I always found it odd that although I could compose questions and answers with tags in markdown, I can't do the same for a Great Question, Great Answer, or any other badge. I assume that this is because, outside of Meta Stack Overflow, there is no real need to reference badges? Be that as it may, would there be any interest in adding badges to Markdown?
I am envisioning a syntax similar to the one used for tags. For example,
[badge:great-question] Question score of 100 or more. This badge can be awarded multiple times.
[gold-badge:great-question] Question score of 100 or more. This badge can be awarded multiple times.
would be displayed as
Note that I am not proposing that you need to enter the badge description to display the badge, nor that the badge description will be automatically inserted. Typing
[gold-badge:great-question]) would be sufficient to display the "Great Question" badge, which would ideally have a tooltip with the badge description and link to the badge page. (I used the badge description text in the example above only because it was easier to take a screenshot that way.)
UPDATE: Martin Clayton has brought it to my attention that the idea of a badge creator is not a new one. Check out this post for
"those that demand those elusive badges". People had some fun with this, until inevitably the site that hosted the novelty badges went down. Luckily, Kevin provided a site that still works (as of May 23, 2013). Given the popularity and utility of these badges—their use in jokes notwithstanding—wouldn't it be better to have Stack Overflow host this functionality itself rather than have users rely on an external service that will inevitably go down?