Participation Badges:

Silver  Enthusiast    Visited the site each day for 30 consecutive days   56.9k awarded
Bronze  Mortarboard   Earned at least 200 reputation in a single day      15.4k awarded 

It would seem that earning Enthusiast requires almost no effort while Mortarboard is highly non-trivial. This appears to be reflected in the award count (almost 4:1 in favor of enthusiasts).

So, why is the first one silver and the second one bronze?

(A similar question can be asked about Epic vs Fanatic and probably many other).

  • 3
    Not everybody had the same internet access back then
    – hjpotter92
    Oct 18, 2013 at 18:14
  • 1
    @hjpotter92 What do you mean 'back then'? It was just a few years ago. Oct 18, 2013 at 18:17
  • 7
    I'd argue that people just underestimate how easy Mortarboard really is to earn. You can earn it in a single day, even your very first day as a member. Enthusiast takes a minimum of 30 days. I wouldn't say the number of awards is relevant to how easy those badges are, but more to how eager users are to earn them.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Oct 18, 2013 at 18:20
  • 1
    Because the people who decide these things tend to be regular visitors themselves. Oct 18, 2013 at 18:22
  • 9
    @animuson I would additionally argue that people overestimate how easy Enthusiast is to earn. Miss just one day... Oct 18, 2013 at 18:23
  • 1
    For the record, I was an active member for over two years before earning the Enthusiast badge. On the other hand, I earned the Mortarboard badge within my first week. (well, technically I earned neither of these badges and no reputation for my first several months, but I wasn't really active during that point -- just had an account). Andrew Barber is right -- I kept missing just one day.
    – Ben Lee
    Oct 19, 2013 at 0:25
  • @AndrewBarber: come on - a wget cron job will do that for you ;-)
    – sds
    Oct 27, 2013 at 1:40
  • As noted before; if someone wants to go to the trouble to get that to work, they probably deserve the badge. It's fairly easy to do it - but not as easy as most people think. Oct 27, 2013 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


Badges should encourage good behaviour.

Coming back every day is more important for the site than hitting 200 rep on a single day.

  • 7
    more ad revenue. Oct 18, 2013 at 18:23
  • 7
    @ChrisGerken haha! Yes; and getting lots of rep can reduce that (when you reach the level to reduce ads!) ;-) Oct 18, 2013 at 18:24

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