We've introduced badges on the Vodafone eForum to say thanks for all the amazing posts that get created and added to every day. And here's how they work...
The Vodafone eForum is home to hundreds of thousands of posts and discussions created by you our customers. There’s all sorts on there, from phone help and guidance, to general chat and tech discussions. And because we really appreciate every single one, we’ve launched badges, our new way to reward everyone who contributes to discussions on our eForum.
The eForum’s new badges help us show our recognition for all the questions, answers and other activity. We’ve been speaking to Community Manager, Ellis Covington, to get the lowdown on what these badges are all about, and how you can collect them all…
Earning your stripes
“Badges are our way of rewarding people for contributing to the eForum,” Ellis explains. “So now, if someone’s posting, replying, giving thanks for an answer, we can say thanks too. We’re doing it to encourage people to thank other posters for their help, as well as to motivate people to write posts that answer others’ questions – we really want to promote and reward those kinds of behaviours.
“They have been active for just over a month, and the response so far has been great. We’re in the initial stages of rolling the badges out, and are concentrating on people who are joining the the eForum for the first time. It’s about rewarding people for the simple actions they can take on the eForum ,” Ellis says which includes things like filling out your profile and making your first post.”
The idea is similar to how you’re awarded trophies or achievements on games consoles: do certain things on the eForum and you’ll earn a badge to add to your collection. So what kind of honours can you receive?
“The badges are split into six categories,” Ellis tells us. “Those are: thanking people for their posts, getting thanks for your posts, making topics, responding to people’s topics, getting answers, and tagging. But there are also ones for completing your profile, and a special one called ‘Welcome to the Community’, which is awarded to anyone doing all of the above.”
You can check out the full list of badges here.
With a growing number of eForum Community Champions – our most prolific and decorated posters – we were keen to see if anyone had collected every badge in the short time they’ve been live…
“There are a few,” he tells us. “The rarest one at the moment is the ‘Laureate’ badge, which is for starting a hundred topics, which only eleven members of the Community have. There are a lot of people on the forum who do a lot of really good work, though. We have our ranking structure, which shows how you’re making progress, but that can be quite a long ladder to climb, whereas with badges, we can reward individual actions. This is a great way of recognising that people spend a lot of time on the forum, whether they’re just having a chat or helping people with their questions. And this is an immediate way of showing thanks.
“And it’s also a good way of helping other people see how good someone is. You can see that someone has the ‘Mastermind’ badge, for instance– which is the one you’re awarded for having the best answers. That way, you know you can trust the advice or answers they give.”
With badges adding a ‘gamified’ element to the eForum, does Ellis think that it’ll become even more addictive to the Community Champions and those who’re hot on their trail?
“Forums can be addictive,” he says in agreement. “We certainly see a lot of people who hang around for the conversations and discussion. So what we’d like to do with these new badges is focus that energy into areas that people can actively improve on, or that they might not have focussed on. It just adds another level of how people can engage with us.”
And to that end, the current collection of badges is about to grow:
“We’re now looking at ways to reward people for other things.”
“The badges we’ve got right now are very much for the eForum’s standard actions. We’re now looking at ways to reward people for other things. It’s all very early days as far as the next stage goes, but we’ve got plans toward people based on when they post.
“There’s still work being done on making the badges more visible, too, and integrating them more with people’s online personas, which includes linking them to their ‘author card’, where their names appear on the community. There’s always more we can do, and as we get into phase two, we’ll be telling everyone on the forum all about it.”