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When looking at the Linked section of an answer, it's obvious that some questions are referred to significantly more than others. This is a good thing since it keeps the content in one place. Why re-write the same thing 100 times when we can just reference it once (that's how we handle duplicates anyway).

So, to help encourage people using already written posts as references in questions/answers, I suggest a new series of badges:

  • Questions

    • Bronze - Linked Question - Question is referenced by 5 other posts
    • Silver - Cited Question - Question is referenced by 25 other posts
    • Gold - Referenced Question - Question is referenced by 100 other posts
  • Answers

    • Bronze - Linked Answer - Answer is directly referenced by 5 other posts
    • Silver - Cited Answer - Answer is directly referenced by 25 other posts
    • Gold - Referenced Answer - Answer is referenced by 100 other posts
  • Posters

    • Bronze - Linker - Reference 25 posts
    • Silver - Citation - Reference 100 posts
    • Gold - Reference - Reference 1000 posts

The exact numbers would depend on the actual raw data, but something like that to help encourage referencing content...

Now, the answer badges would be much harder to get, since it's usually the question that's referenced and not the answer, but that could be part of the challenge of it.

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  • 2
    This could be a good generalized query to reduce either first time asker's spamming the site with "my last post didn't get me an answer, I'll try again with a whole new question instead of editing" as well as a way to look-for/reduce dupes.
    – jcolebrand
    Feb 23 '11 at 14:53
  • Nice, I like it!
    – KennyCason
    Feb 23 '11 at 15:29
  • Question: Does it mean that somebody else must link your question/answer or you can link your own? I'm asking because I'm doing it quite often - example: stackoverflow.com/questions/3635071/… Feb 23 '11 at 17:49
  • @Lad: That's up for debate. On one hand people should be encouraged to reference their own good posts. On the other hand, that makes the system easy to game. So I could see it going either way...
    – ircmaxell
    Feb 23 '11 at 18:35
  • You could require that the comment or answer that contains the link has at least one upvote - this would prevent (reward for) endless pastings of the same links in unrelated questions. Mar 25 '11 at 19:19
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I like the idea in principle, but I do have an issue here:

Now, the answer badges would be much harder to get, since it's usually the question that's referenced and not the answer, but that could be part of the challenge of it.

Usually the question is referenced, but it's referenced because it has good answers. I don't see the value in rewarding someone for having good answers on their question, since that doesn't necessarily correlate with the question being asked well. Perhaps just the "Posters" set of badges is needed?

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  • True, however that poses another issue. In a question such as this one or this one, should all answers benefit from the fact that a few of the answers are popular? Based upon that, should only the top few answers get the badge? Or have an upvote cutoff (+2 for example)? And what about the case when a question is referenced because it's really a good or common question, shouldn't the asker be rewarded as well?
    – ircmaxell
    Feb 23 '11 at 15:30
  • Yeah, I edited to clarify that I meant "Too random, scrap this part entirely." :)
    – TCPMAN.EXE
    Feb 23 '11 at 15:35

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