Not long ago, we gave folks that have a gold tag badge the ability to instantly mark a question as a duplicate of another. This has worked out exceptionally well in practice. While there have been some disputed closings, the process is completely transparent and community oversight has worked just as everyone expected. These abilities have allowed people very vested in their tags to just take care of them, and I wonder why we didn't try it sooner.
Preface - nothing is currently planned, I'm just hoping to get some feedback and ideas.
I want to extend the concept of badge-based privileges to the silver level, and the best opportunity to do that is to once again look at tag badges. While they aren't extraordinarily difficult to earn, silver tag badges typically indicate that you've got more than a bit of knowledge to share in the topic, have spent quite a bit of time on the site sharing it, and know the content in your tag reasonably well. In fact, let's look at the criteria:
You must have a total score of 400 in at least 80 non-community wiki answers
Giving these folks extra privileges, or advance access to standard privileges within the tags where they have these badges seems like a good idea. Initially, I thought of the tag wiki system - wouldn't it be great to show more folks that those exist by suddenly telling them that they have magical powers within them? Well, as it turns out, if you've got silver badges, you already have these abilities from rep alone.
So, silver-badge holders - what would make your time on the site more productive than it currently is if you had access to it? There are some things I'd like to avoid:
'Extra weights' in current privileges. E.g. having your vote count as two instead of one. This is way too difficult to implement, and way too complicated to explain to someone new.
Short-circuiting of community oversight. E.g. being able to instantly approve tag synonyms where you have a silver badge in one of the tags. Mistakes here could be costly, and not surface for quite a while. Some things simply need a few keys turned in order to happen.
The real beauty of the gold badge privilege is that it sort of just turns itself on when a site needs it the most. By the time you have a dozen people with gold tag badges, you've probably got your fair share of duplicates to manage as well.
I've had a diamond next to my name since early 2011. While I'm well aware of what privileges get unlocked at what level, it's nearly impossible for me to just use the site as someone that has a few of these. While I don't see much opportunity to extend this to the bronze level, I really think we could do something at the silver level, I just wish I could put my finger on it.
How could we make keeping this place awesome easier for you in that way?