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Should “Fanatic” Badge have Secondary Requirements (ex. Min Rep?)

Following the noise here on Meta I'd like to suggest to remove or revamp the Fanatic and Enthusiast badges. The confusion and "problems"1 surrounding those badges is in my opinion a sign that these are broken. I'll now quote from the two most recent questions about it:

...but I did visit, checked my profile, and looked at the current question list on my phone... Heck, even made sure to check the list during a football game Saturday :)

I've been diligently maintaining the daily visits, and only had it up to 55, but the reset was still a little disheartening...but if I can learn how I messed up I'll try to avoid the mistake in the future..


At least when you're sportsman enough to not program a bot or something. The reason why I post this 2 days later is, because on said day I didn't have enough time and yesterday I even had to call a friend in emergency, so that he logs in for me.

While I agree with the overall badge idea, it seems to be terribly broken at the moment. People "just login and visit the question list" only to get that badge, that is not in the intent of the inventor I assume?

So, my suggestion is to either remove those badges or change the meaning of those badges to "posted something":

Fanatic: Posted an answer/question each day for 100 consecutive days

Or the hardcore variant, which makes much more sense:

Fanatic: Posted an upvoted answer/question each day for 100 consecutive days

1: "Problems" as in "people do not understand how it works and get upset about it" and "people abuse it".

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marked as duplicate by animuson, kiamlaluno, Alenanno, Martijn Pieters, John Sep 22 '12 at 15:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Here's an older, similar request that counts other activities besides posting, but more than just page visits: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54665/… –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 17 '12 at 8:05
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I like Yannis' answer on this question best: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/127922/… - Just because you don't participate much doesn't mean you're not a site fanatic. –  animuson Sep 17 '12 at 8:05
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Also, adding this requirement won't evade the timezone issues. You'll still get questions pertaining to "well I posted this answer on this day and the next answer on this day" not realizing times are UTC. So the complaints won't stop. –  animuson Sep 17 '12 at 8:07
    
@animuson: I was more aiming at the "I logged in and did nothing, why I don't get cookie?" faction. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 17 '12 at 8:13
    
I think Grace Note's answer gets to the exact point, together with what animuson said in his comment. –  Alenanno Sep 17 '12 at 11:12
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We already have Epic and Legendary; those are the real measurements of fanaticism and dedication. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 17 '12 at 12:34
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Don't even think of changing the rules now - I'm on 93 days (after having missed a day on 85 earlier in the year). Fanatic and psychopath are only a hair's breadth apart :) –  StuartLC Sep 17 '12 at 14:35
    
I would say the real issue is that there is no other badge after 100 days ;) meta.stackexchange.com/q/122976/6309: 1212 consecutive days here. And counting. –  VonC Sep 20 '12 at 7:26

3 Answers 3

Sometimes there are legitimately no interesting things for you to take action on for that day – animuson 1 hour ago

Certainly, requiring posts every day for 100 days would be a measure of fanaticism. It'd specifically be a measure of destructive and undesirable fanaticism for the most part.

The act of posting carries meaning behind it. You post a question because you actually have a problem to solve. You post an answer because you can help solve someone else's problem. Thus, your capability of making proper posts is dependent on your own problem occurrence rate, and the rate at which you run into other problems which you can actually solve.

As the latter is entirely out of your control (especially if your domain of expertise is small) while the former is very dependent on your problem sector, the ability to post is generally not reliable enough that you can really cough up 100 posts in 100 days. At minor incidence, this encourages people to hold off on answering more than one thing per day so that they can stock a "buffer". At worst, people will post for the sake of posting. Answers on anything where you can remotely just post something, or questions on any minor thing as long as a post gets out. Quality goes down when you're forcing yourself to produce content like this, instead of when you legitimately have a need to sate or a solution to give.

We don't want to encourage people to post every day. Even voting every day, while it is very nice, we don't want to encourage that this must be done every single day if you find absolutely nothing on a given day. What we want to encourage is people to visit the site every day in search of things to do. Sometimes there isn't something to do. And that is the line between which you have a legitimate devotion to working on the site, and someone who is just gunning for the badge.

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+1 for "What we want to encourage is people to visit the site every day in search of things to do." I think that is a good idea/version of "fanaticism". –  Alenanno Sep 17 '12 at 11:10
    
I'm curious as to why the site doesn't give multiple Enthusiast badges for each additional 30 days of consecutive visits? Same for Fanatic and any other related badges. Again, it does require you to visit the site, which is the idea, right? –  HeatfanJohn Sep 21 '12 at 16:16

Why not keep it simple and change it to perform an activity on the site each day. Where an activity could be anything like:

  • Ask a question
  • Post an answer
  • Comment on a post
  • Vote on a post (up/down/close/open/delete/undelete)
  • Vote on a comment
  • Flag a post or comment
  • Edit a post
  • Review a post

Each of these actions have a tracable change in the database.

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Uhuh...that's way better, yes! Though, I'm not sure about voting... –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 17 '12 at 8:32
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Voting should be included. The badge is to encourage daily activity and voting is an important activity. –  Toon Krijthe Sep 17 '12 at 8:34
    
That's true, yes. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 17 '12 at 8:38
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I dislike this idea. Sometimes there are legitimately no interesting things for you to take action on for that day, especially on beta sites where activity is low. This only makes it way harder for legitimate fanatics to get the badge, and encourages crap. –  animuson Sep 17 '12 at 8:42
    
@animuson, if there is nothing to do, a real fanatic will find an interesting question to post. –  Toon Krijthe Sep 20 '12 at 13:20

You're saying that the badge should be removed because

  • it's hard to get it when you're not really fanatic ?
  • people just simulating fanaticism don't get it and that's unfair ?

I'd say those are good reasons to keep it.

And I like the name with its ambiguity about the honor there is in obtaining it : I'm sure I'll be ashamed the day I'll have spent 100 days without going hiking a few days in the mountains far from computers and without failing to log in and browse in order to get my shining badge...

If you feel it's too easy to simulate fanaticism today, then rather than removing or redescribing the tag, what should be done is tune the algorithm so that it's harder to simulate. Of course that would mean keep it secret and not count as visits trivial actions (just visiting a question or voting on comment for example).

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No, I'm saying: "It's easy to get if you're not fanatic" and "people just simulate fanaticism and still get the badge". –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 17 '12 at 8:33

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