Personalizing Community Recognition

This is part one of two  – on recognition.

Something I’m thinking a LOT about these days is community recognition:  meaningful and personalized recognition.  Especially for community education, and especially to celebrate milestones of success navigating contribution ladders/pathways.

Earlier this year, we sent out a survey asking Mozilla Community (staff and volunteers) to evaluate, from a provided list,  methods of recognition they most valued. Interestingly, no single method had more than 75% approval, with most hovering around 30% negative response. From digital badges, to shout-outs and printable-certificates there was no clear winner, and I think this is a compelling thing to solve for.

Early thinking around this includes solutions that add ‘preferred recognition’ as a choice in our and/or Reps profiles, so that when we want to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments, we can literally ‘look up’ what is most valued by that individual, and do that thing.  I’m also mid-journey with community infrastructure friends to add badges to our profiles – which I hope finally, help Mozillians share those badges they’ve been collecting.

The panic starts when we add the word ‘scalable’.

How can we design scalable, personalized recognition when we have so many amazing people moving the needle every day? When those people are in tiny corners of the project, or lost in a sea of greater community initiatives – how can we ever, ever manage to make recognition part of our reputation?

Well I’ll tell you how we can do it: stop thinking of recognition as this huge thing we to set aside our precious time to do.  That’s not to say all of what we’re building doesn’t need dedicated planning – it does, but the majority of what we can accomplish by making recognition part of our workflow.

My next post will talk a bit about that, and how I hope a rebooted version of the #mozlove initiative  can help.  But first read this blog post from Leslie Hawthorn, and you’ll see where I’m going.

If you are working on recognition, or have thoughts, ideas and inventions that relate to personalized recognition I would love to hear from you!