The idea of "barnstars" has been used in online, collaborative communities to express appreciation or recognize contribution. For example, it's very successful in Wikipedia: "Some years ago, some wiki-based communities began to give their users awards called barn stars, using a star anchor to represent the concept of the shared work experience, as in barn raising." Check out Wikipedia OrangeMike's barnstars by scrolling all the way down on his user page.
Public Laboratory held its first annual Barnraising back in September, 2011. Following from this, how could barnstars be part of the way we recognize collaborative work?
Early history of barnstars: http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/BarnStar
the CIA's "shovel" award for wiki gardening? This short article is interesting because it says the shovel was both a digital and physical object, something I think would be critical for our community of online and offline members.