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SAS Support Communities rocks new ranks
Community Manager

Editor’s Note 9/24/2021 by @BeverlyBrown: Last year, we rolled out new rank icons, tying your community activity level to specimens in SAS CEO Jim Goodnight’s minerals collection. As your community tenure increases and activity accumulates, you advance through rank levels and new mineral icons appear as part of your community profile. In response to some members’ desire for more transparency into the levels, we added level indicators to denote relative experience of SAS users interacting in here. More on the change in this post, Community ranks now have level indicators.




You'll soon notice an unfamiliar icon by your posts in the communities.  A recent site refresh allowed us to rethink and grow our system of awarding ranks based on visits, how often you interact with your peers and in what form.


New rank names, new icons. Goodbye academia theme. Hello icons inspired by SAS CEO Jim Goodnight's minerals collection.



How ranks work


Achieve a new level and a new icon appears next to your username. Everyone levels up, except SAS employees. Super Users and PROC Stars continue to ascend in rank and their icons display once their terms end. 


If you primarily read posts, you advance based on visits and page views. Other ranks mark your ascent in terms of solving topics, commenting, for example, or actions such as "liking" posts.


Some ranks confer special privileges to help you extend your influence as a SAS expert. For example, Super Users and PROC Stars can edit and move posts. After reaching a certain level of engagement with fellow members, you get to publish library articles.


Rank levels reward the same behaviors as before, but more rungs add capacity. We remain circumspect on the exact formulas to discourage gaming the system. Yes, a few have tried. Yes, we do notice.


Hobby behind the icons



Since SAS grew out of a university, it seemed fitting when we first gamified the communities to choose rank names and icons from academia (learner, advisor, mentor, etc.) For the refresh, we decided to honor SAS CEO Jim Goodnight's long-time hobby of collecting beautiful gemstones from around the world.


As a child, he enjoyed finding arrowheads and quartz crystals on the outskirts of Greensboro, N.C., where his family lived a while. Decades later, long after co-founding SAS, Dr. Goodnight rekindled his boyhood hobby when he saw several attractive specimens at an antique store in Blowing Rock, N.C.


Today, his collection at SAS world headquarters includes several hundred minerals. You can learn more about the collection in this magazine article and a personal tour he gave a local news anchor.


Though Dr. Goodnight's collection contains dinosaur eggs and fossils, including petrified wood, we stuck with minerals (calcite to diamond) for most of the rank icons. In between are some of his favorites, including quartz, meteorite, and pyrite. As you level up in rank, the specimens the icons represent increase in value, according to a geologist who assists with the collection.


Hopefully, like SAS software finds insightful nuggets in data, your new rank icon represents the wisdom you've mined or shared in these forums.


The new ranks:

  1. New User (Just getting started!)
  2. Returning User
  3. Inquisitive User
  4. Explorer
  5. Calcite
  6. Fluorite
  7. Obsidian
  8. Quartz
  9. Pyrite
  10. Lapis Lazuli
  11. Barite
  12. Rhodochrosite
  13. Ammonite
  14. Meteorite
  15. Onyx
  16. Amethyst
  17. Azurite
  18. Garnet
  19. Jade
  20. Tourmaline
  21. Opal
  22. Aquamarine
  23. Ruby
  24. Gold
  25. Emerald
  26. Diamond (The highest level!)



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