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I want to work towards my first gold badge on Stack Overflow and was wondering which gold badge was the most achievable.

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18  
Visit for consecutive 100 days. – Somnath Muluk May 25 '12 at 13:01
1  
The Marshall badge is achievable fairly quickly: meta.stackexchange.com/a/278753/300177 – Michael_B Apr 24 at 12:55
up vote 40 down vote accepted

Well, look at the list and see which one seems easiest to you.

http://stackoverflow.com/badges?tab=general&filter=gold

  1. Fanatic: All you've got to do is visit the site for 100 days (although it's still eluded me for 2 years+)
  2. Marshal: Raise 500 helpful flags
  3. Copy Editor: Edit 500 posts
  4. Electorate: Vote on 600 questions, and vote on at least one question for every three answers you vote on

All of these are nothing more than being bothered to do something. Gold badges such as Great Question and Great Answer require others to upvote the post; the above mentioned don't need any of that.

The numbers next to the badges show how many times each has been awarded. I figure the more times a badge has been awarded, the easier it is to get.

For what it's worth, the first one I got was Marshal.

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7  
My first was Unsung Hero - that's pretty easy to get too, if you're already answering questions ;-) – RivieraKid May 25 '12 at 12:41
4  
"Electorate" is less obvious (if not harder) than it seems as you need to stay above the a 1:3 ratio between votes on questions and on answers. – Shawn Chin May 25 '12 at 12:46
4  
@RivieraKid I beg to differ. Unsung hero is incredibly hard, I don't think I will ever have a chance of getting that. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 13:14
    
what is community wiki in this case? – TheFisherMan May 25 '12 at 13:23
2  
@MrLister You have to get your answers accepted, but not upvoted. In some tags, that's easier than in others. In my main tags, good answers very rarely don't get upvoted. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 16:57
1  
@DanielFischer, I guess I'm just.. um... "lucky" then :-) – RivieraKid May 25 '12 at 17:00
    
@RivieraKid In terms of gold badges, in terms of rep, not so much ;) – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 17:02
    
@DanielFischer I got that while I didn't know it does exist. – ott-- Dec 18 '15 at 20:57

I think the Electorate badge is by far the easiest to earn. All you have to do is upvote 600 questions. You have a max of 40 votes you can use in one day. So you could earn the Electorate badge in a mere 15 days.

On contrast the Fanatic badge takes 100 days to earn and takes some discipline to make sure that you visit the site every day. For me that can be difficult. I usually seem to miss a day on the weekend.

The Marshall and Copy Editor badge could be earned fairly quickly as well. However, you have to do a lot of reviewing and you may go crazy in the process.

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upvote 600 questions? But in the documentation of Electorate Badge SO never mentioned specifically about up vote. it says Vote on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes are on questions – Vallu Jul 25 '15 at 22:11
    
Yes @UUIIUI, doesn't need to be a UP vote. – fabriciorissetto Dec 18 '15 at 19:04

The most easy gold badge is Fanatic. Just be active for 100 days in a row and you get it.

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6  
In a way, Copy Editor and Electorate are easier. Spend one day in Hospital or such, and for Fanatic, you're back to 0. On the other hand, if you don't have the bad luck of missing a day due to outer forces, Fanatic is really much easier to get. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 13:37
    
Fanatic badge is for fanatic computer users. Non fanatic ones sometimes go for a few days trekking or in any other way far from a connection. I see this one more as an attribute/characteristic than an achievement. – Denys Séguret May 25 '12 at 14:46
13  
If you're in hospital and worried about your gold badge streak breaking... well, actually, I guess that does make you a Fanatic. – Pops May 25 '12 at 22:30
2  
For both Copy Editor and Electorate you need more than 1 reputation. So you need the action of others. – Toon Krijthe May 26 '12 at 13:11

Going purely by statistics (http://stackoverflow.com/help/badges), as of March 22, 2014, 125000 users have received the Famous Question Gold Badge. That out-ranks each of the next two most common Gold Badges, Fanatic and Great Answer, ten to 1. I'd say asking a popular, solid, new question is the best bet.

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Why the down votes? If you asked, "What class is easiest to get an A in?" and the statistics showed that 200,000 people got an A in Underwater Basket Weaving whereas only 20,000 got in A in any other class, then I would say Underwater Basket Weaving is the easiest class. – Kirby Mar 24 '14 at 18:11

Earn a gold badge in 50 days or less

Badge: Marshall

Description: Raise 500 helpful flags

Method:

This is a "moderation" badge earned by helping clean up the site from questions, answers and comments that are:

  • spam
  • rude or offensive
  • not constructive
  • obsolete
  • too chatty
  • low quality
  • ...
  • ...
  • other (textbox)

Currently, I get about 50 flags per day on Stack Overflow. The number varies based on reputation and the number of helpful flags you've raised.

How many flags do I have?

When you start out, you are allotted 10 flags per day. This number may increase to up to 100 flags per day:

  • You get one bonus flag per 2000 reputation.
  • You are awarded additional bonus flags when you flag correctly - one bonus flag for every ten net helpful flags (helpful flags minus declined flags).

source: http://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/flag-posts

One helpful way to use this flag is to eliminate "noise" in the comments, such as "Thank you" and "You're welcome". These comments are generally "not constructive" and "too chatty".

So, run a search for "You're welcome" in comments only. You'll get TONS of results. Flag away.

Plus, since you're searching for "You're welcome", you'll get the "Thank you" in a previous comment.

You'll exhaust your daily flag limit in minutes.

Let's say your flag limit is 30/day. You'll have your Gold Badge in less than three weeks.

Just be careful not to delete comments that contain valuable information. Often you'll see a comment with useful feedback ending with "Thank you". Deleting those may be unhelpful and inappropriate.

Read this post before flagging: http://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/flag-posts

Here's a tool for searching comments in Stack Overflow: http://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/edit/477136

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2  
"Flag away", well, please keep in mind that there are humans verifying your flag. You don't want to allocate the entire time a mod has for just useless flags. Flag something that really matters, like the loads of spam on some sites. MSE here is good for 5-10 flags a day, just for spam. – Patrick Hofman Apr 24 at 13:20
    
@PatrickHofman, agreed. I thought I made that clear in my answer. I'm advocating this method as a way to contribute to the site while earning a gold badge. – Michael_B Apr 24 at 13:23
    
Moderators are going to hate you and I know cases where users were flag-banned because they used naive queries like yours to flag comments and/or posts. Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/280546/… – rene Jun 23 at 21:35
    
@rene, the flagging tool specifically targets comments that are too chatty or not constructive. By removing these unnecessary messages, including "Thank you" and "You're welcome", I think we're cleaning up the site and making posts more efficient, without violating even the spirit of any guidelines. – Michael_B Jun 23 at 21:40
1  
There's no point in earning a gold badge at the expense of the site / moderators. I believe my suggestion is helpful and a win / win. Also, for somebody like me, who likes to read a post from top to bottom (including comments), having useless chatter removed is appreciated. – Michael_B Jun 23 at 21:47

I agree with @Linger, the Electorate is the easiest to earn; it was my first gold badge.

Let's compare it with Fanatic:

Fanatic

You need to visit 100 consecutive days. If you forget to visit the site on the 99th day, the counter resets to 0! Believe me, it's very frustrating :)

Electorate

You need to vote on 600 questions (up or down). But... Since you have a limit of 40 upvotes a day, you will need at least 15 days to get it! It's a lot less than Fanatic and don't need to be consecutive.

With this query you can track your progress. Just put your UserId in the filter.

You can find your UserId in your profile URL, for example, mine is 890890: http://stackoverflow.com/users/890890/fabriciorissetto

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