The "Enthusiast" and "Fanatic" badges are awarded for visiting a SE site after a number of consecutive days. Staying away only for one (GMT) day breaks the chain of consecutive days.

I fail to see how the behaviour that this requirement encourages is a healthy one. It's fine to reward frequent activity on the site with a badge, but why every day without exception? What's the point? What's the benefit to the site, the community, or the user?

I suggest it be relaxed to something like "30 days out of 35" and "100 out of 110" respectively.

Edit: I am not necessarily suggesting making the "Fanatic" badge easier to get overall. As far as I'm concerned, it could be made harder to get in exchange for dropping the consecutive requirement. I'm just advocating a set of requirements whose fulfillment actually has a positive impact somewhere.

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For the record, I do have both badges. –  Pëkka Feb 20 '11 at 14:50
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Good point, for example if somebody is cut off the internet for one day (e.g. romantic vacation with wife/husband) :-/ –  Shadow Wizard Feb 20 '11 at 16:17
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I agree. Sometimes there are days you cannot be online for reasons outside your control. For example, I had a series of flights leave me offline for a full day. Without this, I would have the fanatic badge. In total though, I have been online for 223 days. –  marcog Feb 20 '11 at 16:19
    
Wasn't there a question once about someone writing a simple spider/bot to achieve said badge? –  mario Feb 20 '11 at 17:26
    
@mario more than once I think. –  Pëkka Feb 20 '11 at 17:27
    
@Shadow - that's where taking an iPhone to the bathroom is useful. You only need about 20 seconds to visit and get the consecutive day. If you have phone reception that is. –  Mark Henderson Feb 20 '11 at 21:13
    
@Far I've seen somewhere that just visiting isn't enough, you need to perform "simple action", probably post comment, upvote or downvote.. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 21 '11 at 7:53
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@Shadow - clearly your wife/husband needs to learn their place and realise the importance of the Fanatic badge, and how much it would improve the relationship if you had it. And these days lots of people can find some romance on teh interwebs, so no need to exclude it. –  slugster Feb 21 '11 at 10:59
    
@slug Unfortunately, my wife will become Fanatic if she'll know how much time I spend here.. :D –  Shadow Wizard Feb 21 '11 at 11:23
    
If anyone really cares about that badge, he or she could cheat to get it. Just leave the browser open. –  Borror0 Feb 21 '11 at 13:51
    
It's a bummer because the day thing is inconsistent. I was thinking of going for it. So I logged in yesterday, and it said 7 consecutive days. I log in today, and it says 1. :( –  Almo May 22 '12 at 13:52
    
When being consecutive (and active) for 94-95 days in two beta sites then could not visit sites for a day due to lack of internet, it disappoints too much. –  hims056 Apr 22 '13 at 7:17
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I am at this moment on holiday on a boat in the middle of the sea, I plan to collect my fanatic badge in a one week and I won't be having any of this 100 out of 110 days malarkey –  Richard Tingle Jul 26 '13 at 19:07
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7 Answers

Someone who uses technicalities to insist they should be considered a fanatic is not a fanatic.

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True, though Europe's lack of affordable roaming internet does make it hard to log in when on business travels without wifi :-( –  Ivo Flipse Feb 20 '11 at 21:30
    
Hahahaha! A "consecutive days" requirement won't stop a true fanatic. Point taken. –  Pëkka Feb 20 '11 at 21:56
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I'm inclined to agree. I'm not enough of a fanatic to care about getting the Fanatic badge... –  Benjol Feb 21 '11 at 11:45
    
@Ivo, there are ways to cheat to get them... I consider that someone that does it is a fanatic and also, as of now, it doesn't go against any rules. –  jmfsg Feb 21 '11 at 13:43
    
Any chance of this being reconsidered ? Or is SE intent on encouraging addictive behavior ? (I have both badges) –  AsheeshR Apr 22 '13 at 7:14
    
Yeah, I tend to think this should be reconsidered, too. Unaccepting for that reason - even though this remains technically the most correct answer :) –  Pëkka Apr 22 '13 at 17:02
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As someone who took great pains to get that "Fanatic" badge, I do not want to see the requirements for that badge change. Gold badges are supposed to be hard to achieve.

Besides, you don't need to do very much in order for your visit to be counted.

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I could live much better with a badge that requires more daily participation, but drops the silly "consecutive" requirement instead. It would make much more sense. –  Pëkka Feb 20 '11 at 15:33
    
Had a question that led to this one actually. I did quite a lot, yet my day wasn't counted. –  Linus Kleen Feb 20 '11 at 16:46
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I think that the consecutive requirement is helpful towards establishing what I've always interpretted the intent of the badge to be. I imagine part of the "point" of these badges is that they're for the people who literally do come every day, without missing a beat.

And not just once a day. That's actually the worst and most difficult path towards getting this badge, and it sometimes surprises me how many people try that method to earn the badge and are surprised that they failed (I know you aren't one). The mechanical difficulties of the UTC day actually combine with the consecutive requirement to make the best method of earning this badge to visit the site at least twice a day.

Think about it. You visit the site once in the morning after you get out of bed to check up on news, then once more when you return home at the day's end to see what's changed. It pretty much guarantees the badge. You don't even have to think about the UTC day in this scenario, and 100 days later you'll be one gold richer, no sweat.

That's what makes it a Fanatic. It's not just for someone who simply pops in once a day for 100 days straight. The people who are in the best shape to earn this badge are the people who visit the site repeatedly throughout the day. People who are interested in seeing what's going on at the site, and perhaps shooting for participation as well. People who don't even have to watch the days tick by to try for this badge. The point isn't to tell people to just pop in once per day - it's to get people invested in wanting to know how the site is growing, and what is happening.

And with simple time management, it won't even get in the way of your normal life to devote yourself to the Network like this. Yes, family emergencies and storms and vacations can get in the way. But unless you are expecting these every 3 months, then all these are just a small delay to those fanatics among us. We still know that we're on top of the site's events, even if we don't have a shiny badge to prove it.

Does every user who earns the Fanatic badge show this level of dedication and investment to the Network? No, but nor does everyone with the Electorate badge continue to vote consistently on questions.

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Well worded good points, as always. But wouldn't, say, a 150 or 200 day period of participation with a few days off be as "fanatic", while reducing the stress of equipment breakdown, vacation, and other reasons not to be able to visit every single day? –  Pëkka Feb 21 '11 at 14:39
    
@Pekka I had a 3 day vacation starting on my 87th day or so on Gaming. I didn't stress about it (mostly because I was on vacation, ahaha~). It's the principle of the idea moreso than the execution, that's how badges work. Do you need a badge and a strict 25% ratio to be a good question voter? No more than you need to have hit a full 100 days to be a good devotee. –  Grace Note Feb 21 '11 at 14:42
    
true, that's a valid view. If you break the chain, you just start again (or not). –  Pëkka Feb 21 '11 at 14:43
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Fanatic is the easiest gold badge to get as it is.

How do I know? Every one of my gold badges across all the sites I participate in is fanatic. Some day I'll get one of the meaningful ones.

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Electorate isn't terribly hard to come by either. If you cast 5 - 10 votes on questions during the daily visits that led to getting the fanatic badge, you'd probably have received them both. –  Tim Post Feb 20 '11 at 15:55
    
Yeah I think Electorate is much easier than Fanatic. –  The Unhandled Exception Feb 20 '11 at 17:24
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@There It is quite possibly the easiest gold badge to come by, in fact. If you shirk answer-voting responsibility and just hunt for good questions to vote on, it only takes a minimum of 20 days. Which is before you can even get Enthusiast, even. As long as you haven't cast over 1800 answer votes, you can even start this 20 day journey very late and still earn it. –  Grace Note Feb 21 '11 at 13:59
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We've got badges for almost everything, so why not one for consecutive visits? And "Fanatic" fits very well for 100 consecutive days on the site.

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I've got no idea why one would downvote this. For the record, over at tex.sx I'm a Fanatic. –  Hendrik Vogt Feb 20 '11 at 21:09
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The problem I feel with this badge is that it is sometimes easy to miss out on the badge due to timezones.

Due to family commitments it's not always possible for me to log on frequently during the weekend.

If I log on at 8am Saturday morning and then not again until 7pm Sunday night it resets the count for me.

To me I have logged in consecutive days (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun) but to the system I have missed a day as 24 hrs have passed on your system.

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I don't like those badges, I worked hard NOT to get the Enthusiast badge. One day I slipped, didn't check the counter and there you have it, I've got the badge :(

What does it say about me? I should be spending more time with my kids, less time with SO.

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Hahahaha! Finally, someone who got it but didn't want it. :) –  Pëkka Feb 21 '11 at 14:40
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