The whole concept of 'badges' tends to be about pseudo-rewards -- meaning fun/meaningless rewards (no cash value). This is fine. But generally speaking, badges are almost always awarded for 'preferred' behavior, by those doing the awarding.
So what behavior(s) are we (as a community) trying to encourage?
That's really is the question: What behavior should be encouraged?
My thoughts: Awarding the 'Answerers' badges is nice (but we participate with or without badges). So the best use of badges seem to me to be rewarding Questioners for good behavior. Let's skew badges toward the Questioners' behavior, and reward/encourage them to ask good questions, and continue to participate in the forums. And ultimately become 'Answerers'.
Agreed. So along with that I think the person who gets any badge should receive an email! Let the person know they achieved something worthwhile: What the badge looks like, what it represents, and any other additional benefits it may bestow. This promotes forum awareness.