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I suggest adding either the description 'UTC' or a small logo "UTC" to the 'Fanatic' badge, and other time-sensitive badges like it, so people know they have to go by UTC (which makes sense, by the way).

I've searched related questions and answers on Meta, but I could find none that simply suggest a small UTC tag to either each badge that's dependent on time or putting it in a list of "Tips" on the badge "Important Notes". This suggestion requires very little coding and is likely easy to implement. :) Oh yeah, it could help resolve quite a few "what happened to my [time-dependent] badge?" questions.

Others suggestions were to:

  • change the time zone to the user's primary zone. In my opinion, that is not workable for several reasons, like what if they travel for a day to a new zone?

  • mod the code for how it's calculated. Important detail, but not related to my question.

  • "why didn't I get the badge?" Related to my question, but goes around my proposed solution...

Twice now I've lost my 'queue' for this badge. Why shoot for it? Because this site is AWESOME. It represents my dedication to continuing and improving my obsessive compulsive tendencies, which only serve to sustain and enhance the spirit of the site. :)

Upon having registered on SO a few months ago with a question, I soon started visiting several times a day, becoming involved in an intelligent collaborative community - which is not easy to create and maintain, and yet that's what I found.

Badges... One could say "we don't need no stinkin' badges!" Those of us who are a bit OCD and enjoy working with others - to answer their questions, review them for quality, and have multiple answers submitted for our own - well, I value these badges. They are a small but important symbol of types of knowledge and dedication to this wonderful network of IT professionals, of which I am a proud member, and I hope to continue to help foster and grow.

Thoughts? I hope I don't get (too many?) down-votes for this suggestion...

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I upvoted your suggestion, but only the part about mentioning UTC. In theory, this change doesn't even involve any real programming, just changing text, and it could help reduce the number of "Where did my Fanatic badge go?" questions. I really don't think we get them that often, but I agree the change is simple.

However, I don't really support localizing the time to individual timezones, not without a really good reason beyond just a badge. When it comes down to it, the time doesn't matter that much and shouldn't take priority over things like, let's say, Area 51's upgrade, or fixing bugs on the site, or adding features that make Q&A better or that help improve the overall quality of the Q&A part of the site.

Honestly, the Fanatic badge is hard to get. You literally have to become obsessed with Stack Exchange to the point where it borders on pathology, and many people don't get this badge their first or second try. In fact, the description for this deceptively tough badge should actually read:

Fanatic - Visited the site each day for about 70 days, then realized that time is calculated based on UTC days. Threw a tantrum after seeing "1 consecutive days", and subsequently stopped visiting the site for a few days, posted on Meta, got laughed at, and finally sucked it up and went on another run for 100 consecutive days. ;)

I want to add that, during the time that most people are on this badge run, they end up participating on the site quite a bit. In 170+ total days visiting nearly daily, one is bound to encounter something interesting, whether it be an unanswered question, something that needs editing, a post that needs a helpful comment, or they may even find inspiration to post a question. In short, people who attempt this badge and achieve it end up making positive contributions to the site in some form or another. The badge works.

The fact that you've attempted this badge has probably resulted in some upvotes, accepts, and you've likely helped users who got expert answers to questions they may not have received had you not been around. ;)

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+1 for UTC addition. But "hard to get"? 1268 consecutive days here. And counting ;) –  VonC Nov 15 '12 at 7:32
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with over 850 days of consecutive visits to Super User.. I definitely need help.. only to be dwarfed by @Vonc :-) –  Sathya Nov 15 '12 at 7:33
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You're one of those people @VonC ;) There's a post somewhere with a few people, maybe you're in that post too, where they took screenshots of their profiles with their total days and consecutive days matching. Now that's dedication, mixed with a little pathology. ;) –  jmort253 Nov 15 '12 at 7:33
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@jmort253 you mean my old post? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/122976/… –  VonC Nov 15 '12 at 7:34
    
@VonC, yep! That's the one! So if the Fanatic badge could be earned for consecutive consecutives, you'd have a lot of Fanatic badges... –  jmort253 Nov 15 '12 at 7:35
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@jmort253, I agree with your suggestion 100%. The UTC part is the kicker - don't change the localization (it was mentioned as others' example solutions). I chuckle at badges and points but they actually mean something - something wonderful. Hard to explain but this site is the first I've found in over 15 years that is beautifully collaborative. Told friends about it many times since discovering - I only do that when there's truly elegant architecture. Adobe Reader should learn something from SO about making good software that doesn't bloat or introduce garbage and security problems... <sigh> –  Lizz Nov 15 '12 at 7:46
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@jmort253, (sorry for the xtra comment but...) oh and thanks for the upvote, and for the confirmations about how deceptively difficult it is to get this badge, and - importantly - for the observation that by logging in so often to do feedback and help others' answers I, too, have given back. These sites have provided the first REAL solution to my desire to give something back to the IT community that has helped me so much over the years - for which I am eternally grateful to all - "Thank you". I'll give this answer ~2 days then likely select it as Solution. :) –  Lizz Nov 15 '12 at 7:54
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Starting with the next build (rev 2014.4.21.2178 here and 2014.4.21.1559 on other sites), the description for Fanatic and Enthusiast badges will read as follows:

Visited the site each day for $X consecutive days. (Days are counted in UTC.)

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