through our contact form.

Comment Gardner badge

Our comment gardeners keep an eye out for spammers, inappropriate comments, and other detrius of the online world. We want to thank them for their help.

Founding Member badge

A few members of our community have been here from the start. They helped build this place, and worked hard to invite everyone in. So we made them their own badge. Just because.

Awards badges

Top Contributor

These are the folks that keep the content and comments coming. With their help, opensource.com is a vibrant and active place to be, and this badge is a way for us to show our thanks for their hard work. Want to become a top contributor? Submit articles, start discussions, and participate in our polls and contests. You know you want to.

Moderator's Choice Award badge

Each year at the beginning of January, the moderators get together and choose a community member who has contributed greatly--through writing or work behind-the-scenes--and they’ll be able to sport a special Moderator’s Choice award badge with honor.

People's Choice Award badge

Each year at the beginning of January, we’ll put up a post with our top contributors from the year. We’ll give you a time period to vote. The winner gets the admiration of his or her peers—and a killer People’s Choice badge to boot.

Conversation Starter Award

New for 2013, the moderators hand out high fives to a few community members who start the discussions. You know them. They are frequently commenting on our latest content and get the conversation started. In addition to racking up some points, they'll now be honored with this sweet award.

Social Sharer Award

New for 2013, the moderators wanted to say thanks to those community members creating the buzz on social media. They're often re-tweeting, liking on Facebook, +1-ing (that's a verb, right?), and submitting articles to Reddit. For doing this, we give a select few our social sharer award.


FAQ

Q: When did you start the points and badges system?

A: We launched the beta of the points and badges system on January 24, 2011. We removed the beta on January 25, 2012.

Q: Will my profile picture and bio go away if I drop below 10 points?

No. Once you’re a Community Member, you’ll keep that role until you move up into another role.

Q: How many badges can I have at once?

A: You can have one points-based badge (a role, for example, like Open Enthusiast). In addition, you can have as many add-on badges as you've earned. Soon you'll be able to order them or rank them in your user profile. We do limit how many can show up in some places on the site, such as in the comment threads, so move the ones you like the most higher up in the queue.

Q: Do I have to earn points to use Opensource.com?

A: Nope. Even if you never advance up from Newbie, you’ll still have full access to all the articles and comments on the site. The points system makes it easier for you to share and collaborate with others; if you just want to read and comment occasionally, you don’t need any points to do so.

Q: Where did my points go?

A: We're not sure, but we can help you find out. Send us a note with your username and what you think is missing. Our admins will look into it.

Q: How many points can I earn per day?

A: We do not limit the numbers of points you can earn in a day. However, if you try to game the system, we'll know about it. Play nice.

Do you have a question we didn’t answer? Let us know.

points chart | roles and badges | FAQ
points chart | roles and badges | FAQ