Badges earned on per-site meta sites are separate from the main site, but reputation is carried over from the main site (because you don't earn any on Meta).

I perfectly understand keeping the rep the way it is (meta votes are too subjective to integrate them with rep) but the badge split seems odd to me.

Multiple badges are in fact impossible on Meta; Mortarboard, Bounty related badges. In addition badges in general are much harder to earn due to the lower amount of users and content; badges like Great Answer are nearly impossible.

As a result of this, most users on Meta end up with the easy 5-10 bronze badges for basic participation on Meta and not much else; stuff like Supporter and Critic that are hard not to get.

I understand the want to drive more people to meta, so perhaps badges are separate to institute a reward system; however this doesn't seem to work well since Meta badges (mostly) don't appear on the main site. This in combination of the 0 rep gain makes Meta feel almost not real. It also makes part of your progress (badges) on the main site invisible on Meta, and vise versa.

IMO the badges should be the same on both Meta and main site, but more Meta-oriented badges should be added to encourage use of Meta. This way Meta badges feel "real" instead of "Meta".

Is there an official reason for per site metas having separate badges?

  • Did you mean to link to the blog post instead of the (non-existent on SO) tag?
    – Pops
    Dec 30, 2011 at 18:03
  • I meant to link to the meta-so tag, wasn't thinking that the tag: syntax links to SO
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 30, 2011 at 20:09
  • @BenBrocka - You'd need [meta-tag:per-site-meta] for that, but it's really not that helpful in this case since it's already linked in the list of tags below the question. That syntax is usually reserved for talking about the tag itself, putting it inline probably isn't necessary. Dec 31, 2011 at 0:51

2 Answers 2


Technically, reputation is tracked on per-site metas, it's just not displayed anywhere.

I support keeping the badges separate, because posting a (for example) technical Good Answer is a very different accomplishment than posting a Good Answer about how the site works.

  • Precisely. Activity on the metas is separate from activity on the main sites. Dec 30, 2011 at 18:09
  • Citation for that first sentence: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66370/…
    – Pops
    Dec 30, 2011 at 18:13
  • Yup. And if that means some badges will be much more rare on metas... so be it. The same applies across different sites, anyway. Dec 30, 2011 at 18:26

Using the reputation for the main site in the meta site has just the purpose giving to the users the same privileges they have in the main site.
The badges are then the only visible measure of the participation on a meta site; a user with three silver badges has participated more actively than a user with just few bronze badges.

  • Actually I read somewhere that the purpose of having the same reputation on Meta as on the main site is to encourage people not to be afraid of posting something that others disagree with because it would make them lose reputation. Dec 14, 2017 at 20:57

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