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Do these popular/great question badges make any sense?

I mean, the only thing you have accomplished is asking a question that many people are interested in. Is there any motivational factor? Will I ever strive to ask a question that many people click on in google?

At least I would raise the bars getting the popular question badge considerably. Getting it feels far to easy with only 1000 views required.

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3 Answers 3

Why not? They bring in additional traffic which is a blessing on smaller sites. If you ask a question that many people are going to click on Google, that means more visits, and also more visibility for a site that otherwise might lose users and end up getting closed as a result.

So if you do the site a favor like this, why not give you something for it? If it's true that badges encourage good behavior, this is a behavior I'd be willing to reward.

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I looked at it from the point view that badges should motivate you to do something. F.ex., you get a badge for reading every faq-section, so you go and read it. But you would ask your questions anyway, regardless of any badge you get for it. –  AGuyCalledGerald Sep 11 '12 at 11:26
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@AGuyCalledGerald This badge encourages you to ask a question that many people will be interested in. On the contrary, if you ask something that might interest only you, the question gets closed as Too Localized. –  Alenanno Sep 11 '12 at 11:58
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The badge also encourages you to write the question in a form that might be useful to others. I.e. "how to frobnicate the foobar?" vs. "why doesn't my code work?" –  Joachim Sauer Sep 11 '12 at 11:58
    
good point, Joachim –  AGuyCalledGerald Sep 11 '12 at 12:10

Popular questions usually solve popular problems. We absolutely want those questions answered. SO is also about the long tail but that doesn't mean that we should ignore common problems.

A little exception are probably the overly-popular, hyped questions (most of which are off-topic or not constructive). But the "normal" popular questions are just fine.

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Asking a popular question (even if not solved) is very important. The best way of learning is asking good questions. Maybe the user "just" asked a question but if there is no question then there is no possible answer.

Being popular and easy to find in google will make it easy to be solved in the future. That is why it makes sense to give a badge for this in my opinion. Usually good answers go together with good questions.

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