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I never thought I would ever see such a thing, but here it is:

This question has gathered nearly 200 votes in under 24 hours, and this answer has gathered more than 560 votes at the time of writing (in under 24 hours...)

The amount is amazing in itself. Perhaps that is due to a larger population on SO, I must admit I had never thought such a thing possible (at least, not in a day!). It probably has to deal with the hotness, but still.

I was wondering if a specific badge should be awarded to belarius for its amazing answer (I don't consider it amazing myself, though I upvoted it, but given the number of answers I guess it is).

Currently the "top" reward is the Gold Badge: Great Answer, for 100+ votes, shared with 1305 users. But there is a HUGE gap between 100 and 500 (or even 250).

Given the pattern 10, 25, 100, I was wondering if it was worth creating a "Platinum Badge" [Legendary Answer] for 250+/500+ votes (and, for symmetry, the same goes for questions).

Admittedly it would be a niche badge, but I feel that a person gathering so many votes for his answer should be rewarded.

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9  
Ouch... Given the daily rep cap, that's 800 rep wasted for the OP and 5400 for the answerer. –  GSerg Oct 19 '10 at 14:16
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One could say he already got rewarded by getting that many upvotes... –  sth Oct 19 '10 at 14:34
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+1 for good point. However I don't think that a fourth reward tier needs to be introduced. Maybe letting a gold badge be awarded for every +100? –  jcolebrand Oct 19 '10 at 15:03
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@drachenstern: It sounds good to me. –  Matthieu M. Oct 20 '10 at 6:22
    
~ Want it as an answer so you can mark it? ;) –  jcolebrand Oct 20 '10 at 18:42

3 Answers 3

That one answer got him a Nice Answer, Guru, Good Answer, Great Answer, [language-agnostic] and [math] badge. The [random] badge and 3 silver badges for these tags should be next, as soon as the script catches up. Ten badges total, as near as I can tell.

Not quite sure why the joke and poll questions from the early days of SO got so much hate thrown at them, I wasn't around for it. But getting a reward for one answer that normally takes two months of answering many hard questions every day might have something to do with it.

I feel sorry for John D. Cook, a mathematician who spent two years answering questions in the [math] tag. Clearly an expert with many accepted answers in a relatively obscure tag. It will take him another 5 months are his present rate to get the same silver badge.

My call: this is a bad idea.

UPDATE: John eventually got the badge, it took 14 months. He rarely posts anymore.

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"But getting a reward for one answer that normally takes two months of answering many hard questions every day might have something to do with it." Yes, it does, and having a max rep cap of 200 per day from upvotes is one of the tools present to combat it... however, it doesn't stop badges. If the rep cap wasn't in place, this user would have gotten six thousand reputation from this one answer. –  Powerlord Oct 19 '10 at 18:18
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Your talking about a single case on one answer getting heavily upvoted tot he stratosphere, which is a rare case. What about answers that slowly accumulate votes? –  TheLQ Oct 19 '10 at 22:06
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@Hans: I believe I just gave you a Reversal badge –  Daniel Aug 5 '11 at 13:45

Here's the stats on current questions and answers with 500 votes. There are 16 questions and 98 answers.

Of the 98 answers, these are the only ones that aren't an answer to a "favorite joke" or "best feature" or "favorite cartoon" type of question.

You could possibly add this one as well, it has 640 votes and some might not consider it a strict GTKY question.

Admittedly, Understanding Randomness does have a much stronger note in that it achieved 500 votes in a very short amount of time. It's also one of the only two that isn't Community Wiki.

The point, though, is that while I find that answer to be totally awesome, the majority of answers that actually get that many votes tend to be the popular, subjective stuff. People already complain about those being basic badge farms, and this would really add more to that without necessarily adding a lot of good rewarding. The current gold badge is more on the level that excellent effort in standard Q&A will traditionally achieve.

And as Hans notes, there are also the tag-specific badges to which 500 votes is an instant silver and halfway to gold. Provided you didn't get knocked into Community Wiki, at any rate.

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3  
That answer is an elaborate way of saying Multiplying a number smaller than one with a number smaller than one gets you a number smaller than both... –  badp Oct 19 '10 at 15:19
    
@radp But it does it with super-duper cool graphs and a bit of above-average level mathematics, which seems to be all that's needed to tickle the programmer's fancy, apparently –  Yi Jiang Oct 19 '10 at 17:05
    
agree, I am unsure as to whether subjective questions should be rewarded with badges or not myself. –  Matthieu M. Oct 20 '10 at 6:20

I think that underlines a problem rather than a merit.

Stack Overflow is a site for expert programming questions. So let's see what all top 25 posts in Stack Overflow look like, shall we?

  1. bobince's reply to RegEx match open tags except XHTML self-contained tags, locked
  2. Rick's reply to What's your favorite “programmer” cartoon?, deleted
  3. Gulzar's reply to What is your best programmer joke?, deleted
  4. Karan's List of freely available programming books, protected
  5. Serhat Özgel's Hidden Features of C#?, locked
  6. Galwegian's reply to What is your best programmer joke?, deleted
  7. Jens Roland's reply to What is the best comment in source code you have ever encountered?, locked
  8. mrinject's reply to What's your favorite “programmer” cartoon?, deleted
  9. Adam Davis's reply to Great programming quotes, locked
  10. cjm's reply to What is your best programmer joke?, deleted
  11. Edan Maor's reply to Strangest language feature, closed 9 times, reopened 10
  12. Kip's reply to What real life bad habits has programming given you?, migrated and deleted
  13. NotMySelf's What is the single most influential book every programmer should read?, protected
  14. Adam Neal's reply to What is your best programmer joke?, deleted
  15. Guffa's reply to Is 23,148,855,308,184,500 a magic number, or sheer chance?, forced CW
  16. Blorgbreads' reply to Great programming quotes, locked
  17. JustinStandards's reply to What is the single most influential book every programmer should read?, protected
  18. RoadWarriors's sexually explicit reply to What is your best programmer joke?, locked
  19. asksol's reply to Great programming quotes, locked
  20. Joel Cohehoorn's What should a developer know before building a public web site?, migrated
  21. zneak's reply to New programming jargon you coined?, locked
  22. Tom Ritter's reply to What is the best comment in source code you have ever encountered?, locked
  23. Haacked's reply to What's your favorite “programmer” cartoon?, deleted
  24. Justin Standard's reply to What is the single most influential book every programmer should read?, protected
  25. Graeme Perrow's reply to Great programming quotes, locked

See a pattern here?

I have a rule of thumb, the more popular a question the worse it is. StackOverflow is for expert answers. StackOverflow is an expert questions and answers site about programming. Celebrating questions about what happens when you multiply numbers together with ultra-rare badges, top hotness scores and further bells and whistles, honestly, sounds counter-productive to me.

Next time I'll care about getting a bajillion reps, I won't focus on getting questions answered. I'll just ask "what makes 42 special".

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I agree with this. The randomness answer is a good answer. Maybe even a very good answer. It's honestly not an amazing answer because it's not answering a very good or hard question to begin with. This is really just more of the same run-of-the-mill, mildly-interesting, easy-to-understand, beginner-level stuff contributing to the ever-growing pile of evidence that Stack Overflow is the Web 2.0 version of "Programming for Dummies." This particular thread is admittedly far better than most of the others listed, but that's not saying much. –  Aarobot Oct 19 '10 at 16:16

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