I've just updated my SO question on annotated bibliographies after finding an excellent bibliography in a book I'm currently reading.

I intend to do do the same in the future whenever I find further good annotated bibliographies as I think of SO as a great resource where people can get information on all sorts of topics. Information that should for ceratin types of questions be updated as necessary.

What about having a badge for people who come back and edit their posts a certain number of times (5?), over a certain minimum time (6 months?)?

"Love the show!" oh, wait a minute, that's Buzz Out Loud...


Edit: I don't think that this should apply to CW questions.

3 Answers 3


Even just encouraging users to update an older post at all; say, one month old or more. It's not a bad suggestion. It could be gamed (making irrelevant additions to get the badge) but it falls within the criteria of encouraging users to participate in a behavior that is not really addressed by the general reputation system.

  • 1
    You could prevent gaming by requiring that the answer hadn't been upvoted in (say) two weeks before the addition, but got (say) five upvotes in the (say) two weeks afterwards (say (say)). Say.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 16:00
  • True. But I think that would make it unnecessarily complicated. I've stated before that badges are a way to get users to participate in certain types of functionality. Whether a badge is designed to encourage good behavior or to get users to try certain features, "gaming the badge system" still accomplishes that goal. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4760/… Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 16:55
  • 1
    @balpha: I would say that this is a near-impossible goal. Questions that are two weeks old are gone, no one reads them anymore. They might catch a few stray reads but certainly not enough to receive a non-trivial amount of up-votes in any given time frame.
    – Tomalak
    Commented Aug 2, 2009 at 7:21
  • 1
    @Tomalak; necromancer says otherwise: stackoverflow.com/badges/17/necromancer Commented Aug 2, 2009 at 19:40

This is a nice idea. If one goal of SO is to be the standard internet repository for programming questions, you certainly want to invite people to do "janitorial work" on old questions/answers to make them better. I would support expanding the [Necromancer] badge to being awarded whenever an edit to an answer or question (yours or not) after a certain period of inactivity results in 5 upvotes.

  • Of course, if the answer already had 83 upvotes, 5 new upvotes isn't that significant. It would be pretty easy to get the badge just for going back and editing posts by Jon Skeet, litb, or jalf (for instance).
    – mmyers
    Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 17:07
  • Is that really true? I was under the impression that even very popular questions/answers get most of their votes very early. If a question/answer has 83 upvotes, but hasn't had any votes in the last month, is it really more likely to get 5 more upvotes than if it originally had 10? Anyway, I'm not wedded to the number 5, it could always be something like min(5,X/10), where X is the number of upvotes the question/answer had during the period of inactivity. Commented Aug 1, 2009 at 22:41
  • For such highly upvoted answers, my observation is that any activity on the question is likely to spark a new (although much smaller) flurry of upvotes, since not everyone has already seen the answer.
    – mmyers
    Commented Aug 2, 2009 at 5:16

Nice idea. I would however suggest that CW questions are excluded from this as they already belong to the community and this should reduce gaming as well. Questions become CW if edited to much eventually and therefore the badge can't easily get abused.

  • @Diago, ah, good idea. I'll add that exclusion to the original question.
    – Rob Wells
    Commented Aug 2, 2009 at 11:08

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