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I am presently 30 days away from earning the gold "Fanatic" badge; however, in retrospect, I feel that this badge, and the silver "Enthusiast" badge, when compared to other silver and gold badges, are far too easy to attain.

In my opinion, the difficulty of the Enthusiast badge should make it a bronze badge, not silver, and the Fanatic badge a silver, not gold. My perspective is that a gold badge should be something that takes a considerable amount of dedication, effort, and/or hard work to attain, just like all of the other gold badges.

If you look at our present numbers, there are over 64,000 people that have earned the Enthusiast badge, and well over 10,000 that have earned the gold Fanatic badge. And when you compare these numbers to many of the other silver and gold badge, the numbers just don't line up. I'm not expecting a 1:1 relationship here, but I am expecting to see a similar pattern of a low percentage of people earning the gold badge; however, in this case, there are many more people earning the gold Fanatic badge, than there are people earning many of the silver badges! It's just way to skewed IMO.

So, I have the following suggestions to remedy this:

  1. Enthusiast badge: Change from Silver to Bronze, keeping the existing requirement, "Visited the site each day for 30 consecutive days."
  2. Fanatic badge: Change from Gold to Silver, keeping the existing requirement, "Visited the site each day for 100 consecutive days."
  3. Add a new gold badge:
    1. Possible names:
      A. "Devoted"
      B. "Dedicated"
      C. "Habitual"
      D. "Zealous"
    2. Eligibility: "Visited the site each day for 365 consecutive days."

I feel that this change will put these new bronze, silver, and gold badges in alignment with many of the other badges in regards to difficulty and/or amount of effort.

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    Yeah, you say that now. When you miss a day in the final stretch you'll change your tune. – MikeTheLiar Feb 4 '14 at 21:05
  • @mikeTheLiar, While I want the gold Fanatic badge, I just want it to reflect that I put in an amount of effort that is deserving of a Gold Badge. And If I mess up, that is on me. I happily welcome challenges that are more difficult, as should we all. Cheers. – Anil Natha Feb 4 '14 at 21:11
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    I think I've seen some discussion questioning whether visiting the site every day for long periods is really behavior that we want to encourage. (Disclaimer: I've got 622 consecutive days on Stack Overflow myself, so I'm in no position to criticize.) – Keith Thompson Feb 4 '14 at 21:12
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    I rarely spend 100 days in a row with access to a computer no matter the amount of "effort" I put in SO. I find it hard to obtain as it is. :) – dee-see Feb 4 '14 at 21:16
  • @KateGregory this has nothing to do with that question. I'm talking specifically about these two participation badges. This is the second time you've suggested a post of mine is a duplicate when this and the other question was very specific, and not generalized like the questions you claimed they were a duplicate of. of course when you post the duplicate, others jump on the wagon and claim the same so it doesn't help. Cheers. – Anil Natha Feb 4 '14 at 21:19
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    @SlyRaskal that question is "enthusiast is too easy to be silver" and so is yours. As to the "second time", I wouldn't know. I don't track who asks. – Kate Gregory Feb 4 '14 at 21:30
  • @KateGregory, This is a feature request, the other was just a discussion. While I do talk about silver and gold badges, the specific context of this post is discussing participation badges and adding/changing features. To say that this is a duplicate of the post you claim it to be is completely invalid. Did you even read my post and understand the context of what I was posting, or do you just skim through something and flag based on portions of text? – Anil Natha Feb 4 '14 at 21:34
  • What would one get for 1000 days ? – Some Helpful Commenter Feb 4 '14 at 22:07
  • @AlienArrays Well put. LOL +1 – Anil Natha Feb 5 '14 at 3:14
  • I have now "earned" that badge 17 times. Consecutively. I am still waiting for my "Get a life" badge though ;) – VonC Feb 5 '14 at 15:47
  • I can't see myself ever getting Fanatic, sure I visit the site every day but guaranteed I'll miss a day at some point over a 3 and a half month period. Better for me would be a shorter time period with a requirement of some sort of good behaviour (e.g. upvoted answer), rather than just clicking on a few questions to mark yourself as in attendance that day. – OGHaza Feb 6 '14 at 11:14
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I've not received these therefore they are not trivial to earn. ;-)

On a more serious note, the silver badge has been awarded 64,300 times, and the gold badge has been awarded 10,804 times.

In contrast, the gold Famous Question badge has been awarded 114,020 times, and the silver Notable Question badge has been awarded 578,750 times.

Therefore do you also suppose that these badges are also "too easy to earn"?

But the reality is that the badges aren't meant to be hard to earn. They are meant to provide specific incentive that increases good user participation. There are a lot of things we could give badges for, but we only award badges for activities that are good for the community.

Giving someone a badge for coming every single day without fail to the site for 30 days is a big deal!

Having a person visit every day for 100 days straight is a bigger deal!

It's not easy, even for users with high rep, to make that commitment and meet the bar.

It may seem easy for you, though. Earning rep is easy for me, does that mean we should make it harder for everyone, though, just to make it more valuable to me?

Take the badge, enjoy the reward of your effort, and continue to participate in the site.

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    I actually did try at one point, but one of the problems with these badges is they use GMT for "days" so I'd either have to log in at least twice a day, or log in at exactly the same time every day to get the badge with minimum effort. If I log in most days in the morning at work, then forget and log in in the evening at home, I've lost a day even if I logged in one day in the morning, and the next day in the evening, both consecutive days and both times during daylight hours for me, but still doesn't count for Stack Exchange. Localization is hard, so they choose not to do it. – Adam Davis Feb 4 '14 at 21:28
  • I don't think it's fair to compare the Famous Question and Notable Question badges to the consecutive day visit badges because the Famous Question and the Notable badges can be earned multiple times which explains why it appears like there are so many; whereas, my understanding is that the consecutive visit badges can only be earned once. – Anil Natha Feb 5 '14 at 0:34
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While what you say makes sense, there are definitely silver and gold badges that have been attained by more people than these. Many more people have the "Famous Question" badge than have the "Fanatic" badge. So clearly some gold badges must be easier to obtain than the one in question here, if we use number of users who have the badge as an indicator.

Therefore I feel this does not need to be changed, unless we genuinely think a "365 days" badge would be a worthwhile one to have. But many users probably have trouble getting these badges as they are because they often visit the site Monday - Friday at work, and not so much on the weekends. So I think 100 days is definitely difficult enough to warrant gold status.

  • How about count of unique user's that have a famous question badge though? that would be a fairer comparison. I do agree with you though, and don't support this feature-request. – OGHaza Feb 6 '14 at 11:17

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