Back in June Jon Ericson made the request for a new set of bronze, silver and gold badges to be added: Curious, Inquisitive and Socratic: Asking days badges.
Here are the descriptions and counts of awarded badges on Stack Overflow:
Asked a well-received question on 5 separate days, and maintained a positive question record (146.9k awarded)
Asked a well-received question on 30 separate days, and maintained a positive question record (14.9k awarded)
Asked a well-received question on 100 separate days, and maintained a positive question record (1.5k awarded)
Based on the number of users who have earned the badges already, this appears to have gone down quite well.
Why aren't there similar badges for answering questions?
The main Stack Exchange site I use is Stack Overflow, where I'm usually competent enough to find solutions to problems I have myself using Google. This puts me at a slight disadvantage, in badge terms, as it means I rarely find myself asking questions. In the 2 and a half years I've been a member of Stack Overflow, I've posted almost 1,100 answers but I've only asked 32 questions.
On Stack Overflow there's already a large disparity between the counts of Question badges and Answer badges awarded. Over 5.75 million Question badges have been given out, compared to 2.18 million Answer badges.
What I'd love is for these three badges to also be applied to Answers as well as Questions.
I don't know how accurate the formulae for handing out these three badges from Jon's proposal is compared to what was actually implemented, but assuming it hasn't changed much, the question formula is something along the lines of:
(total questions - negative questions - closed - deleted) / total questions >= 0.5
To apply this to answers, we'd only have to drop the
(total answers - negative answers - deleted) / total answers >= 0.5
If this were to include too many users, we could always add
closed back into the formula by discounting any answer posted to a now-closed question—although I figure that may be a tad unfair under some circumstances.
I guess accepted answers may also need to be thrown into the mix, but I'm not sure if an accepted answer necessarily implies a good answer—perhaps "highest voted" answer could be used instead?
((total answers + highest voted answers) - negative answers - deleted) / total answers >= 0.5
highest voted answers in this case could count answers on questions which are the only answer as long as they have a score of at least +1.
Keeping the same badge requirements, my proposed badge names for Answers would be:
Posted a well-received answer on 5 separate days, and maintained a positive answer record
Posted a well-received answer on 30 separate days, and maintained a positive answer record
Posted a well-received answer on 100 separate days, and maintained a positive answer record
One of the reasons the set of Question badges was added was to "encourage a habit of well-received questions over time", and I feel we should be doing that with answers as well.
Note: I've not used the Stack Exchange Data Explorer before, so I've not attempted to run any queries on how this would work out with existing users, but I'll have a play around with that now and see what I can come up with.