I know it sounds easy to get this badge. After all who doesn't have a Facebook account?

Wrong, 300 unique IP addresses in 4 days is not easy to get, because

a. You don't have that many friends
b. They most probably aren't programmers
c. In 4 days the link will be way behind The Great Wall of le rage comics and nobody will see it

300 IP adresses = 300 people = more pageviews than most questions ever have (esp. in 4 days).

Oh, and 37 (silver) Booster badges were awarded, while there's 14,751 (golden) Famous Question badges out there. Misbalance?

  • 48
    After all who doesn't have a facebook acount? That would be me.
    – Dennis
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 4:31
  • @Dennis I feel you. I do have an account, but I never log in it. For about an year I forgot I had one (really!). But anyway I said that because I think that's the reasoning behind the badge: believing everybody is on some social network so 300 people in 4 days is a piece of cake. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 4:33
  • 10
    Hacker News and reddit are much better for the Booster badge than Facebook and (for most) Twitter. If you can find a question that will appeal to an active subreddit you're golden... er... I mean silver. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 4:50
  • 3
    @BilltheLizard "[...] are much better for the Booster badge" So are proxy servers and perl scripts. Still, only 37 people have the badge. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 4:55
  • @CamiloMartin So either way it's not hard to get. Why should it be gold then? Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 5:07
  • 2
    There's already a gold version of this badge.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 5:10
  • 1
    As Bill said, on SO these badges are most easily earned by dumping a link on r/programming or something similar, and in my experience those aren't the kind of visits we want. Perhaps it would be better to make these badges easier to get on beta sites, since they're the ones that need the traffic.
    – hammar
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 5:52
  • 14751 have the (golden) Famous Question badge: no, the badge has been awarded 14751 times, but # people is much less
    – CharlesB
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 7:40
  • @hammar I agree with you completely, beta sites should encourage link sharing even more. Altough I'm not sure what kind of visits we should want, good new users can be anywhere, I think pageviews will never be "bad quality" (even because of ads). Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 8:39
  • @CharlesB Fixed. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 8:41
  • 3
    @animuson and 13 people have it! out of 2 and a half million questions only 13 have the badge. There's almost 3 million visits/day on the SE network, and 13 people have such a badge. Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 8:48
  • See also List of all badges with full descriptions. Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


This is actually already in the works. The Announcer / Booster / Publicist triad will behave like other similar badge groups afterwards, e.g. Nice Answer / Good Answer / Great Answer or Notable Question / Famous Question. In particular:

  • The timeframe will not matter anymore. You still get the Famous Question badge if you need two years to pile up 10000 views; similarly, you'll also get the Publicist badge if it takes you longer than five days to have 1000 people follow your link.

  • You'll be able to earn more than one. By getting 300 people to visit a question, you're doing your fair share of promoting the site; if you do that several times, there's no reason why you shouldn't get the badge more than once.

  • You can earn the bronze, silver, and gold version on the same question. When you post an answer that gets 100 upvotes, this earns you all three of the Nice Answer / Good Answer / Great Answer badges. The fact that this was not the case for the sharing badges was inconsistent with the way other badges work, and also somewhat unfair in certain cases (if 1000 people visit a question you shared, and then 30 people follow a second link you share, all that gave you was a bronze badge).

Even after these changes, the sharing badges are still rather on the rare side, but the numbers are a little more reasonable. These numbers are from our dev database (an about 1 month old copy of the Stack Overflow production DB):

                No. of badges    No. of badges    No. of users having the
                with old logic   with new logic   badge with new logic
Announcer       688              3547             1970
Booster          36               161               99
Publicist        12                80               53
  • 3
    Hey, that looks like a great idea. It will balance it up a fair bit, and maybe even encourage more people to try to go after the badge. It's still a rare badge, but I guess that's because programmers are by nature anti-social? Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 9:25
  • 2
    @CamiloMartin - by making it a one shot badge it meant that you had to pick your questions carefully to try to maximise the views over a short time so (personally) if there was any doubt I didn't share. By removing the time constraint and allowing multiple awards you can now share any question that takes your fancy and stand a chance to get the badge.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 9:30
  • 2
    @Scrooge: I don't understand that logic -- you were never punished for sharing a question that only got 10 referral views. Or am I misunderstanding you?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 9:33
  • 6
    Because you could only earn each badge once, what point was there sharing a question that you thought might not get enough views to earn the silver (or gold) version when you already had the bronze? It wasn't going to get you a second bronze. You had to find a really good question to share rather than a slow burner.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 9:37
  • @CamiloMartin this also effects the other SE, like RPG.SE where someone just got 15 badges....some of us are social! Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 13:29
  • 1
    @balpha, does this mean that logs of which IP address visited which URL are stored indefinitely? Do you store the actual IP address or a hashed version of it as Internet Archive does?
    – Nemo
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 9:33

While I generally applaud the changes to the Announcer/Booster/Publicist badges, I think that the requirement for the Booster badge (300 unique IP addresses) is still out of proportion compared to Announcer (25 IPs) and Publicist (1000 IPs). Right now, 4003 Announcer badges, 186 Booster badges and 93 Publicist badges have been awarded at SO. That is, the ratio of Announcer to Booster is about 1 to 21.5, while for Booster to Publicist it's only (exactly) 1 to 2. Therefore I suggest to tone down the requirement for the Booster badge from 300 to, say, 150 or 200 unique IP addresses.

  • Makes sense, but dunno if it's meant to scale linearly. In my oppinion it should. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 21:55
  • Made it into a question. Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 22:10

You have also the possibility to share on Twitter. I have only shared questions there, because my Facebook contacts are not interested in StackOverflow. Most of my Twitter followers probably aren't, either, but at least that makes the link potentially visible to the whole universe, and retweets could increase the number of hits.

If you are not an active Twitter/Facebook user this may be difficult, and you may not get the badge. Tough luck. So what? You may get badges dedicated to other activities. You are not supposed to get all the badges.


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