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According to the badges page, the requirements for Yearling are:

Active member for a year, earning at least 100 reputation

However, the bonus for associating SO-family accounts is 100 rep, as long as one of the accounts has at least 200 rep to begin with. I'm curious if that means someone could get the badge simply by being active on another SO-family site and logging in every few days.

For an example, look at me: I have SO, SF, SU and Meta accounts, all associated. I'm a frequent participant on SO, SU and Meta but have never posted on SF despite visiting every day. I certainly don't deserve Yearling.

So, to make this an actual question, could someone earn Yearling on a given site without really doing anything at all? Or, phrased differently, what is the definition of "active member"?

I know this may actually already be accounted for in the code, and therefore not a bug, but I couldn't find documentation and I was curious.

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It might count the number of badges (as the beta badge does/did) –  ChrisF Dec 10 '09 at 22:41
    
I had 6 badges on Super User before I ever posted a question (and I still haven't posted an answer). –  mmyers Dec 10 '09 at 22:48
    
@mmyers - note I didn't say how many badges would be needed ;) –  ChrisF Dec 10 '09 at 23:09
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Does it really matter? –  Dan Dyer Dec 11 '09 at 0:30
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Possibly, but the account has to exist for a year -- and each account must be created independently on each site.

I suppose we could make the threshold 150 / year or something to account for this?

EDIT: I'm making the Yearling threshold 200 just to cover this edge condition, and ensure that people are actually participating each year.

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100 rep is nothing. It is just there to sort out the drive by users.

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Yeah, if you can go a year of logging in at SU and still not score 100 points, you deserve a badge. –  bobince Dec 11 '09 at 1:29
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thus by implication: if you've gotten enough rep on SO or SU or MSO that merely associating your SF account gives you 100 rep, you're not a drive-by user. –  quack quixote Dec 11 '09 at 1:29
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200 reputation doesn't really work to determine if someone is "active". I haven't asked a question on SO since "Jun 15 '09 at 20:33" and I answered one question in 2010 (+10 reputation) and none since. But I did get a Yearling in 2011, 2010, and 2009. I asked (a few) good questions early on and provided (a few more) good answers. As search delivers one or two upvotes every few days, I collect +5 and +10 like clockwork. (I'm not the most extreme example either.) It's not a bad thing, but it doesn't mean much.

The solution is quite simple. Rephrase the badge text:

Member for a year, earning at least 200 reputation

Unless you really mean to include "active" members, in which case the solution is to change the criteria to earn at least 200 reputation on posts submitted in that year.

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