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Have Stack Exchange sites considered skill endorsement for their users?

I have seen that users get badges for the tags they used according to the upvotes they have received in the posts that use the given tag. Does it represent a skill level? Here is an example:

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Is there any way a skill can be endorsed in Stack Exchange sites?

  • What do you mean? That StackExchage declares you good at [link-to-sql]? Slightly unclear here. – Aza Jun 4 '13 at 5:58
  • FYI: users get badges for the tags based on score not upvotes. – hims056 Jun 4 '13 at 6:01
  • I assume this is what you're talking about (a LinkedIn feature)? – hammar Jun 4 '13 at 6:01
  • Well its the users who endorses others for a particular skill. – Subedi Kishor Jun 4 '13 at 6:03
  • @hammar Yes, i meant that. – Subedi Kishor Jun 4 '13 at 6:47
  • What do you mean by endorsing skills? Wiktionary: "Permission to carry out a specific skill or application in a field in which the practitioner already has a general licence." – Danubian Sailor Jun 4 '13 at 7:03
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    @KishorSubedi I found it the most annoying feature ever on Linkedin. Skill assesment based on what you actually do on the site are much better.. – Lorenzo Dematté Jun 4 '13 at 7:47
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    It doesn't accurately represent a skill level. I'm in the top 10% of asp.net users, and in the top 20% for java, .net, rails, and ruby - even though I don't speak any of these languages/platforms in any serious way. – Pëkka Jun 4 '13 at 8:10
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Is there skill endorsement in Stack Exchange sites?

No.

Have Stack Exchange sites considered skill endorsement for their users?

I can't speak for Stack Exchange, but I doubt it. In order for that endorsement to be in any way meaningful they'd need to completely change the way the sites work. The current badges for tags simply mean that you got X number of upvotes on answers for questions in that tag, but it doesn't necessarily mean your answers are good or that you actually know much about that topic; you could get no more than a single upvote on a large number of answers and still gain those badges.

A meaningful endorsement would have to come from somebody with credibility within that field, and the totally anonymous voting on the SE sites means there's no way to know who is endorsing your answers. I'm not bad at JavaScript, but if I upvoted some of your answers and you were applying for a job that required it I wouldn't advise putting that on your CV - there's simply no reason for your potential employer to care what I think about your JavaScript knowledge because they don't have a clue who I am.

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Yes, in a way it does represent a skill level based on user votes from answers to questions. If you hover over them, you'll notice they have a description:

Bronze badge: Earned 100 upvotes for at least 20 answers in the x tag

Silver badge: Earned 400 upvotes for at least 80 answers in the x tag

Gold badge: Earned 1000 upvotes for at least 200 answers in the x tag

There is no way to endorse a skill other than a user upvoting you, as far as I know. You endorse yourself by the content that you post in the form of answers. So if you want to endorse someone, upvote the answer that helped you (But don't go around upvoting all their stuff. That's a big no-no).

  • Not only upvoting but also downvoting as well. – hims056 Jun 4 '13 at 6:37
  • @hims056, I don't think downvoting someone's content would endorse them for that skill. – SomeShinyObject Jun 4 '13 at 6:49
  • Not saying to downvote. But saying tag badges are given for upvotes and downvotes. – hims056 Jun 4 '13 at 6:53
  • Oh, ok. I understand. – SomeShinyObject Jun 4 '13 at 6:56
  • @hims what? No. Tag badges are given for upvotes only. – Pëkka Jun 4 '13 at 8:36
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    @Pekka웃 - Actually there is a confusion (probably devs' fault IMO). Legends says badges are given for scores. Also full badge FAQ says it is for scores. While Badge's description and tooltip says it is for upvotes. Don't know which one is correct. – hims056 Jun 4 '13 at 8:41
  • @hims I see, but whichever way it is, it's never true that downvotes count towards getting the tag badge? Because that's how I read your comment above (probably not what you meant) – Pëkka Jun 4 '13 at 8:46
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    @Pekka웃 - I meant score (upvotes-downvotes) :) – hims056 Jun 4 '13 at 8:47
  • I thought you were talking about the critic badge. I guess that's not a tag badge though. – SomeShinyObject Jun 4 '13 at 9:01
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The existing tag badges as you showed displays the skills of the person. You achieve those by providing quality answers to questions.

What would be the benefit of adding a endorsement to skills in any other different way? That would be deviating from the SO mission to ask and get quality experts answers from the community.

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