I've read some of the history on the Generalist badge in these questions:

"The generalist badge should be gold" and "Badge suggestion: Polymath (gold version of Generalist)".

The arguments were made pretty well for a gold level version of Generalist (Polymath, Polyglot or Sage defined it like "Provided non-wiki answers of 75 total score in 20 of top 40 tags") in those questions and I would add the following:

  1. The definition of a gold badge:

    Gold badges recognize important contributions from members of the community. They are rarely awarded.

    The definition of a silver badge:

    Silver badges are less common than bronze ones. You'll need to plan your strategy to get one of these.

    After the Generalist tag has been around for ~4 years it has only a little over 500 people achieving it on SO. It's relatively difficult to achieve and as a silver badge says "You'll need to plan your strategy" to achieve it. You can make a pretty decent case that Generalist is one of the most difficult (if not the most) Silver badges to achieve as well as being good for the site.

  2. A gold version of Generalist would re-encourage the ~500 users who achieved a score of 15 in 20 of 40 top tags. Specifically this refers to those that just scored 15 in certain tags and moved on, it would give them incentive to go back and visit those tags more often if there were a gold badge to be earned.

Based on the responses in the two threads I posted, it seemed like people think there should be a badge like this, it just didn't seem like there was a consensus on the details back then.

My suggestion would be altering the definition to try and best balance difficulty of achievement and value to the community. Something like this:

Provided non-wiki answers of 50 total score in 20 of top 40 tags

Another possibility to add would be a requirement like "having at least 2 silver tag badges".

So the actual question is: If there was a gold version of Generalist, what should it look like and why?


To clarify my read of the situation: It appears the community has decided the original designation of Generalist as a silver badge is acceptable(explicitly by making it Silver originally some what implicitly by leaving it). My example is proposing that the gold version would be set with an equally high bar. The question I am asking is that what it should look like, why or why not?

  • That generalist badge is definitely too hard for a silver badge.. Maybe there should be an "Allrounder" badge?
    – donfuxx
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:27
  • 4
    utterly confused You seem to be summarizing both posts, saying that the current silver badge should be gold and then subsequently saying we should add a gold version of the badge. If you think the current one should be gold, then shouldn't we be discussing what we want the new silver badge to be? Try organizing your thoughts a little more so we know exactly what changes you're proposing.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 28, 2014 at 23:47
  • @animuson sorry I was trying to leave the door open to folks that thought Generalist was worthy of a Gold badge still. I added the discussion tag because I didn't think there was a clear answer for this(as evidenced by past questions in a similar vein). Does the edit at the bottom help? Or is more clarification needed?
    – MagicMan
    Mar 1, 2014 at 0:23

1 Answer 1


"Encyclopedic" Gold Badge

Could also be called "Omniscient", "Ubiquitous", "All-Around", or "Pantologist".

Here's what I would make it look like:

  • Provided at least 15 non-wiki answers (each scoring at least 2) of at least 75 total score in 30 of top 40 tags

To satisfy the "Important contributions to the site" requirement for a gold badge, I'm including the requirement of providing at least 15 non-wiki answers in each of the tags. It must include more than just one good/lucky answer that happens to score very high. Qualifying answers must each score at least 2, to prevent someone who has 1 answer worth 75 in a tag from providing 14 useless, no-score answers in that tag just to qualify.

I made the total score 75, because it is 5 times the silver "Generalist" amount, and it seems like 75 points worth of non-wiki answers in a tag is an important contribution to the site.

I increased the "20 of top 40" from "Generalist" to "30 of top 40" so that more tags would be required. I didn't increase the "40" so that we don't accidentally include more tags outside the Top 40 that wouldn't be considered for a "Generalist" Badge.

Yes, these requirements incorporate elements of other answers in the past (in questions you've linked to already) that have made similar suggestions for the requirements of a gold version of "Generalist", but I've added something new -- the requirement of at least 15 answers, each scoring at least 2, in each of the tags.

I don't think "earning n tag badges" should be a requirement. I don't think that earning any unrelated badges should be required for earning another badge.

The numbers could of course be tweaked; they are somewhat arbitrary.

All these requirements make me wonder if anyone at all would be granted such a badge on day 1 based solely on pre-existing answers.

  • "at least 15 non-wiki answers (each scoring at least 2)" - That sounds incredibly over-complicated. Given that the silver version of the badge doesn't have a minimum answer count, the gold version shouldn't either. Badges are meant to encourage positive behavior, and encouraging users to participate in other tags is the ultimate goal here. It shouldn't matter how many answers they have - we have tag badges to encourage more answers in a tag. All that matters is they're participating in these other tag areas.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Mar 1, 2014 at 4:08

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