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Patrick Zoch
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A follow up to yesterday's question suggested by

Paul Unwin
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Do you look at the microbadges a person displays? What, if anything, do you look for? What conclusions do you draw from microbadges?


Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Alexandre Santos
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Sometimes, specially if it's a special arrangement or unusual microbadge. I also end up looking at them for people I read a lot online. For those, I usually notice when they change a microbadge, unless they do it every week.

As for conclusions, hard to say. It adds a little layer to the mental portrait I have of the person. It does provide some context to what they say. I can't pin point to any specific conclusion I would have derived from mircobadges.
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Lev
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Sometimes I look at an individual's microbadges. I think I do this to see what sorts of things I have in common with them. Basically, I agree with what Alexandre said (above). I suppose I could have quoted Alexandre, that would have been more efficient.
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Rebus Carnival
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More or less what Alex says.

I appreciate thoughtful selection of microbadges for theme or aesthetics. Likewise I notice when you didn't iron your pants or wear a dress shirt without a tie like your mom made you get dressed up.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Yes, I always notice microbadges. I enjoy mousing over ones I don't recognize and even old favorites. They can definitely induce positive emotions, much more so than negative ones. I tend to be more charitable towards people who sport microbadges I empathize with. I suppose that's very tribal of me, sorry.

But I also love learning about new things through microbadges. If I have no idea what an interesting badge is referring to, I'll often research it. I've learned a lot that way.

I don't change mine often; mostly when certain moods strike. But if you're reading this on January 3, you may notice I'm celebrating a favorite author's birthday...
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Bruce McGeorge
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I frequently look a microbadges. We only have so many elements that we can display (name, username, geekbadge, avatar, and microbadges).

Sometimes I just look for the heck of it (time permitting, of course). Sometimes I'll look if someone says something unusual or if something catches my eye.

Of course, conclusions can be dangerous, but I make them all the same. For example, if someone is knocking Splendor and they are sporting all heavy board game microbadges, I can make a snap judgment and move on.

I swap mine out when the mood strikes. I might just do it right now!
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Alain Curato
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pdzoch wrote:
Do you look at the microbadges a person displays?


Yes, always. And even more at the ones on their profile.

pdzoch wrote:
What, if anything, do you look for? What conclusions do you draw from microbadges?


I look for preferred games (rpg and boardgames) to see if we share common interests or, the opposite, if she likes something I hate.

I look at personal interests to know what might tickle this person and should be avoided.

if the "site contribution" or "contests" sections are loaded, I know this is someone who can be trusted to stay online... but also someone very outgoing, which is not always my case.
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Mark Wilson
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I'll hover over things out of curiosity, sure. They're a cool way to customize. I'm never really looking for anything though, nor do I draw conclusions outside of ones that are nigh-tautological (e.g. "He's sporting a GM screen; he must be a GM."). As someone who's sported nothing but a nonsensical dog as his lone microbadge for the better part of a year, with no plans on changing, I try not to judge, lest I be judged myself.

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Harry Lee
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Sure, I do! I try not to draw too many conclusions from microbadges alone, though - much like looking at someone's book or record collection, seeing their microbadges might give you the beginning of a sense of what someone might be like, but to try to draw any more information than that can be pretty presumptive.
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Professor of Pain
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I look at them but rarely draw conclusions about the wearer. Usually, I scan them to look for cool or interesting micro-badges I'd like for myself, being too lazy to search through them on my own...
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Hans Messersmith
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I will sometimes notice them on other people's avatars, especially if it seems they were chosen to convey a particular message or if they are visually interesting. I will look more deeply at them if I am in a discussion with that person and am looking for points of common interest or perspective to bring in to the conversation.

The only conclusion I draw from unearned (e.g. hobby, interest, music, religion, whatever) microbadges is that the person cared enough about the thing to take the minute or so effort to get it. They don't represent deep commitment, but they are a signal.
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Patrick Zoch
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I'm always on the lookout for rebuses in the microbadge row (like elfbane's at the moment). Or if they spell something. I appreciate clever and topical microbadge selection (like one of my pbf members who added a beholder mb to his row while we were fighting one).

I also notice well designed or pretty mb's. I may mouse over a mb when my curiosity is piqued, and I admire witty mouseovers.

However, I do not dwell on the meanings of any of theme as a defining statement of the wearer.
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Roger Hobden
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I year ago, I didn't have any microbadges myself.

I suppose I will eventually get adept at decoding these messages.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I usually don't look at other people's micro badges.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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One thing I've noticed about my microbadge attitude: those times when I'm traveling and using a mini-tablet to access RPGG/BGG, I'm a lot less curious about microbadges. I have no mouseover ability then, and it's a lot more work to figure out what unknown ones are.

I wonder if there's a big difference in microbadge attitudes based on whether you're accessing the Geek with a computer mouse or not.
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Professor of Pain
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Mallet wrote:

I year ago, I didn't have any microbadges myself.

I suppose I will eventually get adept at decoding these messages.

It's simple really. From looking at your microbadges, for example, I can tell that you are an octagenarian woman from the Orient who earned a bronze star in the Greek wars of '17 and likes Golden Grahams cereal.
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Doug Hook
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I often look at other geek's microbadges. More apt to notice if an avatar changes though. One of the reasons I check out others MBs is to search for MBs I might like to add, sometimes I will also go to their profile and read that too. Especially true this time of the year.
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Caroline Berg
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Do you look at the microbadges a person displays? What, if anything, do you look for? What conclusions do you draw from microbadges?

Always! I always notice them! And they cause an emotional response, usually. Empathy if someone is dealing with something I can relate to, happiness seeing someone else like something I enjoy, joy at seeing a new microbadge for something I like that I now have to get, revulsion at seeing something I really don't like listed.

I very much judge people based on what their microbadges are. I do try to temper that knee-jerk first reaction by reading their posts, and sometimes I know it is my own prejudices talking and can shove my prejudices to the back of my mind. There nothing wrong with other people liking something I really don't like, after all, we are all different.

There are some microbadges that I truly dislike seeing (though I'm not going to go into details why). Luckily, there are a lot more microbadges I'm neutral or positive about, which I enjoy looking at.
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Chuck Dee
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If a person doesn't have the full amount of microbadges, I'll take a look. If a person has an interesting assortment, I'll look also. Otherwise, I only look if a person posts something that seems particularly insightful about something that I'm interested in.
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Tim Freerksen
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I LOVE looking at microbadges, very fun pasttime before I started posting here when I lurked
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Chris Tannhauser
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I have 666 contest microbadges.
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Art Gorski
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Sometimes. I like imagining who someone really is based on what they display.

I'm currently rocking a set of non-gaming badges but I'll probably change the whole set eventually to a gaming focus.
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Tim Freerksen
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agorski wrote:
Sometimes. I like imagining who someone really is based on what they display.

I'm currently rocking a set of non-gaming badges but I'll probably change the whole set eventually to a gaming focus.


I tend to avoid non-gaming badges on my avatar unless it's a game I really, really like
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Ron Price
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Looking at fellow geeks' microbadges is slightly akin to looking at a new friend's record collection used to be (alas for the disappearance of physical media....). It can often tell you whether you're going to hit it off, whether they're somebody who engages with the world in a similar way as you, and sometimes how well-heeled or educated they are.

Like in most aspects of my life, I look for a sense of a humor almost above all, then for common interests outside of gaming, then for game info.
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Chris Abbott
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Yes, I often look at the badges, usually following back to the user's profile page to see their entire collection.

As most respondents have noted, I'm looking for commonalities and new badges that pique my interest.

Multiple conclusions could be drawn, even without consideration of any preconceived notions or deliberate attempts by a user to mislead a viewer. At best, there's only a superficial sense of the person behind the badges.
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