I was just thinking about a Gold badge for voting. Maybe Voter or Super Voter or a different name to that.

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    Let's call it "Electorate"! – Dave DeLong Mar 3 '11 at 7:28

I don't like the idea. It sounds like something which would either encourage people to use up all their votes every day, whether or not they actually had an opinion on posts, or which all long-standing users with normal patterns would get eventually anyway.


Voting is definitely important.


We already have Suffrage, Civic Duty, Sportsmanship and Electorate badges for voting, though. That should suffice.

Beyond that, there is a new tab "Top Voters" on the users page, which does highlight members of the community who are active voters.

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    The top voters tab is a very cool addition. Kudos to the team on the whole new user page. – squillman Mar 3 '11 at 14:16

I believe that another badge for voting should be considered, but I have doubts that the badges alter user behavior much.

Physics has been around for 5 or 6 months. The 200 reputation cap (6000 per month) implies that we should be seeing a substantial number of users above 10,000 but instead, at the moment, there is only one at 18,000 (the only member who has achieved the "epic" badge which requires 50 days of reputation cap), with every other user below 7000.

At the moment, I've got the maximum vote count at the physics website with 2240 votes. I've been a member for only 3 months. The number two voter has been there 5 months but is far behind at 1534 votes. This is ridiculous. There are 2335 physics questions many with multiple answers and the majority of the subjects are quite elementary. Voting totals should be much larger.

The purpose of badges is to modify the behavior of the participants in such a way as to improve the site. The problem with the voting badges that we have is that they are very easily achieved. The "electorate" badge needs 600 votes which one can achieve after only 20 days. The "civic duty" badge needs only 300 votes this is 10 days effort. One can obtain "Sportsmanship" with 100 votes or 4 days effort (but so far I'm the only one to do this on physics). "Suffrage" needs 30 votes and comes in a single day. The last two, "Critic" and "Supporter" require only a single vote.

How did I end up voting so much? At first it was just to get the badges. After a while you get into the habit of voting a lot and you keep up the habit. As the largest voter at physics, I think my experience is useful as a guide.

So I'm guessing that a badge for making a particularly large number of votes will be useful in modifying user behavior. It should be gold, and rewarded at something like 90 days of continuous maximum count voting. That would be around 90 x 30 = 2700, so maybe 2500 votes or so.

The effect of this change will be that a small number of users will decide to earn the badge. Then, by the time they've voted 2500 times, their habits will be ingrained and you will have more votes going by.

  • I think you're being too demanding. You've voted on roughly 25% of all the posts on Physics. Many people don't read that many, let alone understand the topic enough to judge! (And that's coming from someone who's voted on ~30% of the posts on one site and ~20% on another. For me the badges were never a consideration.) I don't see how yet another badge would help — if you don't get into the habit of voting by the time you get Civic Duty, you probably never will. The top voters tab is nice on the other hand, as it shows who's been actively reading (and voting on) posts recently. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 18 '11 at 21:06
  • @Gilles; I think you're probably right. By the time I'd finished typing the above comment I was thinking something like this. The basic problem there is an insufficient number of questions. – Carl Brannen Apr 18 '11 at 21:55

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