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I know this is being pedantic but I figured I'd mention it anyway. Currently the legend reads:

Gold Badges are rare. You'll have to not only participate but be skilled and knowledgeable to earn these. They're something of an accomplishment!

Technically, you do not have to participate at all to earn the Fanatic badge - you could do nothing but read the site for 100 days and still earn it.

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What would you have it say instead? –  random Jan 8 '10 at 4:46
    
@random - I thought about that but I have no idea. Personally I find it not worth changing at all but maybe Jeff does and just didn't notice it. –  John Rasch Jan 8 '10 at 4:49
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How about: Gold Badges are rare. You'll have to not only participate but be skilled, knowledgeable, persistent enough (for fanatic) or able to generate automated script(for electorate) to earn these. They're something of an accomplishment! –  o.k.w Jan 8 '10 at 4:55
    
meta.stackexchange.com/questions/33911/… Related discussion about badge types and their inconsistencies where I mentioned this concern too. The easiest way to fix is to make Fanatic and Electorate silver. They are orders of magnitude easier than say, Epic. –  LeakyCode Jan 8 '10 at 5:11
    
@o.k.w.: Actually the single shell script you write for Electorate can work well for Fanatic too. Just run it long enough. –  LeakyCode Jan 8 '10 at 5:13
    
@Fearless: Oh yea, then the description can be shorten! –  o.k.w Jan 8 '10 at 5:20
    
Personally I see no reason to change this especially since no viable alternative is being proposed here. –  waffles Jul 8 '10 at 5:39
    
@waffles, mine was an honest attempt. –  devinb Jul 8 '10 at 15:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+100

Gold Badges are rare. You'll have to have timing, skill, and endurance to even qualify. They represent some feat of spectacular excitement. These badges are not earned by the faint of heart!

A little wordy, perhaps. If you look at the Gold badges, they are mostly not 'self-achievable' That is to say, most questions or answers, regardless of their quality will never have the chance to earn any of these. Most of them require a confluence of a widely approachable topic, a well written engaging question and a few powerful answers that are linked to by external blogs.

Self-achievable

  • Electorate: Voted on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes are on questions
  • Fanatic: Visited the site each day for 100 consecutive days
  • Legendary: Hit the daily reputation cap on 150 days

Luck + (some degree of) Skill

  • Famous Question: Asked a question with 10,000 views
  • Great Answer: Answer score of 100 or more
  • Great Question: Question score of 100 or more
  • Populist: Answer outscored an accepted answer with score of more than 10 by more than 2x
  • Reversal: Provided answer of +20 score to a question of -5 score
  • Stellar Question: Question favorited by 100 users
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Is there another word for 'luck' that means 'almost everything is deterministic in behavior if you study it long enough'? –  Tim Post Jul 6 '10 at 14:34
    
@Tim meticulous examination –  devinb Jul 6 '10 at 14:42
    
Maybe a little wordy, indeed, but I like it. –  mmyers Jul 8 '10 at 22:22

Considering recent events, they should probably change it to:

You'll have to not only participate but be skilled and knowledgeable to earn these... or just pander to the Reddit-loving community, whatever.

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This answer needs more regex. –  random Jan 8 '10 at 6:11

The Fanatic badge is probably the only one that doesn't take someone skilled and knowledgeable to accomplish. I will think it is still an appropriate description for the gold badge in general.

PS: I broke my run at the 90+th day, Ouch! Not an easy feat I must say.

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The Electorate badge is another one that doesn't require any knowledge and is achievable by writing a shell script. –  LeakyCode Jan 8 '10 at 4:44
    
True... oddly enough I broke mine on the 95th/96th day (by 12 minutes) during my first attempt at it. I finally got it a few days ago though. –  John Rasch Jan 8 '10 at 4:44

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