Disable "achievements" and lower word limit?

These are two things I tweaked over time with the GOSH forum:

  1. Disabled the gamification where it notifies you about random “achievements” that I believe hardly anyone cares about. “Your first use of a like” (haven’t actually seen these here, are they already disabled?)
  2. Getting rid of the minimum word limit for a reply. I found that people just reply with “yep I agree… and here are some more words to meet the limit” or something like that so there really isn’t much point.

Any objections to setting those, let me know.

Edit: Badges, that’s what they are called. They already seem to be disabled. Is it possible that I don’t have full admin privileges to poke around with these settings?

Can look into the minimum word limit. I suppose it depends if a forum filling up with “yup I agree” is annoying.

What do others think about the badges? I actually think they are pretty good because I tend to lurk in forums and not comment. However getting badges for trivial engagement like submitting a like in the GOSH forum made it feel welcoming and encouraged me to engage. Personally I would rather slightly bug a few seasoned commenters if we encourage some timid ones?

@jc2450 @r.w.bowman Any thoughts?

The thing is: this technical solution is not actually a solution. On the GOSH forum it made it worse because people would just add random words. I also genuinely think sometimes one word is all you have to say and that’s fine. Of course it’s annoying if it’s just threads of that, but that’s why you have a chat room where people will tend to go to have more curt discussions.

With the badges people seem genuinely split and I haven’t actually disabled them on GOSH like I thought I did. (I got confused with another discourse instance I set up once.) I suppose they haven’t bothered me in quite a while. I just wish they wouldn’t ever pop up in the regular notifications that I actually care about and I don’t understand why they don’t add an option to ignore them on the user side. Maybe they have and I missed it?

I suppose we should tend towards inaction and leave them on. Some discussion from Python forum, though it just illustrates the two sides rather than giving a solution:

Fair enough. I am happy for short messages to be allowed.

Thanks for my badge on the GOSH forum :heart_eyes_cat:

Haha, yeah, while looking to see if badges were enabled I found that you can make custom ones. You can disable particular ones as well. That actually makes it more interesting!

We could make a “built a microscope” custom badge and think of some others. And if we notice a particularly annoying default badge we can disable just that one.

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Sounds like we’ve decided badges can be fun and short messages are ok. I’m fine with that! I’ve seen some forums that solve the “me too” issue by adding a button for “me too” that lets them agree without cluttering the thread. Don’t know if there is a plug-in for that, but it feels like a nice option if there is…

There might be some plugin for that but we are limited to the standard plugins listed here. I guess there is the :heart: button by default anyway.

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ok, yeah - that about covers it.

also - there’s a MathJax plugin. We should definitely have that turned on so I can say things like \int_0^{\infty}e^{-x^2}\mathrm{d}x and have them render :slight_smile:


And a Gitter integration I just noticed. We should enable that too.

Just “earned” this one and want to turn it off: https://openflexure.discourse.group/badges/11/first-like https://forum.openhardware.science/badges/11/first-like

Edit: I disabled it since I think it has a high potential for being annoying to new users joining the forum now. It’s one that annoyed me the most everywhere else and the one they complain about on that Python thread.

I disagree but it is not worth fighting about.

Badges are generally “fun” for people that enjoy them, and they haven’t seemed super invasive if you don’t (I don’t dislike them so maybe it just doesn’t bother me?).

What would be super cool is a feature to detect that you are posting a super short, agree/disagree statement and then offer to turn that post into a ‘reaction’ (like etc.) instead. Maybe even include your original short post, but just collapse it in the feed so it doesn’t take up space from the meat of the thread. Consecutive short posts could all get rolled up together, and the reader could expand them if they wanted to see what people had posted.

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That’s kind of how the minimum word limit works, though not quite as fancy. It just pops up with this:


As discussed above, we don’t actually have the ability to customize the forum that much beyond the settings and the default plugins provided.