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Lower the required upvotes for badges in “small” (framework/tools) tags

Currently to obtain bronze technology badge, one needs to gather 100 up votes. To obtain silver and gold one need to gather 400 and 1000 up votes respectively.

The issue is, for less popular tag it is pretty hard to even think of getting bronze badge - it seems like gold one. That is just because the questions won't attract large number of people, so the answer might be insightful and valuable but still could end up with no up vote (but be accepted).

What do you think? I would suggest that for mature tags (existing for more than one year) the number of up votes to gain tag-related badge should depend on a traffic. For large tags like Java or C# 100 up votes seem just too easy to get, so maybe the number should be sufficiently larger and for tags like extjs with less than 2% of their traffic, 100 up votes is pretty hard to get.
So maybe 50 for bronze badge, 100 for silver and 250 for gold would give a clearer picture of user's competency in the subject.


2 Answers 2


Note that while it takes longer to get the badge (because there are fewer votes) you also have less competition for getting the votes. This helps mitigate the problem, in my opinion.

Taken to the extreme, this also might cause a bit of gaming of the system. Nefarious users might create questions with seldom-used tags in order to increase their badges. (This 'gaming' argument is a weak one, however.)

Edit: Oh, and one more point: if a tag/technology is seldom-used, that indicates that it's not that interesting to the majority of the SO population. Why should we encourage the growth of an otherwise-niche technology?

  • 2
    Very weak. Seldom-used tags don't attract many eyeballs, and so don't get a lot of votes up. Gaming the system (i.e., getting lots of rep for little contribution effort) is easier when you're using popular tags. Commented Apr 16, 2011 at 8:28
  • @Donal My point was that if we changed it to make it easier to get badges in seldom-used tags (in the extreme, only 1 vote needed for bronze in a first-time used badge), then people would be encouraged to create one-off badges instead of using standard ones.
    – Phrogz
    Commented Apr 16, 2011 at 13:00

I think the way it works now encourages those in the lesser tags (like myself) to work harder at it, thereby helping grow the tag.

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