Pieces of me on community...

Reflections regarding the intersection of community and technology, broadly defined. A pit stop on the way to the next phase of Microsoft community solutions

A closer look at recognition

A closer look at recognition

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I mentioned in an earlier post that I was not going to discuss recognition.  Well, that was for the context of that post.  As part of my role as a community planner, I am on point for things dealing with recognition on the various Social experiences throughout Expression, TechNet and MSDN.  While this is not fully baked, for the sake of transparency (and I hope, feedback) I thought I'd share some of the current thinking based on feedback from site visits, research and the like.  

So what exactly do I mean by recognition?  Simply put, it's how we recognize the actions of people as they experience our sites.

What does this look like today?  Well, until a few weeks ago recognition was seen in the separate experiences of Forums and annotations to the Library.  Following a recent release, we now have contributions to Library and Forums, in addition to Social Bookmarks all rolled up into one given view.  The profile (or as I like to call it, "the online representation of oneself") is where we display all of the explicit actions taken by people.  Here's an example of the new profile...



I should note, there are aspects of today's system (especially in Forums) that is not really recognition specific, but rather they are reputation specific (such as helpfulness).  Reputation, from my perspective, is what happens when other people see things that I'm recognized for and then they evaluate that piece of information in a way that makes sense to them.  Put another way, it's what happens when you see I've bookmarked and commented on searchandgive.com.  What are the judgments that you make?  How relevant is it to you and your experience? What do you think of my bookmark, and my thoughts of it?  That's reputation.  And your perspective, that's going to be different than someone on my particular team, for example.  We're not going to be talking about reputation just yet ;-)

Getting back to recognition...The display of ones explicit actions is just one way in which we look to recognize people as they experience our sites.  While not fully scoped, we are looking at expanding the notion of points across all Social experiences on MSDN, TechNet and Expression, in addition to adding a net new way of recognizing specific milestones for people -- such as when they do something for the first time, or when they do something during a given time frame.  This latter notion (still to be named) can in some ways be seen as an "achievement" a la Xbox Live, or a badge on MSN Games (full disclosure -- I used to work with MSN Games).

In summary, this is how I'm looking at recognition:

  • display of actions
  • points for specific actions
  • some sort of visual flair
  • It is great to see Randy Farmer's work on reputation published in Yahoo's Design Pattern Library . I

  • I seem to be on a recognition kick lately. In addition to running across the reputation patterns the

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