I know there has been some confusion about what this project is all about. What follows is the text of an email I've been sending out in response to inquiries:
Sorry for the confusion. It's a bit tricky to explain succinctly. Let me
give you some background, with a concrete example that should make it
clear. I just started working on this so I'm still learning how to explain
By "weblogs" I am referring to Slashdot-like systems, such as Slashcode,
Scoop (which powers Kuro5hin.org) and other similar sites. These systems
allow users to post comments with a signature, as you know. Typically,
this signature can only contain text and HTML - but no graphics. The badge
system allows users to have a special graphic inserted into their
signature that is linked to the membership database of some third-party,
like a non-profit organization. These images are generated dynamically and
more-or-less securely, so they are difficult to forge.
About a week ago, I read an article on Slashdot about a program to help
build new high-tech Cambodian elementary schools
(http://www.cambodiaschools.com if you're interested). I've been working
on getting a "Team Slashdot" effort together
(http://members.home.com/cambodiaschools if you're interested) to raise
the money in small increments to build this school, with help from the
Slashdot Effect. Badge is an effort to allow people to gain recognition
from their peers for their contributions to this project. However, I hope
that other groups, like the EFF, will also provide this capability.
An open, cross-platform journaling program.
A scientific plotting package.