A pattern language for reward systems in social web apps

by mort

Below is a first draft of a typology of criteria used by social apps on their merits/badges/awards systems. It’s my intuition that’s there’s only a limited number of overarching principles sustaining such systems, and this list will try to catalog at least the most popular and easily found of those.

The methodology I’ll be using consists in revising available list of merits for different sites to try and detect the underlying patterns. For each pattern I provide a name, a description, relevant Foursquare examples, and a typical string literal associated to the badge.

Feedback, corrections, suggestions, and links to relevant literature will be greatly appreciated.

Edit: I’ve moved the list to this gist, a much more appropriate format for a document in a state of flux.