I've been collecting badges since 2007 but had always been curious about them since well before that. The main appeal of badges for me is in their social history and the fun of learning about them, as well as sharing the information for anyone interested and to encourage an interest in collecting them. I believe badge collecting as a hobby is so under-rated compared to numismatics or philately, even to the extent that the hobby has no equivalent name! Alas, the hobby becomes submerged under the genre of "para-numismatica" or if you prefer, "exonumia".
I've been collecting coins and medals since my university days and so, badge collecting is more recent.