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  • Does anyone actually make any use of the list of recent tags?

  • Does anyone actually make any use of the list of recently awarded badges?

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Recent tags are total noise. The list of recently awarded badges is not of significant use, but I'm sure that some users get an ego-boost from knowing that details of their recently acquired badges are broadcast to all and sundry.

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The recent tags is constructed from the last (n) questions with at least 1 upvote, aggregated by tag -- so it's a walk down "what topics is this website generally about" without having to read and parse each question.

The recent badges is an invitation to discover why badges exist, and what they are for.

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/12/badges-positive-only/

These elements exist to familiarize new users who may be encountering the homepage for the first time -- and also as shortcuts (particularly recent tags) for experienced users.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I guessed as much. But my question is: do people really use them? $\endgroup$ – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Oct 31 '10 at 16:09

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