This is a proposal for a contest, not a contest announcement (yet). Please help refine the idea, and then we'll run it.

The Generalist badge is a milestone for sites and not just individual people. A site has to be mature enough to have 40 tags each with 200 questions. Some sites don't reach this milestone until years after graduation. But we don't have to wait years!

We currently have 22 tags with more than 200 questions, and another with 100-199 questions. By asking more (good) questions, we could qualify for this badge and see our prolific answerers get recognized. Further, by having more good questions to answer, we could see more people earn tag badges. Finally, having more good questions can make our case to drop that "beta" mislabel even stronger.

So, I propose a contest. For some period of time to be determined, each time you ask a new question on a tag that doesn't yet have 200 questions, and that question scores at least +1 and is not closed, you get one "point" in this contest. (Also, we hope, answers to your question and some reputation!) At the end of the contest, the people with the highest scores get bragging rights and I'll try to come up with some sort of prizes. To keep people's interest even if they're not top point-getters, I'll also award some prize (TBD) to a randomly-chosen person from among people with at least some small number of questions.

To track the contest, we'd create a community-wiki post with the names of participating users and links to their qualifying questions. This way, even if you're not participating, everybody can browse the results.

What do y'all think? Would people participate?

Contest announcement

  • 1
    I will participate. :) Question: if a question has multiple qualifying tags, does it earn 1 point, or 1 point per qualifying tag? Feb 10, 2019 at 20:08
  • @Galastel I'm not Monica, but I'd expect one point per question asked with one or more qualifying tags. Otherwise it might be a little too easy to add a few extra tags to artificially inflate one's score.
    – user
    Feb 10, 2019 at 20:25
  • @Galastel that's a good question. I'm inclined to say one point per question, to avoid arguments over tag-gaming and to encourage more questions, but if you want to write an answer supporting a point per tag, we can see how the community feels. (Also not specified yet: does a tag become ineligible as soon as it reaches 200 questions, or do we list the excluded tags at the beginning of the contest and not worry about the 201st question getting a point? I'm more inclined toward the latter for ease of tracking.) Feb 10, 2019 at 20:29
  • And another thing not specified yet: what about tags that are currently in the 90-99 range, and get their 100th question during the time of the contest: are subsequent questions with those tags now eligible too? To be honest, I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other regarding any of those. I'm just looking for things that would need to be clarified: contests with unclear rules get people frustrated. Feb 10, 2019 at 21:25
  • @Galastel I was thinking to count any tag that doesn't yet have 200 questions, rather than setting a floor. More good questions help the site and their tags, after all. (And I agree that we should work out ambiguities before we start!) Feb 10, 2019 at 21:50
  • Tags with considerably fewer than 100 questions won't get us nearer the generalist badge. More questions under those tags would still help the site though, so it's a question of what we're going for. Still, I would set a floor somewhere, in any case; otherwise, one could game the system by creating a new tag and sticking it on the question. Feb 10, 2019 at 22:10
  • Those are good points. Maybe we should set a floor at 100, then. I'm inclined to be generous on both ends, including tags that started the contest under 200 or ones that had 100 when the new question was asked. Feb 10, 2019 at 22:18
  • Could some pious soul with Api skills fish an illustrative list containing some of these tags that need questions?
    – NofP
    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:03
  • @NofP I don't know how to do it through the API, but the list of tags is sorted by frequency (highest first), so you can scan the list. Feb 12, 2019 at 3:18
  • @monicacellio you're right! Somehow I missed this detail.
    – NofP
    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:23
  • Count me in. I've been mindful of the Generalist badge while retagging, though of course I don't add tags that aren't warranted.
    – Cyn
    Feb 16, 2019 at 1:29
  • 1
    QUESTION: I've held back on asking a lot of questions I've thought of because they turned out to be duplicates (sometimes old ones) or were a bit more listy or opinion based than we usually like. How much latitude do we have? Unlike with some other sites that can just change particulars and boom it's a brand new question, there's only so many ways you can ask the same thing here.
    – Cyn
    Feb 16, 2019 at 1:30
  • 1
    @Cyn If I see a question that's almost a duplicate to what I want to ask, but doesn't have the answer I need, I would usually start formulating my question from "this question is similar, but mine is about particular variant X, that isn't covered in any of the answers", Feb 16, 2019 at 23:52
  • 2
    @Galastel. Agreed. But sometimes I have a question in my head and either a search brings it up or a search shows nothing but, after I've titled it and started writing, the system brings up "similar" posts and one turns out to be a dup (even if I used the exact same wording in my search). But what to do if I have the same question and none of the answers are suitable but I just have the same question? I suppose I could edit it and bump it to the top, then maybe give a bounty if nothing else works. But sometimes that isn't the right approach either and it's an ooooold question.
    – Cyn
    Feb 17, 2019 at 0:23


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