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In the early days of the Stack Overflow trilogy (including SO, Server Fault, and Super User), I noticed that many of the most active members were good contributors on all three trilogy sites. These days, with 150+ sites in the network, it's more true than ever that many people are active on several different sites.

This has led me to wonder about the possibility of cross-site badges, which would be awarded for a certain level of participation in multiple Stack Exchange sites. For example, there could be a hypothetical badge awarded for visiting each of a particular set of 3 different SE sites every day for a 15 day period. Or one for achieving 200 reputation on 5 or more sites. Or one for having an answer with +10 upvotes on each of 3 or more sites. (I'm not saying that these would be good badge criteria, just trying to provide illustrative examples.) Basically, these badges would reward people who don't limit their activity to just one site, and hopefully would encourage existing contributors who specialize in one site to branch out and look for new Stack Exchange sites to get involved in, thus strengthening the network.

Of course, the obvious problem is, which site(s) would these badges display on? Would they be associated with all the sites they were earned for, or would they display on every site at which that user has a linked account? And I have no idea what sort of problems could arise on the development side - there isn't really any other feature (that I know of) that really integrates different trilogy sites like this, so I can imagine it might be a lot of work to implement such a feature on the backend.

Is the cross-site badge idea something that people would be interested in? If the implementation details can be worked out, can we get this implemented?

Also, for the purpose of giving people on meta something to answer, what would be more good badge criteria? It's easy enough to come up with cross-site badge ideas of the form "[criteria for single-site badge] on [number] sites". What makes this feature really interesting, I think, is the possibility for badges that don't fit that pattern.

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Cerberus, Hydra, and Tiamat badges? :-) – eruciform Jul 21 '10 at 3:16
There should also be a ChrisF badge, awarded for reaching 10k reputation on three different sites. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 4:07
Oh, definitely. There'd be some stiff competition to see who gets it first, too (if is to be believed) – David Z Jul 21 '10 at 4:42
Well, if you count Meta, ChrisF has had it for a while. – mmyers Jul 21 '10 at 15:17
ah, true. Well then, stiff competition to see who gets it second. – David Z Jul 23 '10 at 3:53
You can get some badges (i.e. Autobiographer) on all sites if you copy your profile to all of them. No you don't need to copy-paste it manually. In your profile, go to the accounts tab, then click Copy my SITE-NAME profile to all related accounts. – nyuszika7h Jan 31 '11 at 17:03
Platinum Badges you mean ? – Nikana Reklawyks Nov 8 '12 at 23:51
@LeVieuxGildas no, this is something different. – David Z Nov 9 '12 at 0:04
@NikanaReklawyks but Platinum would look like Silver. Better Ruby or Emerald. – Danubian Sailor Jul 19 '13 at 14:01
Naturally, they will be displayed only in the network profile. I'll add answer with what I have in mind soon – Shadow Wizard Oct 13 '15 at 17:55
up vote 37 down vote accepted

I've wondered about this, as I often look through user profiles, and their cross-site activity. Also since the question was asked, Stack Exchange now has tens of sites, not just three.

Here are some examples I've thought about;

  • Duathlete — gold medals across two sites
  • Triathlete — gold medals across three sites
  • Decathlete — gold medals awarded across ten sites
  • Multifaceted — edited your autobiography across multiple sites
  • Millionaire — user to a combined reputation of a million
  • Fingers in many pies — 15 sites with a user rep of 150+
  • Running man — migrated a question between sites
  • The Come Back Kid — nominated and won electoral vote for a moderator role across two or more sites. I also considered Megalomaniac and Powermonger, but these could possibly been seen as derogative.
  • Media Mogul — Earned the Publicist badge on at least five sites. Or possibly Media Proprietor alt. From Wikipedia.
  • Mastermind — great answer awarded on at least five sites
  • Oracle — great answer awarded on at least ten sites
  • Paxman — great question awarded on at least five sites. Paxman as in Jeremy Paxman This is perhaps obvious to only the British, an international name could be Interrogator.
  • Elite - a user whom has offered and paid out bounties across multiple sites. Referencing the classic game status within the game Elite, alternatively Hustler Encarta dictionary definition "somebody who works aggressively and determinedly, especially to advance his or her career".

Not all the ideas are meant to be serious, but hopefully it might get the ball rolling.

As for where these badges would be displayed — just on the Stack Exchange page for now would do. Altering the user flair might be confusing, as only individual achievements are perhaps best represented, not collective ones.

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+1 for Multifaceted – SingerOfTheFall Aug 28 '12 at 8:38
+1 for excellent suggestions of Badges, but OMG, this is WoW all over again with meta-achievements! It tooks me years to put down that pipe! – Fluffeh Aug 28 '12 at 9:42
I don't like the idea of rewarding people for running for moderator: then people will run for election just to get a badge. – Hamlet Aug 29 '12 at 0:55
@Christofian: I doubt that. – Mystery Aug 29 '12 at 1:45
@Christofian I've changed it slightly, so you have to run and win in an election for a moderator role. – wonea Aug 29 '12 at 9:50
"Comeback kid" sounds like someone with a bad start who then succeeded. Being elected as a moderator doesn't fit that pattern. I would expect that name to apply to someone who got banned and then reached some rep cap, or someone who lost an election before winning one, or something like that. (I don't think we need either of those, BTW.) – Monica Cellio Aug 29 '12 at 14:17
@MonicaCellio Agreed, the alternatives are perhaps better suited. I was basing the Come Back Kid on Bill Clinton. It was a bit of fun. – wonea Aug 29 '12 at 15:38
I think Millionaire is hard to reach. It's been said that being 10K on more than 3 sites is unusual. I doubt even Jon Skeet has a million rep total. I like the idea of a badge for being 20K (the highest mark we award new privs for) on 5/10/20 sites. – Kate Gregory Jun 21 '13 at 13:48

Natural place for the "cross site" badges, which I prefer call "Network Badges" is the network profile, and in my opinion they should be displayed only in and not on the sites themselves.

This is what I have in mind:

And there will be new badges tab in the network profile page itself.

Also, I prefer keeping it simple. Instead of whole new badges, just take some existing badges and "enhance" them, e.g.

  • Stack Exchange Yearling: have the Yearling badge in at least 5 Stack Exchange communities.
  • Stack Exchange Altruist: have the Altruist badge in at least 5 Stack Exchange communities.
  • etc.

Silver and gold versions can also be available, e.g. having the ordinary badge in 20 communities will give the silver network badge.

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I think the idea of taking existing badges and just generalizing them is rather boring. It's a valid option, but the reason I suggested this in the first place was precisely to enable badge criteria that aren't just generalizations of the basic badges to multiple sites. – David Z Oct 13 '15 at 21:10
@DavidZ good point, but if simplicity will help this idea to be done faster, I'm all for it. – Shadow Wizard Oct 13 '15 at 21:14

Network wide badges seem like a very good idea to me.

From what I've seen, it appears that it's difficult to get people engaged with a SE site outside of the one they initially joined. Usually people have one main site they frequent, and then barely any activity on other SE sites. One incentive to increase cross-site activity might be to introduce network-wide badges.

These might include, for example:

  • Having over 1000 reputation on 5+ SE sites
  • Have a question with 5+ upvotes on 5+ SE sites
  • Have an answer with 10+ upvotes on 5+ SE sites
  • etc.

I personally think this would be good for SE as a whole.

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The idea of cross site badges has been running through my mind for a while. Then I came looking to see if anything had been posted about it. I found this 4 year old question with less than 500 views and 36 up votes. Not entirely sure what to make of that, but here is my suggestion.

At least to start and to keep as much as possible with the existing format and tools. Grant Meta.SE badges

  • Bronze when a user has been awarded the same badge on 3 different sites.
  • Silver when a user has been awarded the same badge on 10 different sites.
  • Gold when a user has been awarded the same badge on 25 different sites.

Badges would be displayed to the left of the user image as in the image below, counts are inside of the circles (ring or solid), when clicked on it takes you the meta.stackexchange badge profile for the user.

Meta Badges Header

I am sure lots of peoples would qualify for a Gold 'Autobiographer.SE' badge, for completing their profile on 25 different sites.

Some badges would be more difficult to get, For example getting a Bronze 'Great Answer.SE' (Gold level badge on specific sites) would not be be overly difficult for some cross discipline experts, but getting a Gold 'Great Answer.SE' for receiving this Gold level badge on 25 different sites could prove to be difficult.

The amount of new code to make this work is less than the existing suggestion, as it is a simple cross site badge count, and it provides rewards and challenges for all level of users. I like the answer by @wonea but it has failed to gain traction, some of those ideas might be incorporated later but as a tool to encourage cross site participation, it is bit heavy for a first implementation and requires more challenging logic to implement.

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Gold Autobiographer? Yeesh. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 13 '15 at 20:34

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