Of the 3797 badges present in the data dump, only 2982 were issued with the creation date of 2008-09-23. Since the beta badges were issued, people have been earning them in trickles.

Should the beta badge awarding be locked?

  • 1
    Thanks. I was really trying to be funny here, but it has not gone done well with some SOpedians... Commented Jun 28, 2009 at 12:11
  • Sorry was this humor? Someone described humor as being able to laugh at other people's misfortune. I now no longer have my prized Beta badge. Someone is probably laughing about that, but it's not me. Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 0:34
  • 2
    Yes, humor. No, I'm not laughing at your 'misfortune', but rather having fun with the language in both my question and answer posts. Besides, you didn't deserve a beta badge! (As noted, you never posted a question or answer during the beta.) So, stop your bitching and move on. Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 20:03

5 Answers 5


Yes! The sanctity of the Beta Badge is sullied! Stop this badge inflation now!

An example user 155. He didn't rank a beta badge until very recent activity (mid-June), when he was awarded a beta badge!

Sign up in early September, answer almost nothing...leave for six months, and when you return to a production site and start posting again, you still get the Beta badge!

This means that over 1000 badges have been awarded to folks who where not active enough during the beta period to earn one, like us Original Hardcore 2982 SOpedians.

2982 forever!

  • 4
    I agree totally. If you signed up during the beta and did nothing, then you did not help with the beta at all and shouldn't get the badge! 2982 for life. Commented Jun 28, 2009 at 12:41
  • 5
    I read this as "Boohoo! Someone got a meaningless arrangement of electrons in computer that I got too. I am offended. Please send out all badges as hard copy certificates in future. My resume sucks without them." Just kidding ;) I don't have a beta badge and won't ever get one. Cherish yours and know that to you, it means something.
    – Jeff Yates
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 14:06
  • 6
    @Jeff Yates: You don't have a Beta Badge? Loser!!! To comfort myself against this topics injustice, I went down to my local statue artisans and had them make me up a 420g silver medallion with the words 'Stack Overflow' and 'Original 2982 Forever' around the rim, a big 'BETA' in the center, purple velvet ribbon, and an LCD display of my current SO flair on the back. It beeps every time some reads my profile. I sleep with it every night. Mmmmm...... Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 17:35
  • 7
    that's not weird at all. Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 11:56
  • @StuThompson yes, yes I can quite believe you do have a beeping medallion, that you sleep with and keeps you awake all night, the chronic sleep deprivation would explain much ;) hahahahha hm, glad u got yr cyber badge, fixed in concrete and all that.. congrats, pat on the back and all... cough cough
    – user310756
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 15:39

criteria for Stack Overflow / Super User / Server Fault beta badges

  • member before private beta ended
  • earned 3 bronze badges on or before 9-15-2008 (date private beta ended)

(please note, these rules do NOT apply to SE 2.0 beta badges)

I don't really have a problem with users earning it later. They did sign up during the beta.

I had a change of heart on this, and ruled out earning the beta badge after the beta period is over, as it did seem a little unfair to those who were really active during the beta. I made adjustments on SO and SF to reflect that.

  • 6
    They did sign up during the beta, but they didn't "Actively participated in the Stack Overflow private beta." like it says on the badge page stackoverflow.com/badges/30/beta Commented Jun 29, 2009 at 3:45
  • 18
    Well, they did test the sign up...
    – toast
    Commented Jul 2, 2009 at 18:45
  • What about Superuser, nobody has a badge there yet, although they would be eligible according to this?
    – Peter Smit
    Commented Jul 27, 2009 at 14:00
  • 5
    The unpredictable god has spoken! Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 12:00
  • 3
    Oh so that's what happened with all those beta badges.
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 12:07
  • 1
    +1 for the change of heart
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 12:14
  • Couldn't you have a change of heart, like, about 2 hours later? just asked the first question on Super User :-P Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 13:27
  • 2
    I do listen, eventually. Sometimes. Depending on the phase of the moon. And what these Tarot cards tell me to do. Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 13:28
  • 1
    So if we manage to rig your tarot cards...
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 14:04
  • 2
    There are now 2,618 beta badges awarded on SO, about 300 less than Stu said were awarded when the site went public. Were these accounts that were pruned for lack of activity? Or was the original number incorrect? Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 14:27
  • @Kyle: Assuming no answer from Jeff, I'll have a look at the next dump and see where the discrepancy comes from. Commented Aug 29, 2009 at 21:13
  • Interesting: as of 31 Aug, there are still only 2618 Beta badges. My guess is that the algorithm that awarded them initially with a date of '2008-09-23' (and many more subsequently with later dates) is different in some small way from the new, restrictive algorithm. The new group is ~42% of all beta period sign ups. Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 21:42
  • 1
    Are the requirements still the same on SE sites? I had three bronze badges on gamedev before the public beta began, and I didn't get Beta. Wondering if I should report it.
    – mmyers
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 17:35
  • @mmyers no, the requirements are a bit more strict now. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 18:55
  • 5
    @Jeff. Maybe you should edit your answer. To reflect the stricter requirements. At least say its not the three bronze badge rule Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 21:50

I don't really mind too much about them getting beta badges, but if that is the case then the text that is associated with the beta badge, should really be changed from

Actively participated in the Stack Overflow private beta.


Managed to get an Account during the private beta, and also, at some point, participated.


I guess it is up to Jeff, but I miss my badge.

It kind of was the only badge I cared for. I read a lot of stuff related to this site, have listen to every podcast, but I have only posted some Spolsky-question (very obvious and possibly a source for hits from Google) that my students often ask me. I think the point is that I feel a little sad to not be recognized as a long time member anymore (very low reputation).

Boohoo, I want be with the cool kids again.

  • When you are crying yourself to sleep tonight over this great loss, you can think of me!!! (And meticulously plot my demise as you peacefully drift off into...) Commented Sep 7, 2009 at 11:48
  • 2
    I couldn't agree more P-A. Rightly or wrongly I felt part of the Beta community. I answered questions, and asked questions (starting from Sep 18, 08). I did voting. I had the BETA badge for nearly a year, and I wore it with pride. Then it just arbitrarily disappears. Jeff, you know very well that people were going to have an affinity to the badge system, that's why you put it in. To have such a special badge for so long, then have it taken away leaves people feeling worthless. Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 0:02
  • 1
    Take it easy Stu. I felt wronged (still do). I complained. It did no good. Such is life. I'm over it. Life goes on. Have a nice day. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 4:41
  • @Stu I have really hard time understanding you attitude in this question. I think both Scott and I has quite sober and calm reaction. Non of us demands the badge and both us seems to be around a quite bit from time to time and just simple enjoyed to able to show that off. We are more of long time users then extremely active ones, in my case I read then listen more then I actively post stuff, and now Jeff has decided that he wants to reword the people that was more active in the beta. Fair enough, we accept that. We only raised the points that we missed our badges.
    – P-A
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 8:02
  • @P-A: Scott's reaction was sober? He spammed this entire question with angry comments. (Some have since deleted.) "Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof", as they say. Commented Sep 14, 2009 at 10:35
  • I am sorry if you feel that I did not treat you fair. And I am also the first to admit that I have not read every comment in this question so maybe you are right too. But that was not may point, my point was that I do not really understand your reaction. But I think it is time to put that behind us now. I really like stackoverflow and my guess is that you do that too and think that is enough for now, so lets move on to more important issues.
    – P-A
    Commented Sep 15, 2009 at 21:02

First, I think the Beta badge will keep to be useful in the future. When Stack Overflow 2.0 with nifty HTML5 and Web 3.0 social, semantic and 3D features will be beta-tested, the ones willing to brave the beta version instead of the safe, known SO 1.0 as you know it today will deserve a beta badge.

Second, Stu's answer to me sounds a bit like whining. So what if the guy answered only a few questions instead of racking up 000's of points? If he posted at least one answer during the beta period, he did do something, and I'd say he deserves a badge.

  • 2
    It is comedy, really. I'm really not that fussed about it. Commented Jun 28, 2009 at 9:37
  • 1
    Seriously! How can you take "The sanctity of the Beta Badge is sullied!" credibly? Commented Jun 28, 2009 at 9:38
  • 1
    Comedy?! Haven't you heard? The internet is serious business!
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 19, 2009 at 14:05
  • @Stu Thompson: Comedy? Funny, the other night I just watched a re-run of Good Morning Vietnam. Remember that part where Robin Williams character is taken off the air, and replaced by his boss?"Listen, Frenchy, let me ask you something. Do you like good food? "Oh, but of course. Uh, the French love good food." Well, then, I guess that would make you an "Eatie Gourmet." "Oh, ho, ho, ho, Lieutenant Steve." - Oh, Frenchy. - "Oh, ho, ho, Lieutenant Steve." ... Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 0:50
  • The Sanctity of the Beta Badge prevents me from responding to this. Commented Sep 9, 2009 at 20:16

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