How do we encourage more introductions?

I’ve seen a slowdown in people introducing themselves, which I think is too bad. I love seeing the introductions for two reasons.

  • I like helping real people working on real projects. It’s more motivating to answer questions when you know a little bit about that person and see their face!
  • Knowing where a person is located, what field they work in, and their interests makes it easier to collaborate on relevant features and related projects. I always check the Introduce yourself here! topic when I’m working in a new domain or country to connect with ODKers.

When I’m responding to a forum topic by a member who hasn’t introduced themselves or added a profile picture, I say hi, answer their post, then gently ask them to introduce themselves. To me, it helps build a more welcoming, connected, and productive community.

Do others agree that introductions are important? If so, how can we gently encourage more introductions?


I've been thinking about this for a bit.

First of all, I think there's great activity in the "introductions" topic here. So kudos to everyone who keeps that alive. I also love hearing the stories from everyone.

One thing that I found useful was creating a "Friendly User" badge for folks that do introduce themselves:

Since that badge was designed, things have changed with Discourse enough now that you could add a visible "badge" overlay to a person's avatar photo with some type of icon. (Any ideas?) In another community I'm involved with, they use a Google Summer of Code logo overlay for folks who have been involved with GSoC. It's a nice way to easily have folks stand out.

There are some other advanced CSS hacks that I think might also be possible for folks who have participated in the topic.

But what do people think about that kind of visual representation? Does it have a good balance between subtle & encouraging?


Badges aren't very visible to other members, so they seem to work better for self-motivation, but it's worth a try! I also love the idea of an overlay because it's a visual cue to others. Something like a :wave: overlay would be pretty sweet.

@Ronald_Munjoma, are both of these options something you'd be interested in helping us investigate? I can give you an account on a test server that you can play with.

Morning Yaw,

Sure, please give me access on the test server.


I don't have unique suggestions to improve it, but I'll add my voice to towards appreciating introductions. I have it as a notification when I log in (I follow the introduction post), and its nice to spend a few minutes reading new introductions when I make it to the forum. I feel more connected than I otherwise would.


Thanks to @Ronald_Munjoma's help, users who introduce themselves get the ultra-exclusive Friendly badge.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Introduce yourself here!

As a new community member who just participated today for the first time, I can say that I found it very clear when I saw the community guidelines that part of the culture in this forum is to introduce oneself. I had also already been told verbally, but if I had not been told, the expectation still would have been clear as soon as I made my account on the forum. To first-time users, the concept and etiquette is at least unequivocally stated. From my perspective, this is the most important thing a new user can ask for. Clarity of expectations.