I have noticed and thought previously that the Illuminator badge is too hard to earn.
Some "basic" stats from the top main sites based on activity, traffic and total users and questions:
- Stack Overflow: 35 awarded
- Mathematics: 7 awarded
- Superuser: 1 awarded
- 0 awarded on: Code Review; Programmers; Arqade; Serverfault; Ask
- 0 awarded on: Stack Overflow; Mathematics; Superuser; MSE; Code
Review; Programmers; Arqade; Serverfault; Ask Ubuntu;
Should it be changed?
I think it's obvious based on the above stats that it's "too hard" to earn.
I don't think it's accurate to state "it's just very exclusive" because it's not - exclusive would be at least a handful on each of the main sites.
As it is, it's rarer than rocking horse sh...ampoo.
However, there are a few problems with lowering the threshold (or changing any badge).
- It's a bit unfair on the users who have already earned it, because
they have quite likely worked very hard over many months (probs
years) to earn the badge. It devalues what they had already earned.
- People might be working towards earning it now, and it would be
annoying having months of work for nothing as they're already past
whatever threshold we lower it to.
- Changing the threshold means we potentially suddenly give a load
of users a badge. Whether this a problem or not I'm not sure, but
I'm sure there'll be some negative or problematic issue - at least
it's worth mentioning/debating.
- Such a badge should be hard to get, otherwise users could perform
poor/trivial edits on questions and/or poor answers just to get the
badge. Not everyone will, but badges are supposed to encourage good
actions, not risk bringing about negative actions to the sites.
It seems it's barely earned even looking at the top sites in the network and their Metas.
Stack Overflow has had great potential for users to have earned this:
- 4.6 million users to earn it
- 10 million questions to edit
- 7 years to earn it over
But only 35 awarded!
Heck, on Stack Overflow there's only 1k users earned refiner, and that's a tenth of the requirement of the Illuminator badge - only 50 edit and answer vs 500!
My conclusion given both the stats and problems with changing it is: not change it.
It is arguably "too" hard to earn, but lowering it will cause too much flack.