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Raiders of the Lost Badges

I’m not just a fan of a certain adventure-seeking archaeologist, but also of RPGs. So I’m quite familiar with quests and I really like solving them.

With the new gamification badges, my treasure hunting mode was activated and I – much like in the RPGs – want to complete all missions to get all those shiny, cute little badges to show for it. Well, that’s probably not just my treasure hunting mode speaking, but also my ambition. 😀

But normally it’s about finding some scroll of parchment and delivering it to someone or reading an important old tome to get to the next step, but never about writing the thing myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. For work I write documentations and training materials or check-lists and I enjoy writing in my private time, too.  But here I’m like… okay, I want to write something (because I like to share and help), but about what?!

There are a lot of experienced specialists here in SCN, who all can explain the modules, procedures and what-not a lot better than me (and already have done that, too). I’m an allrounder  and have to be in my job (and I really like it this way), so I will never get that in-depth-knowledge to write about a particular application.

It’s a little frustrating really. There they are, those “I blogged!” and “I Shared Some Knowledge!”-badges dangling in front of me, just out of reach. I want them, but how can I get them AND contribute something to the community instead of writing some unimportant stuff, nobody needs? My ambition is demanding quality. I want to earn those badges, but am lost in the how. 

Let’s get sidetracked for a second…

In my experience in our field of work, appreciation and a “thank you” from users are rare. There are two sayings, that – for me – show the standing of IT:

  • “You do your job right, when nobody knows you’re there.” (= everything is working perfectly)
  • “No complaining is enough praise.”

Maybe that’s why I’m so focused on the badges here, because they are an appreciation of my work. They are the “good job!”s, “thank you for your help”s, that come so seldom in the work life.

So it got me thinking: We need more badges in our lifes! 

Not just here, but I want to transfer it to the non-digital world. I’m thinking about making some “real” badges (with magnets for our whiteboards) for our big projects here at work, so when they are done, every colleague of my department, who worked on it, gets one to show for it. 

Something like this:


It might sound silly, but I don’t care. ^^ I want to share my fun with badges with more people. Make them smile.

The gamification here sparked that idea in me, so I guess I have to thank the SCN-team for this.

But that brings me back to my “problem” with those badges here on SCN, that are out of my reach. Blogs and documents, that are needed and wanted and helpful and about something I have knowledge of. Hmm… nope, still no idea!

Well, I keep on digging in my mind, maybe someday those badges will blink and shine on my reputation wall. But until then I will make use of my love for arts
and crafts and colors and try to come up with some touchable badges for my departments projects to surprise my colleagues.

So what about you, guys?

  • Are you motivated to try some blog-writing on SCN or create a document, because of the new gamification system?
  • Has it sparked ideas for you to integrate in your daily working life? 
  • Who wants to start making badges, too? ^^


Well, this is it, my first blog. How do you end these things? Let’s try this:

Thank you for reading this far. I hope, you had fun and my thoughts came across and were not to confusing or confused. 😀


Kind regards,

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  • I have had exactly the same thought. I do write the occasional blog here, so I've managed to get the "I blogged" badge. But the 4 I need to get the "I'm in a blogging mood" badge are going to take me months. And as for writing documents, I've never produced one and can't imagine doing so any time soon.

    Like you, I'm more of an all-rounder and without a specialist area it is hard to be the one that gets there first and writes about stuff before anyone else does. It isn't impossible though. Even if you are using ancient technology, you can do innovative things with it. You just have to keep your mind open to the possibility of blogging, and you will start spotting opportunities.

    All that said, for many people the leap from 1 blog for the "I blogged" badge to 4 for the "I'm in a blogging mood" badge is quite big. We will all tolerate an only marginally interesting blog for somebody's first, so that's easy to achieve. The next 4 need to be good, though, and that's hard. I wonder if we need smaller steps to keep people interested?

    By the way, this doesn't fall into the "only marginally interesting" category of first blogs. Nicely done:-)


    • Hello Steve,

      thank you for your reply. The first one is always the most anticipated, so I was really nervous about my first blog and how it would be looked at. So thank you for the kind words, those got the pressure and fear of failing off. 🙂

      Yes, the next 4 blogs to get that shiny badge have to be good to keep people reading and interested. But I guess, smaller steps in this case are already taken, because you just need 5 blogposts alltogether to get it instead of the 10 helpful or correct answers you need for other badges. So I have the feeling, the gamification commission of SCN was already looking out for us blog-enthusiasts without a lot of ideas when creating that mission. *g*

      Nontheless, now that the first blog is out of the way and so nicely received by you guys, I'm a little more relaxed when looking for content for the next one.  Because now I know, I won't be ripped to shreds. ^^

      Like you said, I will look out for those opportunities. Most of the time, something you look for is falling in your lap, when you aren't looking, so I will be patient and won't stress myself about that. 🙂

      Kind regards,


  • That sounds so much like my own story. I've been wanting (even before the 'I blogged' and other blogging related badges made their way to SCN) but more than that, wondering for long what to write about that hasn't been written before. I've even tinkered with the idea of writing a blog about my indecision on what to write about but while I (and probably others) was merely thinking you DID it and did it very nicely!

    You've just nailed it when you say "no complaining is enough praise" in the IT world. Seriously! Good to know that you are planning to adopt the badges approach in your projects as well.

    PS: Reading your blog has provided another stir to the cells in my head to give another shot at blogging on SCN. BUT, it remains to be seen if the stirring manages to churn out something.

    • Hi Kumar,

      it looks like the stirring brought some result as I've seen your first blog on SCN, too. Congratulations! 🙂 And I'm glad, I was a little help in that last push to get you do it. ^^

      Thank you for your reply and I will keep an eye out for your blogs to see, what you come up with next.

      Kind regards,


  • My fear is that we are going to see a massive icrease in blogs with no information value or plagarism of other blogs and documentation. This will become much worse when call centers and institutes out there use SCN gamification missions as a measurement tool for their freshers.

    Unfortunately that has already happened in several cases.

    Also, blogs are showing up with 100+ "thanks" comments hanging off the end of them as folks complete some mission related to it. Luckily the 2 million active SCN members are only fictional friends of some KPI as they might all have posted "asdf" as well...

    I am OK with the concept of gamification to make things more fun. But the implementation seems to be an encouragement for noise, at least initially.

    I have my watch on the quality of the discussions, blogs, wikis etc.

    Lets see how it pans out...  🙂



    ps: Personally I even changed my avatar to complete that mission because already having an avatar was not enough. Reloading the same one seemed a bit childish to me... 🙂  I have also seen several "top models" around in the past week and the SAP logo seems to be quite popular as well, but should not be used as speculative forum contributions would otherwise look like official SAP statements. Making the points system look more silly should also be a mission...

    • "asdf" can be interesting, "asdf" converted into morse code is .- ... -.. ..-. If you take the dots and convert them to 0's and take the dashes and convert them to 1's, you get the binary number of 010001000010, which is 1090 in decimal. The year 1090 just happens to be 2 years after Christodoulos of Patmos, supported by Emperor Alexius I Komnenos, founded the monastery of Saint John the Theologian on Patmos.

      I think it will all pan out 🙂

      • I did not realize that before! Thank you - you just raised my hopes by 100% that all these signs will lead to something good after all, like an iota of qualitative contributions or a new frying pan or possibly even a second shrubbery... 😉



        • I need a new frying pan, so I'm a little torn what to wish for more... good contributions or the pan. ^^

          David Clavey: I really like how it comes down to owning Volvo to get on top of the industry. 😀

    • Hello Julius,

      while I'm having a lot of fun with the gamification and get a kick out of completing missions, I've had the same thoughts of "misuse" like you. "Noise" is a nice word of putting it, I really like that.

      The badges should motivate and you're right, IMO especially the first ones will motivate user to get more creative just to get the badges fast than to contribute to the community. BUT I hope and think, this will calm down eventually. Right now, those badges and missions are a new thing and like any new toy, you want to play with it a lot. And at last, everyone will have those first steps behind them.

      Then you brought a thought up with this:

      "This will become much worse when call centers and institutes out there use SCN gamification missions as a measurement tool for their freshers."

      😯 I sure hope, that doesn't happen!

      Although the "important" badges, like helpful and correct answers or other good content in blogs and documents are not given for stuff, you do by yourself (like following someone or liking something or changing the profile picture), but rewarded by the community (because they/we rate, we like, we give the mark for the helpful and correct answers). So that should keep the hunters in check, like it did before. 🙂

      Or do you think, this won't help with this problem? To keep the noise down, to go back to your words?

      Kind regards,


      • I wonder if there shouldn't be a blog for "mentoring" another person in blog or document writing.

        I'm very lucky, my job is to concentrate in one area of SAP (IDM) so I get to go deep. But I also enjoy bringing people along and getting them interested in the technology as well.

        One thing I would say to the aspiring blog writer is: Write!  If you find something that is interesting to you, write it up!  Even if you think it is not at the same level as other posts, we all started somewhere! Part of the problem is that there is so much knowledge that is not recorded, but should be.  Everyone starts out at the same level, so "basic" posts certainly have a place as well.

        I typically blog on those issues that are interesting to me or tidbits / tips / techniques that I will use again or need to remember, let that be a guideline as well!



        • Hello Matt,

          thank you for this motivational post. I read so many blogs lately I'm again thinking about writing something myself, but the stated problem is still there. ^^

          With your advice, I think I will write up a small list of things to write about to see where that leads me. Maybe this kind of brainstorming for a topic helps my blogging-career. 🙂



    • "Close enough"-badge with the meme? ^^

      10 "not totally useless" culmulate to 1 point in the end then? So they have value. And if you collect 25 "WTH is this?!"-marks for your answers your account here in SCN gets automatically deleted and your S-User blocked. Maybe that would help with the point fishing.

      Thank you! I really am glad this blog got so good reviews. 🙂

  • I'd like an "oh god why"-badge for some of my posts from my greenhorn-time... just stumbled upon one from three years ago ó_ò..

    Anyway, bottom line I actually value a mere feedback as in "Thank you for helping, Lukas" or "Thank you for making me raze our production system to the ground, Lukas" more than any badge and more than all the ponits/pinots there are. It is nice to have some kind of 'visual reputation' built up but that's still just a fancy gadget additional to the core reasons I'm contributing on the forums.

    Though, I must confess I started writing documents and blogs since the start of the new gamification system... so yeah, it kind of did push me into the direction of using different media for collaboration.. <.<

    • But isn't it great to read all that old stuff and then congratulate yourself, that you left that phase behind you? ^^

      Yes, like I mentioned in the blog, getting good feedback and a "thank you" is sadly pretty rare in our line of work. Maybe in others, too, I don't know. 😀 But like you I'm happy about every friendly feedback I get. And love collecting "Thank you"'s. ^^

      I'm still yet so get to the point, where I can blog again or even create a document (don't know what of my knowledge to put in those). See it as a good push, because it was made clear by the creators of the gamification system, that exactly that behaviour was their goal. ^^