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I focus more on reputation than badges, what about you guys?

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11 Answers 11

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I care about giving good answers, and learning from other people's answers (and questions). The rest is window dressing; sure it helps keep me competitive, but I don't care about it.

With my ♦ hat on, I also care about trying to keep the dross off the site; we seem to do OK on that front, with lots of help from the community flagging and editing (cheers guys).

caveat: of course, if I could get that darned reversal...

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You're ranked #2 on SO. That's like a millionaire saying money's not important. Nothing is important when you have more of it than you need :) – user27414 Oct 19 '09 at 18:44
I have to agree. Good answers are key. I have become extremely picky about the questions I answer, since I want to be sure I can provide a proper good answer, rather then a one liner. The points and badges are all simply a side product. – BinaryMisfit Oct 19 '09 at 18:46
At 10k rep, you are a millionaire too. He gains nothing from having 70k more rep than I do. – jjnguy Oct 19 '09 at 18:47
@jjnguy: I've been trying to convince myself of that for months, but I still can't stop... – mmyers Oct 19 '09 at 19:41
-1 for not answering a simple question honestly :-P – Steven A. Lowe Oct 20 '09 at 0:38
mmhhh don't take me wrong, but if you don't care about it. why don't your mark your all your answers as cw? You would still giving good answers. O=) – OscarRyz Oct 20 '09 at 15:06
@Oscar - Because the CW option is designed for a specific purpose, and should be used when it's appropriate, not when the poster doesn't want to take the rep bonus/penalty for his answer. CW-ing an answer so as not to earn/lose rep is abuse of the system. – Super Long Names are Hilarious Oct 21 '09 at 1:30

I find myself caring neither about badges or points, but I do find I care a very great deal about downvotes, especially on subjective questions (I mean seriously, that just doesn't make sense).

Strange that negative motivation affect me more. Perhaps that's something I should worry about. But then, who has the time?

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Just because a question is subjective doesn't mean you can't be way off course, or give a misleading answer – Ralph Lavelle Oct 21 '09 at 1:42

I like it when I get a badge for the first time; I remember being excited when I finally got my first Enlightened badge nearly a year ago. But the novelty wears off. I think I got yet another one in the last week or two, but I couldn't say for sure.

And tag badges represent quite an accomplishment, so if I ever got another, I would be happy about it.

However, I have become much less active than I used to be, mainly because I have much less time for SO than I had before. At 20k, I don't need points anyway, but I still get a little thrill from the competition. I'd like to get back onto page 2 if I can.

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Yeah, that's why I start all over again Just to get the autobiographer badge again. :) – OscarRyz Oct 19 '09 at 19:41
+1 Definitely badges for me. I was happy when I got Pundit a few days ago (being one of 17 seems kind of impressive), and I'll be quite happy if I ever get a tag badge. Though Marc Gravell's answer is the correct one. – Super Long Names are Hilarious Oct 21 '09 at 1:34
You got Pundit? Congratulations and welcome to the club of people who are either smart (like Eric Lippert) or mildly amusing (like me)! – mmyers Oct 21 '09 at 17:19

I fundamentally agree with Marc and annakata's answers, but between badges and rep... I like milestones of any variety.

A gold badge is always a milestone. A silver tag badge is a bit of a milestone in that it's something new. 100K rep was a milestone, as was 1000 badges total. Finally getting the Fanatic badge will be a nice milestone, when it happens.

The next "numbers" milestone I'm idly contemplating is 1000 bronze badges, partly because I want to see what the display will do. I'm not really sure what comes after that :(

Pure rep isn't particularly interesting now, although "rep gained per day without bounty" is an interesting challenge. I think my record is 468. It would be nice to get to 500, but that's really, really tough.

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1000 badges? I can't help feeling that SkeetMilestones are slightly further apart than a conventional mile :P – bananakata Oct 19 '09 at 19:58
:-O ehem well yes, I'm curious to on how 1k of bronze would look like. I think I'll let you do that first Jon :-S – OscarRyz Oct 19 '09 at 22:05
I'm 953 short on those .... – OscarRyz Oct 19 '09 at 22:06

To me I seem to focus more on points that badges, what about you guys?

Points definitely, badges come along. I mean, a great answer will give you more points than a lame answer, and you'll get a golden badge in the process.

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Except that most "great answers" are on wiki questions. – mmyers Oct 19 '09 at 19:00
wikis do give badges, right? – Amarghosh Oct 20 '09 at 6:10
@Amarghosh: Yeap, they do. I think the point of mmyers ( or at least my interpretation of him ) is that is way lot easier to get 1 golden badge for "What is your favorite programming cartoon" than for other non-cw answer. – OscarRyz Oct 20 '09 at 14:56

The tag badges have been my focus for a while (though my "focus" is often pretty hazy). They're really hard to get, even the silver ones, especially in less-popular areas of the site (ie. not C#/.NET/Java/PHP). And the only way to get them is to provide lots of really good answers.

I finally got the "git" and "svn" silver tag badges a few weeks ago, but my next one is a ways off still (I don't even recall which is next, that's how hazy my focus is!).

Of course, if you're Jon Skeet then you can get weird badges like "string" without even trying. :)

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+1 I do find it amazing that Skeet has a "string" badge. I think my jaw dropped when I realized what the hell that badge was for. – Super Long Names are Hilarious Oct 21 '09 at 1:37

Focusing on reputation at the broadest level seems to be pointless if you're competing with anyone but yourself. Jon Skeet et al are essentially impossible to catch even for us in the top 50 unless they completely stop participating for a year or so.

Consequently, I try to focus on being a top contributor in my areas of expertise (.NET & ASP.NET if anyone's curious). This also is slightly more meaningful than pure "rep" - it's well-established that reputation points alone is not indicative of any technical ability - just participation. But evidence shows that people who are not strong in a given category (say, c#) cannot break onto the stats page for that tag. People who are very strong in that topic - and are generally helpful, kind and good teachers - dominate the stats page. It's a challenge to maintain, but an honor for me to be listed alongside such people.

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It would be nice to get enough rep to be able to edit questions or answers every time I see a typo (that happens fairly often). But it's a very high number, so I'm just forgetting about both rep and badges and just answering questions when I happen to know the answer.

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For me, rep is important, because you need certain amounts of rep to do certain things. Badges are just window dressing as far as I'm concerned. (Although, it is nice to get them.)

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badges were cool for the first 500 rep points; after that it became too difficult to tell where they came from so now they all get ignored [was that part of your design, @Jeff? ;-)]

rep matters most: badges are shiny, but rep gives you powers beyond belief!

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Both. Helping and learning is the key part of hanging around in SO. But tbh, I do care about anything that boosts my programmer's ego - that includes even a 'thank you' comment from the OP. Now that I've 2K reps but just 9 bronze badges, I'm keen on getting my first silver badge. They are hard to earn unless you are concentrating on popular badges. My domain is flash/flex and most of flashers and flexers hang out in, flashkit and other flash specific forums. How about this - I'm considering learning regex/javascript/php to boost my reps in SO? Did I just hear "man, get a life"?

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