I think it would be neat to earn a badge for having X number of profile views. You could have different levels, for example:

    Bronze - [Renown]    - 300 views
    Silver - [Celebrity] - 1000 views
    Gold   - [Eminence]  - 3000 views

I know this really doesn't necessarily "encourage positive behavior" directly, but it is a good indicator that people are either eager to read your other questions/answers (which is likely because you've provided a thoughtful response). It could of course also be that you've offended someone for some reason. Either way, it shows you are participating in the community.

What do you think? If you agree, would you suggest any changes on the name/count/type of badges that would be awarded?

Bounty added:

I'm still interested in whether this will become a badge or not...

General consensus (thus far):

  1. Number of views should be increased
  2. Remove gold badge altogether (I didn't like the name celebrity anyway...)


    Bronze - [Renown]   - 1000 views
    Silver - [Eminence] - 3000 views

Another general problem seems to be "how does this encourage positive behavior", which I have already outlined above. It's more of a metric that shows your participation in the community through a "wow" factor (again, this could be seen as negative). Why is it even in the profile in the first place if it's a negative thing?

Any other thoughts?

  • (-1) I've detailed why in my answer.
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:18
  • 4
    Also, since my OWN views, and anon views count, it would be incredibly easy to game.
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:21
  • My own views don't count on mine
    – John Rasch
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:24
  • 2
    If you don't keep cookies around, clear cache and everything, the next time you log in, it would add one view to your profile.
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:48
  • Re-consider the thresholds, at least, as pointed out in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6578/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6578/…, etc
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 17:46
  • 1
    This is such a strange question to put a bounty on because it isn't asking for a solution to a problem. If you just really want these badges to exist for some reason, that isn't something anybody here can do for you (well, I guess Jeff could). If you want a really good reason for these badges to exist, I doubt there is one. If you want a good reason the badges shouldn't exist, I think you already have it: a badge should encourage some desirable behavior, and it's hard to imagine what concrete desirable behavior these badges encourage. Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 0:02
  • 1
    @Anton - true that, the point of the bounty was to generate views and have a little fun in the process. Whoever comes up with the most clever answer regarding this idea will likely get the rep (I like RSolberg's answer the best so far). Why does there need to be a "good" reason for badges? For example, [Tumbleweed]... and what defines "good"? Isn't this "good enough?"
    – John Rasch
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 3:41
  • @John: If somebody is awarded a badge, it should be because they are doing something right, whether it be learning to use the features of SO, actively participating, or posting a very successful question or answer. To answer RSolberg's question, a big purpose of the badges is to make people feel good when they get them; the badge is more to reinforce positive behavior than to show other people how cool you are. I don't have a problem with there being lots of badges, so long as each of them encourages some desirable behavior. I think [Tumbleweed] is a bad badge. Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 6:05
  • Since it's declined, who gets the bounty?
    – mmyers
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 20:32
  • 1
    Consider multiplying those numbers by 10, or 0x10, or squaring them. Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 15:15
  • There are other badges like yearling which you get merely for sticking around here for over a year. This one needs more work :)
    – nawfal
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 9:01

16 Answers 16


This is an interesting idea, but in time, everyone will get the gold badge... Maybe some sort of time frame to achieve these results?

I think the bigger question that needs to be addressed is, what is the purpose of the badge. Is it just Flair? Is it a trust mechanism? is it a little of both?

We all know that reputation is a measurement of trust, but really, what the heck does a badge mean or signify?

To me, gold badges show a great question and great answer which aids the reputation score in trust, but to be honest, the rest of the badges just seem to be "flair." I think that folks try to make badges more than "flair" which is why some don't like the idea of generating new badges, but since it ultimately is just "flair" for anything below the current gold medals, what is the issue with this one?

  • 2
    Yeah, or just remove the gold altogether
    – John Rasch
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:12
  • Perhaps leave them in - there are some of us for which this might be the only gold badge :)
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:17
  • 4
    I'm torn. On the one hand, it's a gold that's awarded without doing anything. On the other hand, I'm 5 views away from a gold on SO... Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:19
  • 1
    RSolberg: You have the gold Yearling badge...I don't see how the fact that everyone will eventually get it is the problem.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:25
  • make that silver badge for yearling, my mistake.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:26
  • @John Rasch - I'm off on holiday in a couple of weeks so I'll have to start again when I get back :(
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:28
  • I managed to be in two places at once, I have a Firefox addon that automatically updates it-self. So when I was browsing SO from somewhere else, I noticed it said I was last seen 14 minutes ago. Even though I hadn't done anything online for several hours. Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 19:09
  • 2
    Given enough time, everyone will get a 1000 upvote badge for any answer they've ever given ;) Seriously though, I doubt everyone's profile will be viewed enough to get a badge if they aren't active and participating in the site.
    – womp
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 17:31
  • 2
    You are given a badge now for how many times you shared a link.. this could go along the same lines. Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 19:33

I don't really think this is relevant at all. All the guys on the top of the users page would end up with huge views. Any moderator, anyone who angers lots of people (Rich B) they would all get this badge. This wouldn't reward or recognize anyone who isn't ALREADY getting rewarded and recognized.

  • Uhoh.... I have 1000 views! doh!
    – RSolberg
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:19
  • 2
    If anything this proves that it would encourage bad behavior, to provoke others to view your profile. Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 19:10

Out of curiosity, here are the current profile views of everyone on the first page:


Out of 35 users, 15 would qualify for the gold badge.

I'm not sure if it's a good badge or not, just thought I'd mention it.

  • 1
    I wonder who has 43990</sarcasm> Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:35
  • 1
    Man, I hope you wrote a script to get these numbers
    – John Rasch
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:37
  • 12
    You just skewed the numbers by viewing them all! Unfair to EVERYONE else on the site =P
    – devinb
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:49
  • 1
    I was going to whip up a Python script to do this, actually, but I was concerned I might get flagged for too many requests in a short span and have my IP banned or something like that (I know they have checks in place, just not sure how strict they are). It didn't take that long, though, 4-5 minutes and my curiosity was satiated. :) Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:50
  • 3
    Deserves a +1 for compiling the data. For future reference, if you throttle your page requests based on response time, no one will complain. Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 19:10

I can't come up with a good justification for a viewed-profile badge to exist.

We do have viewed-question badges, but some people use their profiles as their de-facto start page for the site, which means they'd give it to themselves given enough time.

I feel there are significant differences between a question badge of this type and a profile badge of this type.

The user page view counts are mostly just informational.


This is the first step to TheTXI monetizing his profile. Bad idea.

  • 2
    Not sure how he would do that, but you do bring up an interesting metric that I overlooked, getting people to the site to see your own profile...
    – John Rasch
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 15:13
  • I lol'd
    – bananakata
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 20:02

Private badges X 4

Renown Your profile was viewed 300 times

Celebrity Your profile was viewed 1000 times

Eminence Your profile was viewed 3000 times

The best thing about private badges (as Jeff answered here) - you track it and you award it to yourself. Put it into your description area so next time it gets viewed, your badge will be at the top, immediately visible to the world.



My profile on SO has over 600 views, and I'm certainly not renowned, let alone 60% of the way to being a celebrity.

  • My thoughts exactly - I have 1260 views on SO, but could hardly be counted as a 'celebrity'. So at the very least, the thresholds should be upped.
    – Jonik
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 17:39

I think if you did a regression analysis you'd find the number of profile views was a function of two things:

  • User ranking (which would probably have exponential dropoff so take a logarithm of this); and
  • Time at that ranking.

User ranking itself may be reducible to one of the following:

  • Number of questions + answers; or
  • Views of questions + answers.

I would expect this to explain 90%+ of the views seen and you already get badges for this kind of thing. There are of course some outliers in this relationship.

  • +1 for mathematical analysis leading to practical conclusion.
    – AndrewC
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 16:52

This should be based on unique visitors (excluding anon) to your profile, not on number of views.

You know, there are a number of interesting things that could be quite easily generated with sufficient knowledge of the code...



I have to agree with devinb. Jeff has stated several times that badges are really just a way of encouraging desired behaviour. You do not however have control over who views your profile, and there is no way of finding out why someone viewed your profile. The reasons could be because you give very helpful answers, you tell people contact you with the info in your profile, or because you're a total asshole. Only one of the above is a desired behaviour (giving helpful answers) but this is already rewarded in a ton of other ways.

As an example of how the system is flawed, consider MSO. Rich B has the 5th highest number of views but many people complained about his behaviour (although personally I have no issues with what he does). Should this be rewarded? Also it seems like I have several more profile views then other users around the same rep level as me, but I don't feel like I've been more helpful than any of them so I have no idea why this is the case. This just leads me to believe that view count is a trivial statistic; it serves as a good metric to see how many people are interested in you, but doesn't really quantify any meaningful information.

  • 1
    Yup. We're not a social network we're a Q&A site; who's interested in me as a person is irrelevant.
    – AndrewC
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 16:54

People like to get badges. So with these badges it could go like this

  • How do I get people to visit my profile?
  • I know - I put a photo of a nice girl on my profile to make people interested!

Please don't add those badges.


I proposed this exact idea weeks ago here. My view estimates were much higher, however.

  • I guess that means you're on board... lol - I never saw that thread oh well - I also suppose I have to upvote that
    – John Rasch
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 18:42
  • I'm always on board with expanding the badge possibilities. It's what keeps it interesting for people that have no trouble getting rep.
    – womp
    Commented Aug 4, 2009 at 19:19

I think the view counts are too low and the badges are too high. I suggest removing the gold level and making it 1000 views for bronze and 3000 for silver.

But I don't really think this is a good badge idea anyway. Badges are awarded for useful contributions, but how do viewcounts on your profile contribute to the site?


Stack Exchange users would loose focus on high quality answers by putting effort on how to attract people to see their own profiles, example by setting women pictures as their profile avatar.

My affirmation is based on the job of some researchers of this subject, example this guy.

enter image description here

I accidentally step by there, I clicked to see his profile in a comment, where there's no picture at all =P

I don't think what this guy did is wrong, I think exactly the opposite: I thought it so funny that I decided to answer this question here (rather than upvote his posts as his suggested).

  • Not really. Surely the picture above is not that pornographic. Everyone is moderated by diamond moderators and every user itself (because they can flag instantly). And as per our content policy such users will be suspended.
    – Himanshu
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 5:48
  • @hims056 I probably used wrong terms to express myself, sorry for that. I rewrote my answer. I didn't try to mean explicity pornography, and I surely don't think this image is porn, but that picture leaded me to write my answer =P. I actually think very funny the picture and the reason it is there.
    – Math
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 17:58
  • @hims056 by the way, I read most of the answers and I Ctrl+Fed women here and didn't find anything, but calmly now I realized my answer is a kind of duplicate =(
    – Math
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 18:02
  • Although Juergen already talks about this, it's a curious experiment Log1c is running ;)
    – brasofilo
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 19:39

I do not think that a person that have many profile views deserves a badge.

For me, a badge is a earning that you got answering good questions or helping many people or being a nice user here on Stack Overflow.

Badges makes you aim for that, and why would you aim for profile views? Will this improve the site quality?


My Suggestion,

Bronze - [Renown]    - 500 views
Silver - [Celebrity] - 3000 views
Gold   - [Eminence]  - 10000 views

Otherwise, the Gold badge 'Eminence' will become a common one in many profiles.

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