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Hello all-

I just noticed that on Stack Overflow there have been 40,527 Notable Question (Silver) badges awarded, but only 25,105 Nice Question (Bronze) badges awarded. This means that there are at least 15,000 questions that have been viewed 2,500 times without getting ten upvotes and possibly many more (if the two sets are completely disjoint, though I doubt that's the case).

My understanding is that silver badges should be much harder to earn than bronze badges, but in this case it seems like the opposite is true and that it's easier to get 2,500 views than 10 upvotes. This probably is because the older a question is, the more likely it is to get a lot of views.

Is the current system of making Notable Question silver but Nice Question bronze really fair? I don't think it's horribly broken or anything, but it does seem strange that we reward questions with many views more highly than questions that the community has decided are valuable and useful.

Any thoughts?

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@badp's sockpuppet- Did you mean to write "Deputy" twice? Or some other combination of badges? –  templatetypedef Mar 23 '11 at 10:13
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Deputy is a silver, and yet much rarer and harder to obtain than some of the gold badges (like Fanatic). (Thanks for the correction!) –  badp Mar 23 '11 at 10:25
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I got Deputy in less than a week, putting in about 30 min a day. Fanatic takes a minimum of 100 days and many people report that they accidentally got a life and had to reset a few times, taking 6 months or more of daily effort to get it. –  Kate Gregory Mar 23 '11 at 11:36

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

My understanding is that silver badges should be much harder to earn than bronze badges...

That should certainly be true if they're awarded for the same thing, but it's hard to enforce when they're not.

...it does seem strange that we reward questions with many views more highly than questions that the community has decided are valuable and useful.

Remember that the questions that the community decided are more valuable and useful also netted their owners some reputation points in addition to the badge, so they are being rewarded.

Also remember that most of the traffic on Stack Overflow comes from Google. A good question that gets a lot of hits from a search engine will get views from people who don't have accounts and can't vote.

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It also can indicate that the questions getting hit (that have low votes) have the right combination of keywords to produce a hit, but don't ask a meaningful question (to the people that hit it) (hint to suppress in search results) –  bobobobo Oct 8 '11 at 1:16

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