I've completed the badge system. I gave myself some badges to demonstrate how it looks. Each type of badge has an icon and four levels--plastic, bronze, silver, and gold--that demonstrate the levels of achievement in that area. To keep things simple, badges will only be awarded for achievements going forward, not things that have happened in the past. I'm not totally happy with the current images, but I think they're at least good enough to get it started. Content Badge
These will be awarded when you submit something to the main site. Long articles, guides, stories and other harder to produce content will be awarded extra points.
These will be awarded to members who have been nominated by at least one other member besides myself, if I agree it is a great topic. Criteria include quality of the discussion, uniqueness, and length of the topic.
1-3 great topics
Moderators will receive one point toward these when they become mods, and they will earn them when I see them performing especially well in the job.
These are awarded for great ideas that help the site in some way.
These can be used as awards when we restart monthly contests.