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 one way we reward and recognize the most diligent and thoughtful contributors on the site—our authors, commenters, editors, admin staff, and more.

This rewards and recognition system helps us, too. We get a better picture of how people are using the website, and an idea of what topics interest frequent readers and new visitors. The reward system also encourages participation and allows everyone an easy way to know who is who among regular contributers to the conversation. 

Earning points

Correspodents, authors, and other Opensource.com admins have a badge beneath their pictures to show their role(s) on the site. Readers and contributors to 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 a new member.

After you earn your first 10 points, you move up to the role of Community Member. As you get more points, you move up into higher roles with cooler badges, such as Open Enthusiast when you earn 30 points, and Open Minded when you earn 100.

The highest badges are awarded to users who earn the role of Open Source Champions at 1,000 points, Open Sensei at 2,500 points, and Open Sourcerer at 5,000 points. We've had some users earn the Open Sourcerer badge that we had to go to even greater heights and create Star and Super Star levels.

To earn points, you participate. Some of the easier ways this can happen is when others "like" the things you say or if you contribute content (polls and articles, e.g.) that are published. Points are tallied automatically when you log in and rate, vote, or comment on articles. Keep track of your points, badges, and roles through your Opensource.com account.

Points and roles

Current points scale:

Voting (in a poll) 1 point
Giving thumbs up (when you rate a comment) 1 point
Getting a thumbs up (on a comment you made) 1 point
Posting a comment 5 points
Contributed to a published article 15 points
Authoring a published poll 20 points
Curate a published article 30 points
Authoring a published article 30 points
Top Contributor 50 points
Conversation Starter Award 50 points
Social Sharer Award 50 points
Awesome Author Award 50 points
Emerging Contributor Award 50 points
Reader's Choice Award 50 points
Moderator's Choice Award 100 points
People's Choice Award 100 points
100+ Contributions Club 1,000 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 an Open Sourcerer?

Roles and badges

This is a list of all Opensource.com roles and badges. Some roles and badges can be earned by accumulating points, whereas others recognize admins or authors. 

Points-based roles with badges

New Member / 0-9 points New Member badge
Brand new users fall into the New Member role until they earn their first 10 points. Once you've earned those 10, your pledge days are over, and you're a member of our community. 
Community Member / 10-29 Community Member badge
This is the standard role. Your status as a community member gives you a fully editable profile, where you can post your picture, a short bio, and add your Twitter handle.
Open Enthusiast / 30-99 Open Enthusiast badge
Now you're really a part of the community. You've collected 30 points through 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 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. Perhaps now you're thinking about how to become a community moderator.
Open Source Evangelist / 500-999 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 Open Source Champion badge
You're a true open source ambassador, and your evangelism has made you an open source champion. Opensource.com is now your training ground for all things open source.
Open Source Sensei / 2,500-4,999 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 your new Sensei badge.
Open Sourcerer / 5,000-9,999 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 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.
Star / 10,000-24,999 Star badge
If this were Hollywood, your name would be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In fact, there would be a new emblem for open source to distinguish the amazing contributions you've made to this community. Your efforts are truly out of this world.
Super Star / 25,000+ Super Star badge
We thought you'd be satisfied with your open source stardom, but then there are overachievers like yourself. On a future trip to the International Space Station, the staff will recommend that a new asterism, comet, constellation, or galaxy be named after you. You've clearly demonstrated that your efforts are astronomical. Now you can make the case that we should have another badge—and you're free to make a few suggestions.

Add-on badges

Author badge

For our writers from various industries, who have become regular, trusted writers and editors. Our 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. Authors in the community get a full user profile.

Admin badge

For our Admins, the ones who keep our Drupal website up and running, who 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.

Open Organization Ambassador badge

For Open Organization Ambassadors, a select group of people who believe in the power of the open organization model and are helping to gather stories about open leadership, organizational management, and other ideas from The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance by Jim Whitehurst. These community members our part of the Open Organization Ambassador program and have taken on a leadership role to help highlight how the principles of transparency, authenticity, access, and openness are changing the nature of working and managing in the 21st century.

Comment Gardner badge

For our comment gardeners who 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

For our founding members of Opensource.com and the community; they've 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, 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.

100+ Contributions Club

This award badge is for the authors who seem to avoid writer's block. When you contribute 100 published articles, you'll get this badge of honor along with earning an additional 1,000 points. And that should be enough to get you the star status you deserve.

People's Choice Award badge

At the beginning of each year, we’ll post our top contributors from the previous year. We’ll give you a time period to vote on the nominees. And, the winners get the admiration of his or her peers—and a killer People’s Choice badge to boot.

Moderator's Choice Award badge

At the beginning of each year, the Moderators get together and choose a community member who has contributed greatly through writing or work behind-the-scenes. The winner gets a special Moderator’s Choice award badge with honor.

Conversation Starter Award

New in 2013, the Opensource.com team hands 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 in 2013, the Opensource.com team wanted to say thanks to those community members who are creating 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.

Awesome Author Award

New in 2014, the Opensource.com team wanted to recognize the most popular articles from the previous year. After some number crunching of our web analytics, the golden tickets are printed out and the community votes on the most popular articles. The winners score this Awesome Author Award.

Best Interview Award

New in 2015, the Opensource.com team realized that our community was conducting some fabulous interviews with the movers and shakers in open source. But scoring that interview isn't always easy. Then packaging that interview up with a nice shiny bow takes some work too. The page views are tallied to find the best interviews of the year. Then the community votes on their favorite. Winners are given the Best Interview Award badge.

Emerging Contributor Award

New in 2015, the Opensource.com team saw some newcomers to the community and wanted to recognize their efforts. They're really not new comers per se, but they are new names and faces to our community of contributors who are doing some awesome work. The Opensource.com team selects a handful of community members to be recognized with the Emerging Contributing Award.



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, location, and Twitter handle 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. You'll can even order and rank them in your user profile. 

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

A: Nope. Even if you never advance up from New Member, 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.