85

I want to work towards my first gold badge on Stack Overflow and was wondering which gold badge was the most achievable.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mureinik, Monica Cellio, hat, PeterJ, PolyGeo Jan 11 at 3:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 37
    Visit for consecutive 100 days. – Somnath Muluk May 25 '12 at 13:01
  • 4
    The Marshall badge is achievable fairly quickly: meta.stackexchange.com/a/278753/300177 – Michael_B Apr 24 '16 at 12:55
  • 7
    This really is meta if you end up getting a gold flag for this question! – oli5679 Jan 5 '17 at 17:21
  • I think that the electorate gold badge is easiest to get of the gold badges. – John Militer Mar 11 '17 at 22:33
  • 2
    You have 49 gold badges now. My congratulation !!!!!!!!!!!!!! – I am the Most Stupid Person Jul 18 '17 at 4:26
  • Shouldn't this post have been migrated to (or stayed on, perhaps I should say) meta stackoverflow? – faintsignal Apr 4 '18 at 1:14
  • The Electorate badge. – Maika Sakuranomiya Mar 5 at 2:58
  • When earning a gold badge, do we get reputation ? – dallonsi Jul 23 at 10:14
78

Well, look at the list and see which one seems easiest to you.

https://stackoverflow.com/badges?tab=general&filter=gold

  1. Fanatic: All you've got to do is visit the site for 100 days (although it's still eluded me for 2 years+)
  2. Marshal: Raise 500 helpful flags
  3. Copy Editor: Edit 500 posts
  4. Electorate: Vote on 600 questions, and vote on at least one question for every three answers you vote on

All of these are nothing more than being bothered to do something. Gold badges such as Great Question and Great Answer require others to upvote the post; the above mentioned don't need any of that.

The numbers next to the badges show how many times each has been awarded. I figure the more times a badge has been awarded, the easier it is to get.

For what it's worth, the first one I got was Marshal.

  • 14
    My first was Unsung Hero - that's pretty easy to get too, if you're already answering questions ;-) – RivieraKid May 25 '12 at 12:41
  • 5
    "Electorate" is less obvious (if not harder) than it seems as you need to stay above the a 1:3 ratio between votes on questions and on answers. – Shawn Chin May 25 '12 at 12:46
  • 7
    @RivieraKid I beg to differ. Unsung hero is incredibly hard, I don't think I will ever have a chance of getting that. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 13:14
  • what is community wiki in this case? – TheFisherMan May 25 '12 at 13:23
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    @MrLister You have to get your answers accepted, but not upvoted. In some tags, that's easier than in others. In my main tags, good answers very rarely don't get upvoted. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 16:57
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    @DanielFischer, I guess I'm just.. um... "lucky" then :-) – RivieraKid May 25 '12 at 17:00
  • @RivieraKid In terms of gold badges, in terms of rep, not so much ;) – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 17:02
  • @DanielFischer I got that while I didn't know it does exist. – ott-- Dec 18 '15 at 20:57
44

I think the Electorate badge is by far the easiest to earn. All you have to do is to vote on 600 questions. You have a max of 40 votes you can use in one day. So you could earn the Electorate badge in a mere 15 days.

On contrast the Fanatic badge takes 100 days to earn and takes some discipline to make sure that you visit the site every day. For me that can be difficult. I usually seem to miss a day on the weekend.

The Marshall and Copy Editor badge could be earned fairly quickly as well. However, you have to do a lot of reviewing and you may go crazy in the process.

  • 6
    Fact is the badge is given for both upvotes and downvotes. Please do NOT put wrong data on purpose! Someone noticed your mistake and fixed it, no idea why you oppose the truth. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Apr 27 '17 at 12:26
27

The most easy gold badge is Fanatic. Just be active for 100 days in a row and you get it.

  • 7
    In a way, Copy Editor and Electorate are easier. Spend one day in Hospital or such, and for Fanatic, you're back to 0. On the other hand, if you don't have the bad luck of missing a day due to outer forces, Fanatic is really much easier to get. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '12 at 13:37
  • 2
    Fanatic badge is for fanatic computer users. Non fanatic ones sometimes go for a few days trekking or in any other way far from a connection. I see this one more as an attribute/characteristic than an achievement. – Denys Séguret May 25 '12 at 14:46
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    If you're in hospital and worried about your gold badge streak breaking... well, actually, I guess that does make you a Fanatic. – Pops May 25 '12 at 22:30
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    For both Copy Editor and Electorate you need more than 1 reputation. So you need the action of others. – Toon Krijthe May 26 '12 at 13:11
  • 4
    A Real Programmer just creates a cron job to visit the site once a day for them. – Mark Apr 25 '17 at 23:19
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Going purely by statistics (https://stackoverflow.com/help/badges), as of March 22, 2014, 125,000 users have received the Famous Question Gold Badge. That out-ranks each of the next two most common Gold Badges, Fanatic and Great Answer, ten to 1. I'd say asking a popular, solid, new question is the best bet.

Update, 5 Years Later

To support this, now looking back at my network profile, I see that while I am neither a Science Fiction nor a Fantasy fanatic, I have made a total of 4 posts on the Science Fiction and Fantasy StackExchange site and I have 1 gold badge. What is the badge? Famous Question.

Likewise, in the Ask Different StackExchange site, I have made only 5 posts and have 1 gold badge. What is the badge? Famous Question.

  • 4
    Why the down votes? If you asked, "What class is easiest to get an A in?" and the statistics showed that 200,000 people got an A in Underwater Basket Weaving whereas only 20,000 got in A in any other class, then I would say Underwater Basket Weaving is the easiest class. – Kirby Mar 24 '14 at 18:11
  • 1
    Although the most of these badges have been awarded, this badge can be awarded multiple times. It is also easy to ask solid and new questions, but the popularity of a question is a matter of luck, not skill. It also takes a lot of time for a question to get that many views. – omikes Sep 28 '17 at 2:08
  • I suppose that's true. After I posted this meta answer, without trying, I've now received 2 famous question badges, which account for 2 out of 6 of my gold badges. – Kirby Sep 28 '17 at 4:21
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    The next time you think of a good question, give it to me please! – omikes Sep 28 '17 at 8:17
  • In hindsight, you are completely right. The OP asked for the most achievable gold medal, not the fastest gold medal. +1 – omikes Oct 24 '17 at 2:21
12

Earn a gold badge in 50 days or less

Badge: Marshall

Description: Raise 500 helpful flags

Method:

This is a "moderation" badge earned by helping clean up the site from questions, answers and comments that are:

  • spam
  • rude or offensive
  • not constructive
  • obsolete
  • too chatty
  • low quality
  • ...
  • ...
  • other (textbox)

Currently, I get about 50 flags per day on Stack Overflow. The number varies based on reputation and the number of helpful flags you've raised.

How many flags do I have?

When you start out, you are allotted 10 flags per day. This number may increase to up to 100 flags per day:

  • You get one bonus flag per 2000 reputation.
  • You are awarded additional bonus flags when you flag correctly - one bonus flag for every ten net helpful flags (helpful flags minus declined flags).

source: https://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/flag-posts

One helpful way to use this flag is to eliminate "noise" in the comments, such as "Thank you" and "You're welcome". These comments are generally "not constructive" and "too chatty".

So, run a search for "You're welcome" in comments only. You'll get TONS of results. Flag away.

Plus, since you're searching for "You're welcome", you'll get the "Thank you" in a previous comment.

You'll exhaust your daily flag limit in minutes.

Let's say your flag limit is 30/day. You'll have your Gold Badge in less than three weeks.

Just be careful not to delete comments that contain valuable information. Often you'll see a comment with useful feedback ending with "Thank you". Deleting those may be unhelpful and inappropriate.

Read this post before flagging: https://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/flag-posts

Here's a tool for searching comments in Stack Overflow: http://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/edit/477136

  • 7
    "Flag away", well, please keep in mind that there are humans verifying your flag. You don't want to allocate the entire time a mod has for just useless flags. Flag something that really matters, like the loads of spam on some sites. MSE here is good for 5-10 flags a day, just for spam. – Patrick Hofman Apr 24 '16 at 13:20
  • @PatrickHofman, agreed. I thought I made that clear in my answer. I'm advocating this method as a way to contribute to the site while earning a gold badge. – Michael_B Apr 24 '16 at 13:23
  • Moderators are going to hate you and I know cases where users were flag-banned because they used naive queries like yours to flag comments and/or posts. Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/280546/… – rene Jun 23 '16 at 21:35
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    @rene, the flagging tool specifically targets comments that are too chatty or not constructive. By removing these unnecessary messages, including "Thank you" and "You're welcome", I think we're cleaning up the site and making posts more efficient, without violating even the spirit of any guidelines. – Michael_B Jun 23 '16 at 21:40
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    There's no point in earning a gold badge at the expense of the site / moderators. I believe my suggestion is helpful and a win / win. Also, for somebody like me, who likes to read a post from top to bottom (including comments), having useless chatter removed is appreciated. – Michael_B Jun 23 '16 at 21:47
8

I agree with @Linger, the Electorate is the easiest to earn; it was my first gold badge.

Let's compare it with Fanatic:

Fanatic

You need to visit 100 consecutive days. If you forget to visit the site on the 99th day, the counter resets to 0! Believe me, it's very frustrating :)

Electorate

You need to vote on 600 questions (up or down). Since you have a limit of 40 upvotes a day, you will need at least 15 days to get it! It's a lot less than Fanatic and don't need to be consecutive.

With this query you can track your progress. Just put your UserId in the filter.

You can find your UserId in your profile URL, for example, mine is 890890: https://stackoverflow.com/users/890890/fabriciorissetto

  • For electorate, it tells me that I have 21 days remaining. Isn't 15 minimum? – Aditya Gupta Dec 24 '18 at 12:41
  • If you forget to visit the site on the 99th day, you will end up losing one shoe and the chariot will turn back to a pumpkin, and you will have no way to get back to Stack Exchange. Your shiny dress will also turn back into ordinary clothes. – Maika Sakuranomiya Feb 26 at 12:08
1

Reviewing posts you can easily get some of the badges including gold, and some are awarded multiple times

You can review posts here based on your reputation - https://stackoverflow.com/review

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  • 1
    Well, since reviewing is limited to 40 per day, it means you need to spend at least 25 days reviewing tons of things. It's really not easy, and also requires some initial reputation to begin with. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jun 26 '18 at 12:53
  • Yes its not easy and takes some time, but good for the people who enjoy doing reviews and post edits :). This way you can get multiple badges. – Derick Jun 27 '18 at 6:11
  • Aren't those supposed to be all checked and golden? ;-) – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 17:22
1

I think following gold badges are easy to be earned,

  1. Electorate
  2. Fanatic
  3. Steward (can be won multiple times by type of review you do)
  4. Copy editor
  5. Marshal

I feel Steward is easier than Marshal as I can review 20 posts under categories of triage, first post & late answer. So getting 1000 reviews for each categories will take 50 days to earn 3 gold badges. These categories are opened as per reputation you earn, I'm above 1000 reputations so I have access for 3 categories here.

Note: Care must be taken for reviewing mentioned in comment provided by S.L. Barth

  • 3
    Triage only exists on Stack Overflow. Also, even if one only reviews to obtain the badge.. PLEASE review carefully! The purpose of /review is quality control. To do reviews means shouldering some of the responsibility for keeping up the site's quality. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 13:27
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    @S.L.Barth I can imagine the case if I were new user and posting first post and got bad reviewers. It is of course responsibility. Perhaps they have added test cases to check whether you are paying attention or just faking it. – ray Jan 10 at 13:36
  • Correct, that is exactly why review audits were added. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 13:39
  • Please don't use code formatting for highlighting. Instead use Bold text or use links. – MEE - Reinstate Monica Jan 10 at 16:18
  • 3
    Steward might be "easy" on Stack Overflow where the pending reviews stack in thousands, but that's not the case for about 90% of other sites. – Jenayah Jan 10 at 16:44
1

Build a program that logs in with your account and visits your profile page once. Make a scheduled task or cron job that runs it once every day, forget this and come back 100 days later, you'll get a Fanatic badge on every site you have an account on, provided you coded your program correctly :)

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