I'd like to suggest renaming the fanatic badge to something with a more positive connotation. I'm taking regular days off SO just to avoid it (which is hard, as I have to be careful about what Google hits I click). As I know badges are there to support a certain behavior (visiting SO in this case), I feel that at least for me, the naming of that badge has the opposite effect.

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    fanatic has a negative connotation? really? sounds like a personal problem. Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 15:49
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    @~quack: Let me quote from the Wikipedia article on fanaticism: Philosopher George Santayana defines fanaticism as "redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim"; according to Winston Churchill, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". By either description the fanatic displays very strict standards and little tolerance for contrary ideas or opinions. - I don't see how that could or should have anything to do with visiting SO frequently. Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 15:54
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    "have to be careful about what Google hits I click" -- why don't you just log out for a day when the 100th comes close?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 17:54
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    @Fabian: The dictionary defines fanatic as: "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion <they're fanatic about politics>". I'd say that's spot on.
    – Zypher
    Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 20:48
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    @Fabian: i'm aware of the (many) negative connotations of fanaticism among devotees of various ideologies. but here in the context of SOFU, it's not so much negative as self-deprecating. Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 21:24
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    @balpha: The problem is I have to remember to log out on all machines (home, office, bathroom, ...). Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 21:48
  • Just staying logged in isn't enough to count; you have to be active on the site in some way. So, just remember to concentrate on not doing anything for a couple days every three months or so, and you'll be safe from the dreaded charge of fanaticism. Commented Feb 8, 2010 at 2:53
  • @Jonathan: Well that's exactly what I'm doing and what I described. Commented Feb 8, 2010 at 8:26
  • "A person motivated by irrational enthusiasm" - methinks that's more it
    – bobobobo
    Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 1:18
  • Bathroom machine? Wow
    – Szymon
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 13:25
  • Lets not forget cultural interpretation of the word (English is one thing, then there are the other languages/cultures..). I'm not bothered by it, but IF it should get to a point of renaming it, how about devoted ?..
    – epistemex
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 3:19

6 Answers 6


I guess this just goes to show that you can't please all of the people all of the time.

For me, 'fanatic' seems a perfectly accurate description of anyone who is present on 100 consecutive days on any of the StackOverflow sites (and yes, I have a Fanatic badge for StackOverflow; and yes, I'm proud of it; and no, I don't want it renamed; and yes I was livid when my vacation in obscure corners of darkest England meant that my sequence was broken at somewhere around day 90 and I had to start over).

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    I wonder if that was more or less livid than my good lady wife was when I suggested taking the mobile data dongle with us to Snowdon... Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 21:07

Wow. There's people here who actually cried on the 98th or 99th day if they missed logging in for this badge... I got mine on meta on 2010-01 (New Year's Eve still in my timezone) and thought it was a great present.

Still, you're right, the definitions of "fanatic" are largely negative. How about "Connoisseur" as a replacement? It invokes the image of a person who is sophisticated and distinguished, rather than someone who might be a raving lunatic.

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    +1 for the 'people who cried' and -1 for the connoisseur suggestion; so I didn't vote. Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 20:47

Of course it is negative. You are spending 100 consecutive days on a geek-site. Get some holidays in!

  • Yeah, I'll do that - in fact, that's my current solution. However, I don't think this badge or badges in general are intended to keep people away. Commented Feb 8, 2010 at 0:09

It should just be shortened to "Fan" maybe? While Fan is just short for Fanatic, nowadays the words have two different meanings, with the former being associated with Supporters of Sports Teams and the latter being associated with Supporters of Explosives.

We already have a Supporter Badge, so that name is taken. Groupie would be another name for Die-Hard-Fans I guess, but it's not entirely positive either.


Websters: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion

MacMillan: someone who has very strong religious or political beliefs that often make them behave in an unreasonable way

Collins: a person whose enthusiasm or zeal for something is extreme or beyond normal limits

AHD: A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.

Times change. So does the language.

This proposal is in BAD need of revival!

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    I think both Websters, Collins and AHDs definitions are spot on.
    – user213634
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 12:29
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    Both? I count 3 in there! Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 13:05

To add a suggestion for an alternative name independently of the general suggestion of renaming the badge, I'd like to suggest hard-working here (both in the sense of working hard at SO and not always working hard at work, as discussed in Podcast #82).

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    i really don't see "hard-working" as synonymous with "visits the site often". maybe it's just me. Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 15:50
  • @~quack Yeah perhaps the first meaning is a bit euphemistic and the second one pointlessly ironic, in particular without the discussion from the podcast (where Joel suggested that not getting sidetracked too easily during boring work is in a way the definition of working hard). Commented Feb 7, 2010 at 16:18

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