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It used to be, a long, long time ago, that asking a question awarded +10 reputation. After some deliberation, this was changed to +5 reputation network-wide. The reasons at the time for this change basically amounted to:

  • Questions don't take much effort to ask.
  • The reward for a good question is a good answer.

However, I'm not sure the reasons for this change actually make sense on Puzzling. I think +10 for a question upvote makes sense for us. This has come up in the past, but now that we've graduated, it may be time to raise the question once more.

Questions drive Puzzling Stack Exchange

The driving force of most Stack Exchange sites are the answerers - the individuals who go to great lengths to provide detailed, intricate answers, even when the questions may not be great. Puzzling isn't the same as most sites on Stack Exchange.

Here, questions are our driving force. Answers are important - don't get me wrong - but it's just as much the individuals who design, construct, and edit their questions who keep this site alive and going strong. We've turned out some of the highest-effort questions I've seen across Stack Exchange, and I have a hell of a lot of respect for the users on this site who build them.

Puzzling's greatest questions are hard to write (yes, that's six links). Our best questions demonstrate a high degree of technical competence, as well as strong proficiency with writing an engaging narrative. The skill set questions here demonstrate is broad. Whereas on most sites, questions definitionally arise from the absence of knowledge, here, our best questions come from those who have worked for and built a versatile skill set.

(Answers pose their own challenges - writing clean, effective answers that communicate clearly is difficult - but those already earn +10.)

Reputation is an indicator of understanding about the site

The philosophy of reputation has always been two-fold: first, gamify the site (obviously), but second, to serve as a rough indicator of how well the user knows the site, how familiar they are with how it works, and how much they've contributed to the site over time.

Given the above, it would seem questions actually indicate a higher degree of competence at a many of the criteria for which we award reputation:

  • A well-asked question indicates that the user understands the target audience.
  • Because a well-asked question requires so much effort, it indicates the user is willing to invest time in the site, and genuinely cares about its health.

Questions are purely altruistic on Puzzling

I've heard from a number of our best question-askers that verbal appreciation is the most gratifying. I'm in no way suggesting this act as a substitute for that.

Still, though, asking questions is strictly an altruistic act on Puzzling. The person who asks a well-crafted puzzle certainly doesn't need an answer to it. They could just look at their notes. They're asking their questions here for the benefit of the community.


I'm trying to think of downsides to this change, and I'm struggling to come up with any. I could very well be missing something, but I wanted to get this proposal out there anyway. Under scrutiny, maybe this won't be as good an idea as it seems to me. And maybe still, it'll never be implemented.

Still, it never hurts to ask!

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    $\begingroup$ Couldn't agree more. I've been thinking exactly the same thing lately. (Ironically related, I wish I could give a bounty to you, for this question). $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 9 '16 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, but note that there are a significant number of puzzles being asked by people who do not know the answer. $\endgroup$ – f'' May 10 '16 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ Even though I agree with you but it have already been discussed on meta and their answer was no. $\endgroup$ – manshu May 10 '16 at 6:12
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    $\begingroup$ @manshu - to be fair, that post is pretty old, and things have changed since then... PSE is likely one of the first SE sites to actually graduate, that doesn't really fit the Q&A philosophy SE was modeled on. I think it's definitely a timely enough event to reignite the debate. ...And as per my other comment above, if not 10 rep question votes, maybe bounties for questions is part of that conversation... $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 10 '16 at 9:30
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    $\begingroup$ 100% in agreement with this proposal as well as the reasoning behind it. We're not like most other SE sites, and I feel like it's not too much to expect the SE model to be flexible enough to adapt to our (relatively minor, really) differences. $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 10 '16 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ How about keeping the rep at +5, but getting automatic bounties when questions reach 10, 20, 30 upvotes? $\endgroup$ – Gordon K May 10 '16 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ I've been thinking of asking this for a long time now. Thanks, @Emrakul, for the well thought out description. $\endgroup$ – KeyboardWielder May 10 '16 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja Not only that, but the very first comment, on the meta that manhsu linked, shows that it is, in fact, a per-site option, rendering the entire marked answer as invalid. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 13 '16 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul - what's the process in getting this "heard" by the official SE team? Is marking it as a feature-request here enough? Do we need to campaign on meta.SE? Can mods directly contact the SE team if the request gets enough support? $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 17 '16 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja I mentioned the request to someone internally. Hopefully, some day, it's implemented! I'm not holding my breath, but if you don't ask, you don't get, so. $\endgroup$ – Aza May 17 '16 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough... will continue the waiting game. I'm going to put a bounty on the "bounty for questions" post over on meta.SE and reference back to this question to hopefully continue the discussion with a broader audience. $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 17 '16 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, there is a precedent for this: on Stack Apps, you already get +10 reputation for upvotes on questions. $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Aug 4 '17 at 6:49

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