The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Hey there!

It’s amazing how important recognition can be. Just acknowledging someone’s status, like my Pros, or a rank in the military, or the leaderboard on a game can be a very powerful motivator.

Recently, recognition in the form of a badge, the Verified badge on Twitter, became almost scandalous. Twitter put a moratorium on issuing Verified badges, yet somehow, the founder’s mom and dad got a Verified badge during that period, and the Twittersphere freaked out.

Why does recognition like this, which has no monetary value but very high social proof, mean so much to people? What type of recognition means most to you?

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Hope this helps!


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I just saw this thing that happened
on Twitter you may know about TED talks
and you also may know that the current
TED conference is going on as I record
this and one of the speakers that they
had is Jack Dorsey and Jack Dorsey is
the founder of Twitter along with ev and
biz he’s currently the CEO Evan Bazar
the two other founders so Jack was
talking and one of the questions that
came up was what’s the deal with the
verified accounts that apparently they
got into a bit of trouble verified
accounts by the way are accounts that
Twitter has verified that the person who
says they are who they say they are is
actually that person I actually have a
verified account you get on a show like
heroes and sometimes people want to
impersonate you so I my Vera fight
account was given like maybe I don’t
know 10 years ago or something like that
and you know you’re on a verified
account when you see that little blue
check mark next to somebody’s name so
apparently Twitter verified the account
of a white supremacist and then booted
them off the service so they wanted to
examine how their whole verification
process happens and they put it on a
moratorium they kind of paused it but
people kept getting verified people like
the band Whitesnake
if you don’t remember Whitesnake go
check it out also Tom Brady
he got verified during the the paused
period Jack’s mom and dad Jack Dorsey’s
mom and dad were verified and so people
were really like kind of upset because
they wanted to be verified and they
couldn’t because supposedly Twitter’s
was all of this having been said
oh and poot Buddha jag was also a Buddha
jej was also verified during this pause
period so all of this having been said
isn’t it amazing how important because
it was like thousands and thousands of
people complaining how come we can’t get
it’s amazing how recognition is so
important in our lives
badging is so important in our lives
it’s showing it shows how important
inclusion is and respect and recognition
of identity and I I know how badging is
really important because my pro clients
get points for attending workouts and
for taking classes and for acing their
quizzes their voiceover quizzes in the
different classes that we do and if
their badges aren’t put up right away
and their points aren’t put up on the
I hear about it I mean I I never thought
it would be that important it is one of
those things that as I rebuild the site
I’m gonna look to see if it’s slowing
things down and I may take it away but
I’m loathe to do that because I realized
just how much it means to my clients to
be able to say hey with pride I did this
I did that I’ve achieved this and you
know even the other day I did a video on
the Statue of Liberty and Joseph
Pulitzer raising money the reason that
whole thing worked is because they got
name recognition in the newspaper and
the newspaper in the 1880s was you know
the television the Internet of those
days it was that important right so it
just reminded me how important
recognition really is and you know I
love when you guys comment on my videos
I hope you know that
I recognized that and that I respond
when when asked a direct question I
can’t respond to everything but I read
and I wonder how important recognition
is for you
what is it that upsets you when somebody
doesn’t recognize who you are what
you’ve done what your abilities are what
your status is you know cops wear badges
so people know that they have achieved a
status in life you know businesspeople
wear neckties and business attire so
that people know that they’re successful
I mean there’s all of these things
involved in the signalling of
recognition via badging and I never
would have thought that a verified
account on Twitter would be such a
divisive thing but apparently apparently
it is what recognition do you seek what
recognition do you feel insulted if you
don’t get does it matter to you that you
get a completion badge or you get to be
gold status or you get to be evany
status or who knows what status it is
how do you feel about these sorts of
things do you ever find yourself behind
why do I care so much about having a
gold card
seriously it costs more money it like
what does it get me it you know are
there anything is there anything about
that that really matters other than the
gold stands and you’re getting status on
the leaderboard I mean it just
fascinates me how important it is to
human beings to be recognized for their
achievements and to be recognized by the
tribe so tell me what you think post a
comment below especially if you’re on
the vo to go go comm site if you’re
watching this anywhere else go over to
vo2 gogo calm watch it there give me a
comment there I’d love to know what you
think about this I just find it
absolutely fascinating absolutely
fascinating hey this is one of the 365
videos I have pledged to do this year
one a day I will say that I just found
out today that I’m gonna have surgery on
this shoulder it hurts on a regular
basis and so there may be some videos
that are delayed and release but I’m
gonna do what I can to get some done
ahead of time and you may see me in a
sling but it’s okay everything’s gonna
be great my doctor says it’s a little
bone spur that he’s gonna shave off
yeah so there you go um but it’s gonna
be better I’m gonna be able to actually
sleep and my shoulder isn’t gonna hurt
so okay so this is one of those videos
thank you for joining me for this this
challenge if you’d like to subscribe to
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these videos come out the moment they
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there if there’s no head look for a
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play it for you I’m David H Lawrence
xvii and I thank you so much for
watching and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.



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  1. You touched a nerve… The only time I feel that I haven’t gotten the “badge” or verification I think I deserve is on Twitter. I applied three times over the years to be verified and for some reason they keep saying that my name doesn’t match. I finally gave up. Now that you brought this topic up, I might try it again today. BTW…I love TED Talks!

  2. Status symbols are a seriously double-edged sword. On the good side, they can help us evaluate who might be able to best provide particular benefits: a good mentor, someone qualified to do work we need done, even an arthroscopic surgeon who knows how to fix a bum shoulder. On the bad side, they can be used to misrepresent a person’s abilities, and they can be used very effectively on the part of those who grant them to entice behavior. A large aspect of game theory has to do with shaping operant behavior through public reward systems. There can be a very Machiavellian potential there.

  3. This is a very interesting subject for the Entertainment community, whose members’ (including me) raison d’etre is to seek recognition and admiration. Whose community offers more badges (awards) than any other human tribe.

    It is interesting that you mentioned police officers and their badges as conferring status. Having been in both law enforcement and the military, I would say that the uniform of a particular service branch, and the uniform and badge of a particular law enforcement branch, Identify not status but class.

    Seeing the badge, particularly by the wearer as a status symbol is both wrong and problematical—it’s what we in law enforcement call “badge happy,” or “badge heavy.”

    Actual status within agencies are marked by other badges, of rank and speciality for example. There is nothing inherently wrong with either bestowing status or seeking status, nor with its display or appreciation.

    But the sinister side, to which you seem to be alluding, is the seeking of validation. Seeking validation of oneself as a worthy human being, from others indicates a poorly developed ego and sense of self worth. Most folks look at actors and our ilk as having huge egos, but the opposite is usually true.

    One with a large and healthy ego doesn’t seek outside validation. Sometimes admiration and respect can be misconstrued as validation. This leads to internal conflict and even depression; one because true validation cannot be conferred, and second because this thinking carries with it the fear that if it is given it can be taken away.

    What is usually seen as ego is really a defense mechanism, protective coloration from those who have little positive self identification. If one has it there is no need to flaunt it nor desire for approval. (but it’s nice when it comes.)

    So I see nothing inherently wrong with status symbols as long as they are given without strings and accepted as deserved recognition.


  5. Nice to hear support from your mom 🙂 I hope the surgery goes well and you have a speedy recovery.

    I recently received a promotion to master black belt from my martial arts instructor. Being recognized as a master is a kind of recognition that makes me feel truly honored. I also like the reward system you have in place for VO2GoGo. It’s fun. Thanks for the video David.

  6. David…is it possible that the “badge-era” got its start from the old game rooms/arcades in the malls? I remember trying to get high score or getting my 3-letter initials on high scorers list. I mean, the old TV show HUNTER did an entire episode (“The Shooter”) dedicated to it. Just my thought.