Or should we in the little sites be content with fewer badges?

Many badges are directly dependent on how many users are on the site.

I am not a programmer. I don't know if it's feasible. I do know that I would be confusing to change the badge requirements every day. How about updating every three months?

Remember, I'm asking, not telling. Please be nice to me. (This is my first feature request idea)

  • 2
    Just so you know, related to this, on Betas like BCG the rep requirements for privileges are lower, so for example you can get all the 10k tools at 2k. Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 16:46
  • Yes, and I was glad to see that. Then I wondered why the badges weren't the same way...
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 16:48
  • There are over 300x more users on SO than on BCG. That is big. I don't suggest that we lower the rep requirements any more than 5x, because that's how it is, and it seems to work. But badges are still harder to get at.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 17:05
  • 1
    The privileges are set lower because it's important that some people have access to certain functionality to ensure the site continues developing smoothly. What would be the benefit of lowering the requirements for badges?
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


It's true that SO has more users than any other SE site but we have to remember that SO is not a single cohesive community. Sure, if you compare a small SE to some of the "grand ballrooms" of SO, there is a big disparity in the number of active users. But if you look at the "storage closets" of SO, you might fight the disparity reversed.

The point I'm trying to make is that there are many small essentially non-overlapping communities in SO in low-view tag areas that are exactly like the smaller SE sites. The difficulty in getting badges and earning reputation is related to how cohesive a community is, not how large the whole user base is.

There are users in SO, working primary in a few low-view tag areas, who have a much harder time earning reputation and getting badges than others do. This isn't "fair" or "unfair" but just a reflection of the size of a cohesive voting block. Mass voting is rare, vote and view based badges are infrequent and users just content themselves with the ecosystem that they have chosen.

Earning power is also related to the voting culture of the group. If 25% of the viewers vote on MSO and only 5% vote on SO, badges could be easier to earn on MSO than SO, even though there are fewer viewers.

For better or for worse, badges mean the same thing in the nooks and crannies of SO and on the smaller SE sites as they do in highly popular central core of SO. Arguments can be made for certain special cases, but I don't think scaling all badges by size of user base would be an effective way to even things out.

  • I stand answered!
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 25, 2011 at 18:47

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