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I don't know if this is the right meta for this discussion or not, but as it might relate to some other folks with strong Sabbath-keeping beliefs, I thought I'd start it here.

I just obtained the Enthusiast silver badge for logging in for 30 straight days. On C.SE, this is no issue with respect to my beliefs, because I regard what I do on C.SE as in concert with Sabbath-keeping. However, C.SE is the only SE site that I can, in good conscience, log into on the Sabbath. All the others are work-related, to my mind, such that I cannot log into them on the Sabbath. Therefore, the Enthusiast and Fanatic badges are currently unavailable to me on any other SE site. I like SE, and I view the acquisition of these badges as a vote of confidence in SE sites.

I propose a modification to the Enthusiast and Fanatic badges as follows, in order to accommodate folks like me: these two badges still require 30 and 100 "consecutive" logins, but those logins can be interrupted by a regular, one-day-in-seven day with no login. The "regular" nature of the interruption would be necessary, I think, to preserve the respect due to the badge, and also because the vast majority of people would celebrate the Sabbath on the same day each week. So this could be an option somewhere in your settings, perhaps, so that you could specify which day of the seven you're not going to log in. And it's not that SE would prevent you from logging in - it just means that the "consecutive day" counter wouldn't reset on that day.

I recognize that this might mean a significant modification to the SE software, but it would make the software more meaningful to me, at least, and I think to others as well.

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    You're in a time zone where you can do this. Just log in on Saturday night, and again on Monday morning, you should not miss a day. days are determined by the UTC clock which starts at 7pm in your time zone. – wax eagle Jul 22 '13 at 15:27
  • I'll give that a shot. I doubt that'll help everyone, though. – Adrian Keister Jul 22 '13 at 15:38
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    No. It definitely won't. Technically this would belong on meta stack overflow as it's a multi-site change, but I'm not entirely sure it would do well there and I'd rather save you the trouble of getting downvoted to oblivion. – wax eagle Jul 22 '13 at 15:54
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    Yeah, I think you're right about not going to meta stack overflow. I don't think people would understand. – Adrian Keister Jul 22 '13 at 16:27
  • you should take up Gardening & Landscaping! – Peter Turner Jul 22 '13 at 17:26
  • @waxeagle: I'm kind of disappointed that my consecutive day counter reset on all my SE sites. I logged in on Saturday night, and again this morning, but they were all reset. – Adrian Keister Aug 19 '13 at 15:37
  • @AdrianKeister had the UTC day rolled over to Sunday when you logged in Saturday night? – wax eagle Aug 19 '13 at 15:49
  • Well, I'm UTC-6, so I'd have had to log in after 6pm, right? I definitely did that. – Adrian Keister Aug 19 '13 at 19:14
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The same suggestion came up on our sister site, Mi Yodeya (Judaism.SE), in 2011.

Can we get our own custom Enthusiast and Fanatic badge?

The consensus at that time seemed to be that the easiest way to resolve the problem is to care less about badges. Unlike points, they don't unlock useful features, so they only mean as much as we want them to mean.

One difference between us and Mi Yodeya is that they cater to a community with much stricter standards about what's allowed on the Sabbath, and other special days. So for them, these badges are much less visible overall, which makes it easier for competitive badge-collectors to simply discount the problematic ones. Therefore, I think the competition issue bites a bit harder on this site. (It's true that we have a weekend lull, but I suspect that's due more to most of us having stuff to do than to any general commitment to refraining from computer use.)

As far as I know, there are currently no site-specific badges of the kind you're talking about. There is a feature request from a year ago for this, but no answer either way yet. From 1 June this year, "Do any sites have local badges?" only reports the special cases of Stack Apps and Area 51, not any "normal" sites.

This proposal would then entail either creating site-local badges, or changing the SE-wide definition of these particular badges. In any case, if you feel up to it, that's a matter for meta.stackoverflow.com. As far as changing the definition goes, I think you will need to think about a couple of questions at least:

  • Is there a sensible definition that makes sense for us and for Mi Yodeya (and possibly others)? Consider the many special days listed in their meta question.
  • What happens to people who have earned these badges already? We almost certainly can't recalculate it to whatever new standard, so we'd have to either take badges away from people who had earned them, or retain them but make them impossible for new people to get. Neither is particularly attractive to the dedicated badge-collector.
  • Even if a "lesser" badge is created, shouldn't there still be a higher-tier badge for people who do want the achievement of visiting every day? The premise of the suggestion is that there should be no such badge, which I think would be a tough sell for most general SE users.

If site-local badges are created, then other issues arise about the programming effort involved; mechanisms for proposing and adopting badges; ensuring some general level of parity across different SE sites; and so on. I suppose some local definitional tweak to just these badges might not open the can of worms all the way, but it's something to think about.

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  • Great stuff! Thanks for the info. – Adrian Keister Jul 22 '13 at 18:01
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    Even on Mi Yodeya it is possible to earn these badges. I think redefining the badge site-wide for the sake of a community less stringent than one where it's been shown to work anyway would be a very, very hard sell. – Monica Cellio Jul 22 '13 at 18:16

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