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Participation Badges:

Silver  Enthusiast    Visited the site each day for 30 consecutive days   56.9k awarded
Bronze  Mortarboard   Earned at least 200 reputation in a single day      15.4k awarded 

It would seem that earning Enthusiast requires almost no effort while Mortarboard is highly non-trivial. This appears to be reflected in the award count (almost 4:1 in favor of enthusiasts).

So, why is the first one silver and the second one bronze?

(A similar question can be asked about Epic vs Fanatic and probably many other).

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3  
Not everybody had the same internet access back then – hjpotter92 Oct 18 '13 at 18:14
1  
@hjpotter92 What do you mean 'back then'? It was just a few years ago. – Josh Crozier Oct 18 '13 at 18:17
6  
I'd argue that people just underestimate how easy Mortarboard really is to earn. You can earn it in a single day, even your very first day as a member. Enthusiast takes a minimum of 30 days. I wouldn't say the number of awards is relevant to how easy those badges are, but more to how eager users are to earn them. – animuson Oct 18 '13 at 18:20
1  
Because the people who decide these things tend to be regular visitors themselves. – Chris Gerken Oct 18 '13 at 18:22
8  
@animuson I would additionally argue that people overestimate how easy Enthusiast is to earn. Miss just one day... – Andrew Barber Oct 18 '13 at 18:23
1  
For the record, I was an active member for over two years before earning the Enthusiast badge. On the other hand, I earned the Mortarboard badge within my first week. (well, technically I earned neither of these badges and no reputation for my first several months, but I wasn't really active during that point -- just had an account). Andrew Barber is right -- I kept missing just one day. – Ben Lee Oct 19 '13 at 0:25
    
@AndrewBarber: come on - a wget cron job will do that for you ;-) – sds Oct 27 '13 at 1:40
    
As noted before; if someone wants to go to the trouble to get that to work, they probably deserve the badge. It's fairly easy to do it - but not as easy as most people think. – Andrew Barber Oct 27 '13 at 22:53
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Badges should encourage good behaviour.

Coming back every day is more important for the site than hitting 200 rep on a single day.

share|improve this answer
6  
more ad revenue. – Chris Gerken Oct 18 '13 at 18:23
7  
@ChrisGerken haha! Yes; and getting lots of rep can reduce that (when you reach the level to reduce ads!) ;-) – Andrew Barber Oct 18 '13 at 18:24

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