I've tried to search it on the blog but i did not find any satisfying answer.
I have not seen many so-history tagged questions on meta, so probably they are not welcome here; anyway i try to ask.

Do you know where Reputation (badge\rewards) feature of The Stack Overflow Trilogy has come from?

It's evident that part of the success of this community is granted from this crazily ingenious and addicting mechanism, a well mixed recipes of Xbox 360 Achievements, programmer ego and The Silence of the Lambs's "Do ut des".

Do you know where could i find (if available) informations about the rationale behind this terrific idea? Is it possible to share?

A snapshot of the Blackboard where all this had begun would be perfect :)!

  • Somewhat related - Microsoft filed a patent for their online game rewards. Still pending from what I remember, and I'll be darned if I can find it now (of course). – squillman May 25 '10 at 14:01
  • Ah, here's a copy of it. faqs.org/patents/app/20090198741 – squillman May 25 '10 at 14:02

The early podcasts shed some light on this. They borrowed from many sources, including Digg, Slashdot, Metafilter, etc.

Notably their early podcasts mention Wikipedia's model frequently, and Google:

So yeah, this is going to be very much an evolving thing as we do it, but the guiding principle is basically the PageRank model, where other people have to vote for what you've done to make it worthwhile.

Here's all the podcasts that contain the word "reputation". Note that early on they were still defining it, and also used words such as Karma (ie, slashdot model) to describe this notion they were developing. Note that not all the podcasts have been transcribed, but the early ones have and that's where most of this concept was developed and discussed.

The badges came from gaming systems. This podcast discusses them a little bit. The idea is that in addition to promoting generic 'good' behavior on the system via reputation (ie, answering questions, asking questions) badges present a way to entice users to engage in specific behaviors beneficial to the site.

  • For the record, if there were a reputation pagerank that went from 0 to 10, I'd be an 11. – Pollyanna May 25 '10 at 13:36

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