Holopin's 10 December updates: Holobytes, Holopals, and new integrations!

Cover Image for Holopin's 10 December updates: Holobytes, Holopals, and new integrations!
Elena Lape
Elena Lape
Founder, Holopin

We won't bore you to sleep with an SEO optimized introductory paragraph about how much these new updates mean to our company, so let's just dive in to them. Rest assured though, we've been busy building, and we're so excited to share what we've been working on with you!

Holopin joins 1EdTech as a Contributing Member

We're excited to announce that Holopin has joined 1EdTech (formerly known as IMS Global) as a Contributing Member. 1EdTech is a non-profit organization that aims to help educators and education technology suppliers build a trusted and open digital learning ecosystem. As a Contributing Member, Holopin will be working with 1EdTech to develop and certify our Open Badges, which we plan to support in 2023. Open Badges support has been a highly requested Holopin feature, and we're excited to strengthen our commitment to support the OB protocol.

Holopin has also endorsed 1EdTech's pledge to put open standards and data privacy at the forefront of education technology integrations, and check this out — we even got a cool badge for it!

Screenshot of Holopin's trusted apps pledge badge

Holobytes! Holobytes?! HOLOBYTES

Ok, now this is the one we've been struggling to keep our mouth shut about: Holobytes! Holobytes are bite-sized pats on the back that you can send to your teammates, friends, and colleagues. In addition to badges, Holobytes are a great way to show appreciation for your teammates, and build a culture of recognition within your organization.

Is this a secret holobyte?

Screenshot of a user's earned Holobytes

Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of micro-recognitions. Internally, GitHub has Sparkles, Meta has the thanks bot, and numerous Slack bots let you send you a virtual hug or a snack to a teammate.

There's just one problem — the recognitions are closed off within the silos of the apps they're built into. You leave the app, or you leave your company, and your recognitions are gone. Poof. Gone. Forever. Sound familiar?

After listening to our users, we realized that we can offer so much more than that. We made sure that Holobytes are part of your Holopin profile, and they're yours to keep. Another great news is that the issuing API offers a ton of extensibility for organizations to build Holobytes into their workflows. Holobytes can be given to a Holopin username, GitHub ID, or Discord ID, and can contain as much or as little context as your organization is able to publicly share.

Screenshot of org holobyte docs on holobytes

Above is a snapshot of the Holobytes documentation in the Holopin organization profile. Pretty neat, right? Issuers have several cute icons to choose from — avocado, lemon, cherry, coffee bean, starfuit — for their Holobytes, and we're also working on more ways to issue them. Holobytes don't just brighten your teammates' days, but they also acts as mini letters of recommendation that can be shared with future employers.

But wait, it gets even better. We did promise to blow your socks off.

Meet Evolving Badges — a Tamagotchi-like experience

We added a new type of badge: evolving badges. Evolving badges are badges that change over time, and they're a great way to gamify your organization's recognition program. Evolving badges are a great way to gamify your organization's recognition, onboarding and progress tracking programs.

Screenshot of a user's earned badges, with an evolving badge in the middle

Badge evolution is based on Holobytes, and organizations can set the number of Holobytes required to evolve the badge.

Screenshot of how the evolving badges appear in organization profile

Holopin is now free for Open Source

That's right! Eligible Non-profits and Open Source projects can now use Holopin for free. Recognize community members, reward contributions, and attract supporters by giving them digital badges. View eligibility requirements and apply for a free organization account here.

Everybody knows that the two of the most popular tools used in Open Source projects are GitHub and Discord. Guess what? We've added integrations for both of them!

GitHub Bot

Attention all GitHub users! We've added a new GitHub bot that lets you issue badges directly within Issues, PRs and Discussions. This is a great way to reward contributions, endorse helpful bug reports, and welcome new contributors without leaving GitHub.

The bot supports tagging the bot in Issue, PR and Discussion comments, as well as labelling the issue or PR with the badge name that is configured in holopin.yaml. Holobyte support is arriving shortly, so you'll be able to give Holobytes to your contributors as well. Way to go!

Screenshot of the GitHub bot in action

More about the GitHub bot

Discord Bot

Fresh off the heels of our GitHub bot, we've added a new Discord bot that lets you view Holopin user's badge boards and list all the badges they've earned This is the first step in our plan to add more Discord integrations, including issuing badges directly from Discord, using them to manage your server roles, and more. You may have noticed that the account settings page has Discord as a linking option — all we can say is that it's there for a reason. ;)

Screenshot of Discord bot in action

BTW, shout out to @smoia in the screenshot, alongside the whole Brainhack Global team! Brainhack is one of the biggest Neuroscience hackathons in the world, and we're proud to support them with some Holopin badges.

If you run a Discord server, we'd love to hear from you! We're looking for beta testers to help us build the best Discord integrations for Holopin.

More about the Discord bot

Now, speaking of communities...

Holopals: the developer community you've been waiting for

Do you remember this cryptic tweet from September? THE MYSTERY IS FINALLY SOLVED!

Holopals are the official Holopin program for our supporters and developers. Holopals get API access to build integrations, swag kits, and access to the coolest new features.

Holopals logo

Today, we're b-u-z-z-i-n-g to introduce you to our first Holopals:

@thinkverse, our first Holopal and someone who has been testing new features before they're released, and engaging with the community

@kochie, whom you may remember from his guest blog post on how to embed your Holopin board on your personal website

@vinitshahdeo, who recently built a Holopin Markdown badge, allowing you to display a neat badge on your GitHub profile which links to your Holopin profile

@timoransky, the creator of the Raycast integration for Holopin, allowing you to display your badges within the Raycast app

Screenshot of the Raycast integration

Interested in applying? Find out more about the Holopals program here.

Other ships and yachts

In case you've still got your socks on, here's some more breezy news.

Organization features

Organizations now have a convenient way to view API documentation, manage their members, API keys, and badges in one place.

In addition, we've added some statistics about the badges your organization has issued, as well as the ability to list and unlist your badges from the public organization page. Documentation is a WIP, and we're working on documenting all the available endpoints, and adding all the features that organizations need to manage their badges.

Screenshot of the organization settings page

Accessibility & security improvements

The default badge board embed URL now includes a much more friendly alt text for screen readers. In addition, based on feedback from our community, we've also improved our aria-label attributes, and added aria-hidden to the majority of the content that is purely decorative. Our Lighthouse Accessibility scores currently sit between 91% and 92% across all our site's pages, a significant improvement from ~70%. We're working on getting it to 100%.

Our enterprise customers will be happy to hear that we've performed an internal audit of our systems, resulting in some improvements to our website & API (Our website now scores A+ on Mozilla Observatory!), and a fully documented employee security policy, which you can find here.

As a digital credential provider who is here to stay, we take security very seriously, and we're fully committed to keeping your data safe. If you want to report a security issue, check out our mini bounty program here.

Holopins as LinkedIn certifications

A couple of our users have already spotted that Holopin badges are now compatible to be added as LinkedIn certifications. To put your badges in your LinkedIn profile, simply add their issuing date, name, issuing organization, and unique URL.

Screenshot of a Holopin badge on LinkedIn

What's next for Holopin

We believe in the magic of surprise, so we're not going to tell you everything that's coming up next. There's no fun in that! But we can tell you what to expect fairly soon:

  • Discord bot improvements, including issuing badges directly from Discord, using them to manage your server roles, and more.
  • Holobyte support for our GitHub and Discord bots — the API already supports specifying a GitHub or Discord recipient when issuing a Holobyte, so organizations can easily build their own integrations. We'll also be adding support for this in our out-of-the-box integrations.
  • Open Badges support, including support for hosting Open Badges issued by other issuers, such as Credly or Badgr. As a Contributing Member of 1EdTech, we're excited in helping shape the future of Open Badges and their interoperability as a whole.
  • Holopin for Slack & Microsoft Power Platform, to make it even easier to use Holopin at work.
  • Design templates. We're working on a new design template system that will allow you to customize the look and feel of your badges.
  • Open directory of Holopin organizations is coming soon! We know how much you love collecting badges, and we're working on a way to make it easier for you to find organizations that issue them.

Be honest — did we blow your socks off? We hope so!

From all of us at the Holopin team, Merry Christmas, and happy pinning!

✨🦖✨🦖✨

And happy holobyte hunting!
Become a Holopin issuer

If you are an organization that would like to create and distribute digital badges, please contact us.