The description of the Generalist badge states:

Provide non-wiki answers of 15 total score in 20 of top 40 tags.

As of me asking, it has not been earned by any member of this community, even though I am reasonably certain there must already be a number of users who are eligible by the criteria as stated above. How come?

2 Answers 2


Generalist Badge Implemented says:

One thing the badge doesn’t say, is that there must be at least 200 questions in all 40 of the top tags before this badge is awarded to anyone. That’s why you won’t see it on meta for a bit longer, or any new sites for about a year. I don’t feel you can accurately measure a generalist until the top tag list settles down.

Our site doesn't qualify for [• Generalist] yet. I think that's a bit odd, since we've graduated; I'll slap a red tag on your question to escalate it to SE (just as soon as I remember which is the right tag for that!), and we'll see what happens.

Our top 40 tags on 2019-03-08 v.s. 2022-01-09:

A quick bit of Python gives these differences:

Back then, the most popular of the dethroned tags () had 37 questions (in contrast, the least popular new entry, , has 65 questions today). I think our top 40 tags is probably stable enough to have the badge; its stability over time is comparable to Stack Overflow's over the same time period.

  • 5
    Top 40 tags are those displayed on the first page of <retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/tags>, right? That would explain it, only seven tags have passed that threshold by the looks of it. Jan 9, 2022 at 16:13
  • 1
    Exactly right, yes.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Jan 9, 2022 at 16:16
  • 1
    @user3840170 Sorry, my bad; that's top 36. There are four more on page 2.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Jan 9, 2022 at 23:50
  • I don't think we'll ever have 200 questions about cassette-tape.
    – DrSheldon
    Jan 16, 2022 at 17:15
  • 2
    @DrSheldon You're on.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Jan 17, 2022 at 0:01
  • Just give the badge to Raffzahn. I'm sure he's closest to truly earning it, and anyone else will take a very long time to get there. Sep 6, 2022 at 0:21
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact quite a few users have already earned the badge, and will get it as soon as the site meets the “200 questions” criterion or the criterion is changed (at least Raffzahn and I meet the score criterion for the top 20 tags, no need for 40; and users such as Tommy and Brian H qualify in more than 20 of the top 40 tags). Oct 25, 2022 at 10:45

I'm here with a bit of an update. The way this badge gets awarded is something that really only benefits bigger sites. We investigated the rules and the reasoning for them and they made sense at the time but for the volume of content that many of our network sites get, it makes it essentially impossible to earn.

Based on the rules I could see and with some assumptions, I figured that sites would need at least 2k for this to be possible and those assumptions are pretty silly - that every question has 5 tags and that only those 200 tags are ever used. Without the five tag requirement, it could take up to 8k questions. Around 70 sites don't meet those simplified requirements!

So.... we wanted to fix this but we wanted to do so in a smart way that would impact more sites positively without a big negative impact on the sites that already have met these requirements. Slate (another CM) and I feel like we've found a good solution but we want to discuss it on Meta Stack Exchange and share some additional data about it.

If that all works out, we'll likely be changing the requirement for this badge to only need 20 tags with at least 50 questions each instead of 40 tags with 200 questions each. These changes will definitely make it so that y'all are eligible for the tag but whether anyone actually meets the new requirements, that remains to be seen.

I'll update this post with a link to the MSE question once it's posted and also note when the change gets made, if we make it.


Here's the MSE post: Adjusting the requirements for the Generalist badge so that more sites are eligible for it

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