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I'd like to propose badges for using the community wiki feature. Two ideas:

  1. Bronze badge: made first CW answer.

  2. Silver badge: made answer with at least $n$ upvotes CW.

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I occasionally do this, but I doubt that awarding badges for this is a good idea. Let me describe a few cases as I think they explain, why this may not be a good idea - at least not as a rule.

  1. A relatively common reason for turning your answer CW right away is that the answer is a summary of comments from several users. Henning coined the term Credit Waived for this. This is done basically to remove one straight forward question from the unanswered queue. Any merit associated with this might be called "house keeping", but a robot cannot reliably identify this, because...
  2. I occasionally turn an answer to a simple question CW right away (or with a bit of delay, when a couple of upvotes may already have arrived). I couldn't think of a good hint, so I just answered. But why CW? On a good day I like to think that it was still fully in the spirit of Credit Waived. But may be I also felt that I don't want my name tarnished by any reputation "earned" by answering a question such as this? Who knows - I don't know how my subconscious works? I don't know for sure if such CWification is a sign of a humble mind or a haughty attitude ("this question is so far beneath me that I don't want your upvotes, no thanks"). Anyway, with fuzzy motives it doesn't feel right to get a badge for this. It might have been better for me not to answer such a question at all?
  3. CWification may backfire. Evidence from a popular Tetris question. Many of us posted essentially an identical answer within seconds of each other. We all started raking in upvotes. After 20 or so upvotes I felt that the joke had gone far enough, and CWified my answer. Then it turned out that we the choirboys were wrong. I would deserve a few downvotes for giving a wrong answer, but CW protects me from that. Arrgh! Doesn't feel like a badge of merit would be right, does it?

There have been in-between cases. How much original input should you have, if you summarize comments in an answer in order not to CWify it? I don't know? Happens relatively rarely, so my policy has not converged.

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  • $\begingroup$ Arrgh. It may be that my answer would fit better in another thread discussing the reasons for CWification. I should have scanned related threads first. Sorry all. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 25 '13 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ I've seen a case where a highly voted answer was made CW only after it was pointed out that something is wrong with it and it started getting downvoted (the answer still stands). $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Aug 25 '13 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer Flag it, perhaps? $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 27 '13 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ (Also, I really don't understand the spread of votes in the Tetris question. The three wrong answers -in order of old-ness- have 23, 90 and 25 votes. Why 90?!?) $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 27 '13 at 9:57
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    $\begingroup$ @user1729: Steven's answer somehow stood out as the clearest of the originals, and gained a bit of headway. Once that happened, later voters who decided to upvote only one naturally picked the highest voted. May be assuming that it was the first or whatever? As the answers were essentially identical, it is very understandable to upvote only one. Mind you, in the case of different answers people still often upvote only one (or alternatively all that they deem useful). IMVHO too many pick the one with the highest total without comparing the relative merits, but that's just the way it goes. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen Aug 27 '13 at 10:19

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