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?
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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.
criteria for Stack Overflow / Super User / Server Fault beta badges
(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.
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.
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.