Earn social media badges by reading Google News

If you were a brownie, cub scout, girl or boy scout, or play organized sports, this innovative social rewards idea will resonate. Now you can get badges for reading Google News. The company is offering a variety of 500 different emblems, each one for a particular topic. As you become more well-read, Google News awards a star to the badge for that topic. There are five different levels of the stars, starting with a bronze star. As you read more articles, you receive a silver, gold, platinum and, ultimately, the coveted blue star.

According to the Google Blog, you can keep all this badge mania to yourself by default, or share with others how well read you are. As your Google+ communities grow, badges may be a great way to start discussions and social interaction between you and others with shared interests.