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So... "Yearling" requires a year's membership, earning at least 200 rep that year... it's a Silver badge.

"Fanatic", a Gold badge, requires visiting for 100 consecutive days, but nothing else.

If you check the recently awarded Fanatic badges, you'll see folks with 77 rep, 153 rep, 235 rep, etc., who have a Gold badge, before any silvers, and some before before they are even considered a participating user - aka. the 200+ minimum expressed on the rankings pages as "users with less than 200 reputation are not tracked in the leagues".

I think there should be some secondary clause to help this badge stay worthy of its Gold status... perhaps a minimum total reputation? a minimum earned within the 100 days? certain amount of activity in Q/A's if not rep?

Something... anyone agree and/or have recommendations?

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I see providing a low requirement gold badge as a way to generally build interest in the badge system (e.g "If I can get this gold badge maybe these other ones will be possible as well"). A year is a long time anyway, and I was under the impression that they had to be "constructive" days... could be wrong though. –  M.Babcock Apr 3 '12 at 0:37
    
It's not a year. It's 100 days of hitting F5. –  one.beat.consumer Apr 3 '12 at 0:53
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Do whatever you want with it, I already got it... :P –  Yannis Apr 3 '12 at 1:01
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@one.beat.consumer no, you have to look at a question or something. And so as not to get into timezone probs, most people visit once or twice a day. Every day. They form a habit. The vast majority of Fanatic-holders are addicts. The few who somehow "beat the system"? Who cares? They're not using up electrons. –  Kate Gregory Apr 3 '12 at 1:05
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@one.beat.consumer: If you visit the site every single days for three and a third months, without actually doing anything, just to earn a badge... well, I can't think of anything more fanatic than that. –  Dennis Apr 3 '12 at 1:38
    
How many people actually visit the site for 100 consecutive days and do nothing? I challenge anyone to find a Fanatic holder with less than 500 rep or who hasn't asked or answered a question... Even if there are instances of this, how does it compare to the overall group of Fanatic holders? –  jmort253 Apr 3 '12 at 5:06
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@jmort253 11 rep Fanatics: programmers.stackexchange.com/users/18738/asmodai, programmers.stackexchange.com/users/14937/ptrfdr, programmers.stackexchange.com/users/11375/a2j. Check out the full list, there are quite a few under 500, I won't count them but they are a lot. Don't underestimate addiction (to the site and to cheap badges). –  Yannis Apr 3 '12 at 5:10
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Still, I rememeber how obsessed I was when I went for that badge. Some days I answered no questions, many days I did. The days I didn't was because there wasn't anything I could answer. In retrospect, as silly as the badges are, they're a tool to get people to set goals for themselves on participating in the site. I think I had over 4000 rep when I got that badge, so I was participating a lot. –  jmort253 Apr 3 '12 at 5:15
    
@jmort253 8/14 Project Management Fanatics are under 500. Need I go on? –  Yannis Apr 3 '12 at 5:15
    
@YannisRizos - Challenge met. So based on your findings, would you say the system is being abused? –  jmort253 Apr 3 '12 at 5:16
    
@jmort253 Not really, that's the essence of the badge, when you label someone fanatic you don't do it because they are being productive. –  Yannis Apr 3 '12 at 5:17

1 Answer 1

I've earned Fanatic on Programmers, Programmers Meta and Stack Overflow, let me tell you it's no easy task, miss just one day and the counter is reset, not to mention the whole UTC madness1. Granted my silver Sportsmanship and Generalist badges are way cooler, but they are still badges, fun & silly incentives, mostly targeted at newer users, and nothing more. If after reaching, let's say, 3K rep2 on any site you still care about badges (yours and others), you are doing it wrong.

Anyways, Fanatic shouldn't be tied to rep, I visit Skeptics almost every day, and I haven't ask or answered anything there, that doesn't mean I'm not addicted to it. Or Graphic Design. Both sites are way out of my expertise, I don't think I'll ever actively participate on them, that doesn't mean I don't browse through their content every chance I get. When I earn my badges there, I won't feel any less Fanatic than someone who actively participates.

I feel like I'm saying that a lot these past few days, but here it goes one more time: Badges are silly, they are supposed to make you feel good for a couple of seconds (yay! another badge!) and nothing more. If you spending any time thinking about them, you are doing it wrong.

PS. Electorate. Now that's some cheap gold.

1 Perhaps Europeans should get a silver Fanatic? ;P
2 Vote to close / reopen privilege, used it as an arbitrary threshold of familiarity with the site.

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With all the great answers you've given on Meta SO recently, I suppose you're going for the gold there as well? –  Cody Gray Apr 3 '12 at 1:50
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@TheEstablishment You made me check, couple of weeks left. It's more than silly now, though, as checking MSO often is part of the "job" (I got Fanatic on P.SE and Meta P.SE before becoming a mod). –  Yannis Apr 3 '12 at 2:47

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