Being a European, I doubtless do not fully understand the associations of the Tumbleweed badge that I have just received. Is there a MO consensus about the appropriate reaction?

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    $\begingroup$ In the old westerns (as in the movie genre), a lonely tumbleweed rolling through a ghost town would indicate the utter desolation of the place. Sort of like an entertainer being greeted not with applause, but with utter silence save for crickets chirping. Try to accept the badge with a sense of humor; something like it happens to almost every user on occasion. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Jul 15, 2013 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ It seems that the tumbleweeds of the American West were introduced --- from Eurasia, particularly Russia. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbleweed $\endgroup$ Jul 15, 2013 at 23:26
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    $\begingroup$ I haven't yet earned this badge, but if MO awarded badges for papers I would have a bushel of tumbleweeds. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ The tumbleweed badges have been recently retired, see the blog post about this and list of recent feature changes to Stack Exchange. $\endgroup$ Jun 19, 2019 at 4:42

1 Answer 1



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    $\begingroup$ Since it is a new badge for MO there is no precedent of any discussion. However, on meta.math.SE they discussed it in some detail see (for example) meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/9111 (Sorry for the silly format. I will never do it again but the short answer seemed fitting given the badge.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 15, 2013 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ So somebody disagrees with there being no consensus? ;-) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 15, 2013 at 23:51
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    $\begingroup$ One of the answers to the question that Quid linked to makes the observation that the tumbleweed badge is useful in that you can see the questions that have not gotten much attention. One might be able to find some gems hiding. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ @BabyDragon: That is hardly a justification for the badge. Perhaps the badges should be awarded to questions instead? $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ The official intent for this badge is easily findable following the link I provided; the accepted answer there contains a link to meta.SO whose accepted answer gives one interpretation which in a comment was confirmed to be in line with the original idea. That answer says "I see it more as a consolation prize. No one looked at your question or answered it, so here's something to hold you over until you get an answer." @FrançoisG.Dorais: I don't understand your cmnt, the badge is for questions, and there are somewhat analogous ones for answers (namely tenacious and unsung hero) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 16, 2013 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the comments especially quid: I like the idea of a Tumbleweed Clearer Badge. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ @IanCalvert: you are welcome! I too found the idea for the asociated clearer tag both useful and fun. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 16, 2013 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Tumbleweed et al do not reflect qualities of the asker, so perhaps they should be awarded to the question instead. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2013 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais: thank you, now I see you said 'to questions' not 'for questions.' But, then, also nice/good/great/famous question/answer badges are not given to the post but the account posting it. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Jul 16, 2013 at 16:11

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