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I'm referring to the colored circles with numbers next to them on the top of the page, to the right of my reputation counter. What do they represent?

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There must be an earlier Meta Stack Overflow post about this - it is one of the things that are not at all obvious to new users. – Peter Mortensen Aug 3 '13 at 19:52

I just accidentally hovered over them, and found out that they are my badge counters. Never mind!

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For what it's worth, you can get extra information about pretty much anything on any Stack Exchange page by hovering over it. – Pops Sep 12 '11 at 13:12

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