The unsung hero badge has gained a ton of popularity.

So I decided to run some stats and try to find the real unsung heros on Stack Overflow.

I basically created a query that counts how many zero score accepted answers a user has (excluding self accept) and compares it to the total accepted answers (excluding self accept), ordering by the ratio, for all users with more than 10 zero score answers.

Quite a mouthful ... I know ... but its a very interesting list: https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/74657/the-true-unsung-heros

And then I got thinking perhaps we should simply do a once off silver badge for all the users that have more than N zero score answers with a ratio Y or higher.

In general high rep users get plenty of upvotes for their answers, its just that they post so many that quite a few have zero score, I am not convinced they really need a badge for this.

However lots of the users in the list I posted, put in tons of effort and are truly unsung heros.

  • Interesting, there are quite some familiar and valuable users (i.e. regularly posting high-quality answers) in there. Apparently i have a 10% ratio, weird. – Georg Fritzsche Jul 8 '10 at 2:09
  • According to your query Jeff is THE unsung hero of Meta. – squillman Jul 8 '10 at 2:14
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    @squillman he is the only one with 10 zero score answers, but his ratio is quite good. Its way too hard to get 10 zero score answers on Meta. A simple edit that adds the word "waffles" gives you an automatic +5 :) – waffles Jul 8 '10 at 2:29
  • @waffles: what would you consider a high ratio? like 3chars, 10% (28/284) of my answers that have been accepted have no score. I should try that waffles trick... – Andy E Jul 8 '10 at 8:22
  • +1 because i'm on the list. W000000000t. – slugster Jul 8 '10 at 9:48
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    Can't we just go look at these accepted zero voted answers and upvote the good ones? – C. Ross Jul 8 '10 at 13:47
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    @C.Ross: Feel free to do so (and start with me :). The fact is that this doesn't happen. – Pascal Thivent Jul 8 '10 at 14:09
  • @C.Ross: Who would have the time to go through all these? – Georg Fritzsche Jul 9 '10 at 3:07
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    @waffles, it really should have been for zero or one vote, since many times the OP will upvote the accepted answer. – Lance Roberts Jul 13 '10 at 16:01

Unfortunately, there are two ways to get a zero-vote accepted answer: do something obscure, and do something wrong. The ones I've seen have generally been wrong. I dislike a badge that's likely to reward posting wrong answers.

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    You missed "do something late". Attention spans are short at SO. That doesn't make it a bad answer. – Uphill Luge Jul 8 '10 at 19:55
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    Looking through the list I noticed the people there are in fact doing obscure stuff, like being really active in flex or sifr. I think the odds of you getting zero-vote accepted answers consistently for wrong answers is really unlikely as the community is in general more vigilant to downvote incorrect accepted answers. – waffles Jul 9 '10 at 4:18

The problem with this is that badges are immutable. Once you earn one, you have it as long as the site exists. I may answer something with what I think was a correct answer that garnished no votes, however there is a chance that my zero score accepted answer may be wrong, and later might be down-voted.

Then the question that Kinopiko asked comes into play. Did the OP not up-vote you because they did not understand the system, or was it "thanks, that worked, but that is sure an ugly kludge!". That was indeed the case on a bounty that I answered.

Now, there is a chance that a zero score answer was correct when it was posted, just not 'today'. So I'd be in favor of the badge if it were:

(XX) accepted answers with zero up-votes and no down-votes for XX [days/months]

Rare knowledge is often unrewarded, it would be nice to see some version of this idea put in play - I'd be more for a slightly different implementation.

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    That should be pretty easy to amend, only look at accepted answers with a creationdate of today - N days – waffles Jul 8 '10 at 10:40

What about downvoted accepted answers?

  • The problem is badges aren't taken away, and that answer might not be the accepted one for long. – Tim Post Jul 8 '10 at 10:29
  • @Tim: Answers accepted in the last N days could simply not be considered. – Georg Fritzsche Jul 9 '10 at 3:30

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