We have nice shiny expert badges right now, which are based on the number of upvotes received in a particular tag. While that's all well and good, it does tend to bias the recipients towards those who make popular answers, not necessarily those who solve the problems of the asker. As a case in point, see the (in)famous recipients of the subjective expert badges.

Why not have another set of badges for those with many accepted answers in particular tags? This would reward people who go out of their way to help people with obscure, not-so-popular problems and are able to solve them and get the acceptance checkmark, even though the only upvote they ever get is the one from the OP.

The threshhold numbers could be lower, of course, since any given answer can only ever earn 1 acceptance.

Alternatively, I suppose you could count the acceptance vote as an additional upvote for purposes of the expert badges, but I think that could conflate the issues here and diminish the value of the expert badges already awarded.

  • 3
    Someone beat ya to it: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8482/… Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 15:32
  • Oops, I searched for "expert" not "specialist"... My bad. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 16:40
  • 1
    Technically, that request is to replace the existing specialist badges, my suggestion is to add more badges. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 16:49
  • 1
    @Adam: You are technically correct... the best kind of correct. ;) Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 18:08
  • 1
    I've already asked for this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13847/… Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 20:49
  • You are right, you did, +1 to your original suggestion, but I just want the badges, not the statistics. It seems when Jeff responded to you he got distracted and only answered with the fact "This is possible using the advanced search options." Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 20:55
  • that may well be true, my prose does tend to make people switch off mid Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 20:57
  • If you're a fan of this idea (as I am... I honestly feel that the accepted answer functionality is the real heart of this site), then you should go vote for Quinn Taylor's answer in the New Badge Ideas thread. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/102/additional-badge-ideas/…
    – womp
    Commented Sep 11, 2009 at 4:48

5 Answers 5


I think this is an excellent idea. Help out the obscure tags! A lot of answers only ever get one or two votes, even though they solve the poster's problem and are accepted, so they're certainly not highly rewarded by the reputation perspective (they often require quite a lot of work as well).

  • Agreed on all counts! Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 20:07

I think a better indicator of a user's success is the ratio of accepted answers to total answers. This could be further broken down on a tag by tag basis.

I would be more comfortable with someone who has answered 50 questions and had 25 accepted than I would someone who has answered 500 and only had 25 accepted.

But as far as actual badges awarded for hitting X and Y accepted answers on tags, I don't see a problem with it. I think it would be a fun thing to aim for, but I don't think it would be the greatest thing at judging a person's actual skill on the tags (perhaps moreso their grinding ability).

  • 3
    I think of it as an incentive to help out the poor folks with real problems that just don't have the broad-based appeal to get lots of answers. The inverse of the bikeshed principle hurts people with parochial questions, these badges could mitigate that to some degree. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 16:51

Disagree. While there are issues with the badges, as you've described, there's (IMHO) a conscious decision why they were set up that way: The answers serve not only the OP, but the community at large and -- most importantly -- future visitors. Because of that, using acceptance for those badges is, to me, shunning the community in favor of the OP.

The other issue is that there are users who simply don't accept answers. Acceptance isn't, pardon the pun, as accepted as we'd like to think it is! :)

I actually like the second idea, though, counting the acceptance of an answer as an additional upvote for purposes of badge tallying. That I could go along with. It gives a little extra weight to the OP without skewing things out of proportion.

  • 2
    @John: I am not saying that we should get rid of the exiting badges, merely that we should add more. Why not reward both behaviors? Are we really "shunning the community" by helping out questioners in obscure tags? Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 15:29
  • I missed the word "another set" in there; my apologies, yes I misread the question. Still not a huge fan of it; we have plenty of badges. The distinction seems somewhat small here.
    – John Rudy
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 15:31
  • 2
    more badges the better...as long as they are good badges.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 15:53
  • Can we get a pony badge?
    – John Rudy
    Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 16:15

If you like answering questions, I would encourage you to provide quality answers to any question that interests you. The better the answer, the more upvotes you will receive. I've certainly given upvotes for clear answers to questions that I don't necessarily even understand.

  • I tried coming up with a suitable response, but everything I can think of ends up making me look like an ass. Well played, sir. Commented Sep 10, 2009 at 20:01

I'd prefer to see this as more of a score than a badge, similar to the percent of accepted answers. I've previously suggested keeping this stat and, presumably, others on a user's profile. We even had a few ideas, though not this one, on this question. I think that the percentage of accepted answers would be an idea stat to add to the profile page.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .