Add the Huffington Post to the list of news sites that are adopting the badge concept. But unlike other sites, they’re leading the charge in a new direction. Instead of teaming up with Foursquare and handing out badges for hitting places in the real world (as the Wall Street Journal‘s new Greater New York section started doing earlier this week), HuffPo has created their own set of badges, that readers can earn for activities taken on HuffPo itself.
Users with high numbers of connections in HuffPo’s Social News community get a “Networker” badge. Readers who regularly share HuffPo stories on Facebook or Twitter, or who regularly comment on HuffPo stories, get a “SuperUser” badge. Users with “a solid track record” of flagging inappropriate comments get a “Moderator” badge.
HuffPo says its badges will spur reader engagement and increase interaction among userstwo holy grails news organizations across the Web are chasing in the hopes of boosting traffic and increasing numbers of unique users. “Our goal is to expand on the notion that a site can be at the nexus of news and opinion, and social networking,” says HuffPo CEO Eric Hippeau.