This is in response to this post: How to increase traffic to the site?

This site rewards publicity generously. If you share a link to a question, and the link is clicked on by 1000 different IP addresses, you get a gold badge. If you don't get a 1000, you still get a silver or a bronze.

You may say, "How does MSE know who posted the link?" You don't copy the URL in the browser, you click the small "Share" button on the lower left of each question. This gives a URL uniquely identifying you as the sharer.

You have to share it with people who are interested, and not be a spammer.

  • $\begingroup$ Several people on other sites use Twitter. $\endgroup$ – Brian Rushton Jul 16 '13 at 1:56
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    $\begingroup$ And if the question you share is your own (which it does not have to be), you can get a Popular Question badge in addition. Sweet deal. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ Is the last sentence technically true? Do you have to not be a spammer? $\endgroup$ – Rahul Jul 16 '13 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ I thought I recognized one of those 15 questions... reddit.com/r/math/comments/1hz56o/… $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Jul 16 '13 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ @julien Maybe the reason so few people have these badges is not that they are hard, but that awareness is low... which I think was the reason for Brian's PSA. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ The difficult part is in establishing a website read by at least a thousand people. Super easy indeed! ;) $\endgroup$ – Erik Vesterlund Jul 16 '13 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ @40votes Indeed, the reason why the badges Announcer (bronze, 354 times), Booster (silver, 31) and Publicist (gold, 15) are not awarded more often is probably due to the fact that not so many people are aware of it and how it works. $\endgroup$ – Julien Jul 16 '13 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @ErikVesterlund Pfft, websites. Social networks is where it's at... leveraging your Klout score to obtain badges on StackExchange is the new social media strategy. :) $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ I think few people have 1000 friends or followers on fb resp twitter, of which only a fraction would bother clicking a math related link ("math? i hated that shit in high school!") $\endgroup$ – Erik Vesterlund Jul 16 '13 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @ErikVesterlund If I understood correctly, if you post a link somewhere on the web to a question using the address provided when you click on "share", it works too. $\endgroup$ – Julien Jul 16 '13 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @RahulNarain reddit users always vote me down when I'm being spammy. $\endgroup$ – Brian Rushton Jul 17 '13 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes By googling reddit traffic I found that reddit is among the top 50 website in US, trailing only after NYT...So I am guessing posting on reddit may be a good idea to increase traffic and awareness? Also by following Chaz's link I do find there are some technical questions in math forum of reddit, maybe some users will find MSE a better place to ask questions after clicking the link? $\endgroup$ – Shuhao Cao Jul 17 '13 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ @ShuhaoCao I doubt redditers would want to be proselytized... they are on /r/math/ because they like reddit, not because it's the best place for math discussions. You may notice several references to MSE there... including the infamous one, which led to this otherwise unremarkable question getting over 18000 views, among some other things... Anyway, nothing against reddit, but I'm never going to post there. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 17 '13 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes wow, the forum's name is justiceporn... $\endgroup$ – Shuhao Cao Jul 17 '13 at 3:56
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    $\begingroup$ If you want a gold badge why not get one you can wear by buying one on EBay. $\endgroup$ – Jay Jul 17 '13 at 15:03

Here are other "super easy" ways:

  1. Just check the site each day for a consecutive 100 days.
  2. Ask a relatively simple question that shows that your children have mathematical genius written all over their faces.
  3. Answer a relatively simple question which shows that the OP's children have mathematical genius written all over their faces, and be one of the first to do so. Preferably answer in simple words, either a very short and to the point answer, or a very very long and detailed answer.
  4. Reach the required reputation, and just review 20 items a day of every available queue. Within 50 days you will have gold badges.
  5. Learn to spot things which require flagging. Flag them on sight. Within a year you have a Marshal badge.
  6. Become a moderator, and stick there for a year.
  7. Go back in time and be a moderator during the beta stage of the site.
  8. Become really good in writing good answers, and just hit the reputation cap every day. Wait 150 days.
  9. Write 200 answers on a tag of your choice, so the average score on these answers is +5.
  10. Hack into the SE servers and tamper with the database.
  11. Find a really crappy question and answer it well. Then publish the link to the question without using your user identifier link.
  12. Answer tons of obscure questions, becoming an Unsung Hero.
  13. Teach a class which has over 100 attendants and tell them to use math.SE, then answer their questions online/ask questions related to the topic of the course and get their votes.
  14. Vote all your votes, every day, for about 15 days.
  15. Edit 500 posts.

There are probably more. And while all those ways are super easy some ways are more super easy than others.

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    $\begingroup$ My favorite is number 7, because it disproves Hawking's theories that we can only travel forward in time. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 16 '13 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ You omitted one of the easiest (but also important for the site) - vote 40 times a day for 15 days. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ Apparently Meta is the Wild Wild West. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 16 '13 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes what is that? I don't see it listed on the Badges page. math.stackexchange.com/help/badges $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 16 '13 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes ah, do you mean electorate? There are some additional conditions involved... $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 16 '13 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie: If there was more controversial activity, I'd probably sport a Deputy badge... :-P $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 16 '13 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie The 25% condition is automatically fulfilled when someone votes 40 times a day, since 10 of those 40 votes are for questions only. Hence, the activity I described guarantees the badge. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ ... assuming no prior voting activity, that is. If the user previously cast more than 75% of their votes on answers, they will find Electorate harder to get than new users. The only badge that holds your past against you... not very logical decision on SE part. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes 600 different questions. So that someone will have to use up all 40 votes on 40 different questions for 15 days to earn the badge. (Also, in your comment above you meant 75%+ on answers, not questions.) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jul 16 '13 at 11:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie Thanks, I misread. So, one can still get it in 15 days but this requires voting on questions only. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 16 '13 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @40votes: There are more badges potentially "holding the past against you": Without cheating, Tenacious and especially Unsong Hero are only feasible in the beginning of your carreer, in my opinion. Deputy and Marshal get harder as you go up in reputation, since for example you cannot flag duplicates any more. $\endgroup$ – azimut Jul 17 '13 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @azimut: Between my Marshal badge and the second Marshal badge given there was almost a full year in which I accumulated over 600 helpful flags, and moreover -- I had over 10k reputation at the time, so I had no duplicates to flag either. It's not hard, you just have to be slightly vigilant. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 17 '13 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ You omitted this "super(hero) easy" way: the Batman gambit. $\endgroup$ – Blue Jul 18 '13 at 0:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Ilya Well, neither is posting a link and getting 1000 votes but that's the question so I think the answer fits. $\endgroup$ – Graphth Jul 19 '13 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Babak: Well, I did get my M.Sc. diploma a few weeks ago... ;-) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 19 '13 at 13:14

The easiest way is surely making a post about Batman, it seems.


The easiest way to get a Gold badge is to Vote early, vote often. Vote on 600 questions and you will get yourself a Gold badge, the Electorate Badge. This should take you 600/40=15 days. As a bonus you will get the Civic Duty Silver badge (note: duty!). This is even easier to get: vote 300 times. It is interesting to note, though, that a mere 648 people have voted 300 or more times. Which is pathetic!

In conclusion, people don't vote enough. Vote early, vote often!

  • $\begingroup$ (This came up in the comments of Asaf's post, but I discovered the 648 figure today. Thought I should point it out...) $\endgroup$ – user1729 Jul 22 '13 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ We should get Ward interested in math... By the way, the first page of voters list still has Arturo Magidin and t.b... who are like mythical figures of Math.SE by now. $\endgroup$ – 40 votes Jul 22 '13 at 19:58

There is a brand new way to get a gold badge: asking good questions on $100$ separate days gets you a gold badge Socratic.

There are bronze and silver badges of the same kind: Curious and Inquisitive.

Details are in the announcement: Asking days badges.

Oh, and a good question does not have to be a Good Question. I hope that's clear.

  • $\begingroup$ Now these are useful badges. Brb, adding most of badge holders to my Stack User Filter. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 2 '14 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ What do they mean by "maintain a positive question record"? $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Romon Jul 2 '14 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @G.T.R It's... complicated. I added a link to the description. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jul 2 '14 at 16:50

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