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I just noticed that the current system to encourage questions to become 'reference' questions by featuring them as close suggestions works fairly well. The reason I only now noticed might be that I haven't been looking too hard outside of Gaming, but I digress.

Should we then have a badge to reward the people who provided an answer good enough to become the reference answer on the subject matter?

One could also imagine such an award to be given to the asker, but that'd only encourage people asking "softball" questions just to try and get the badge. Besides, asking a question that becomes a reference question is already rewarded with the views and favourite bound badges (popular question, favorite question, etc.), while answerers get nothing of that, and it's kind of a shame. More often than not, it's a great answer that makes a question great. Obviously, giving the answerer the opportunity to provide that answer also shouldn't go unrewarded, but this is one of the few remaining places where the rewards are more in asking rather than answering.

Certainly giving people the incentive to answer softball, non-expert questions also doesn't sound good, but those questions shouldn't really be on the network to begin with. So, the badge should only be awarded if the question it is attached to doesn't get closed. (I believe all answer- and question- related badges already do this anyway.)

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Interesting, but I've seen some darn poor accepted answers. How about the highest-voted answer to such a question? –  Michael Petrotta Sep 5 '11 at 20:01
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@Michael Wouldn't that make the badge a bit too... volatile? I can live with that, mind you. Perhaps put a minimum on the amount of upvotes received... 5? 10? –  badp Sep 5 '11 at 20:03
    
Yeah, I see that, though there are ways to deal with that (wait a week and pick the highest-voted, require the highest-voted to have 2x the votes as the next highest, have at least X votes, etc.) Of course, the accepted answer might also change... –  Michael Petrotta Sep 5 '11 at 20:06
    
@Michael Well, if somebody does post a greater still answer then he should be awarded obviously :) –  badp Sep 5 '11 at 20:09

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