Possible Duplicates:
Make recent activity “today” etc. buttons based on user's time zone
Change the definiton of a “day” to be localized for users

For instance, I was so close to getting the Mortarboard badge (Yes, this would be an accomplishment for me) with 173 points earned, but then 8:00pm hit and my day was done! Stupid me, I should have started at 8:00pm the previous day... seriously a rough way to find out how days work on here.

Wouldn't it be better if this was based on the user's timezone? I'm in New Jersey and I'd love it if my days went to 12:00am my time...

If this isn't possible on a user basis, I vote to make the official timezone of SO the following:

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) of the Western Hemisphere—also known as North American Eastern Standard Time (NAEST)


Not seriously suggesting ET as the official time, just suggesting that I think it may be possible to do this on a user basis.

  • To the user that downvoted, can you please state your reason so I can update my question accordingly. This is my first post on meta and I haven't spent enough time here to properly gauge this community's expectations for questions. Thanks! Jun 23, 2011 at 1:32
  • 10
    Votes on meta work differently than they do on the other sites. Here, downvotes can mean "I disagree with your proposal". Jun 23, 2011 at 1:37
  • @Michael - Thanks for the clarification. Makes a lot more sense. Jun 23, 2011 at 1:46
  • @Jon Seigel - similar, but he just wants his activity to function based on today, not the actual functions of the site. Jun 23, 2011 at 1:49
  • @Jon Seigel - Yep this is a duplicate. Feel free to flag for deletion. Jun 23, 2011 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


It probably should be clearly spelled out in the FAQ yes.

But changing the timezone? The only justification for this would be an "unfair" advantage/disadvantage in gaining reputations points/badges. And that my friend is not what Stackoverflow & related are really about. Don't get the "Games-Mania" (as Merlin referred to it in TH White's most excellent and most offtopic book).


Time goes by UTC, not the time in London.

Using UTC is as fair as anything. Our traffic is world-wide. No matter what timezone we use, not everyone will live in it. What about everyone in Europe or Asia?

Basing it on the user's timezone makes things much more complex and easier to game.

  • You could always put penalties for changing your timezone. Resetting consecutive days, losing reputation points, whatever. Jun 23, 2011 at 1:34
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    Sounds like a lot of work for not much benefit, @Brandon. Jun 23, 2011 at 1:35
  • @Michael - true a lot of work, but the user's natural inclination is to think in terms of their own timezone. So at the very least, this information should be placed in the faq section. Quick search on stackoverflow.com/faq yields nothing about "UTC" or "timezone" Jun 23, 2011 at 1:59
  • @BrandonBoone - Normal users may be easily confused by this. PROGRAMMERS hopefully are familiar with the perils of timezone calculations.
    – JNK
    Sep 27, 2011 at 15:03
  • @BrandonBoone forget penalties--it's already gameable with a script that visits each day. Just do something like: count consecutive days as the maximum consecutive days for any single possible timezone, so that skipping either 48 hours or different periods on different days that are mutually exclusive ends the consecutive count. Visiting on X consecutive days in any timezone is equally hard, so no gaming here and it would be very intuitive. OR geoIP the user's last 5 visits and choose the mode. Only update if geoIP different for >30 days. Sep 27, 2011 at 15:19
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    @JNK there are kind of a lot more SE sites now. In case you didn't notice all those pretty coloured squares in the footer below. Sep 27, 2011 at 15:28
  • @JNK - I'm a programmer, but if my bank told me my paycheck wouldn't be available until tomorrow because of my timezone, and that as a programmer I should understand the "perils..." I think I'd have a problem. Sep 28, 2011 at 19:49
  • @BrandonBoone - that's a completely inappropriate analogy. Does your bank incentivize activity happening on a regular basis? Is your bank a free online service that caters to an international community? This is more akin to your bank limiting your withdrawals to $1000 a day and you drive to another time zone to force a date change.
    – JNK
    Sep 28, 2011 at 20:03
  • @JNK - perhaps (though I have seen transactional incentives, and international businessmen/travelers get around somehow), but to your previous point we are PROGRAMMERS. Don't we get the most satisfaction out of solving the hard/thought provoking problems? Now, I've already conceeded the point that this is a LOT of work for little benefit to us (Programmers), but the more powerful argument I think comes from eMansipater as he argues that the StackExchange engine caters to more than just the technical community. Sep 29, 2011 at 2:28

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