DIgital badges have the potential to open recognition and reputation marking for academics. Here are some links to a couple of thought pieces on the use of digital badges for academic recognition.
The first is a piece originally appearing on the PLoS Blog.
The second is a PDF about the need for and the design of a "recognition commons" for academics:
Badges can port all of the recognition now available through publishing, organizational affiliations, prizes, and other accomplishments onto a single badge space on profiles, blogs, and publications.
How would a "recognition commons" make your career better?