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Please read the answers below and vote on the answer(s) that you feel best describe your opinions on the issue discussed here.


There has recently been some discussion about bounties on questions, as per this meta post. Shog9 recently tagged that meta post as , following the discussion linked above.

As he said in that discussion:

I marked an especially poorly thought-out and unresearched feature request as "declined". Doesn't prevent you from doing your research and proposing something better. I really would like to see you discuss this with folks here first though.

This post is an attempt to clarify what exactly we want, what our reasons are, and how we might be able to accomplish that.


As has been mentioned a few times, Puzzling.SE is mostly unique among StackExchange sites in that the questions (generally) take more time and effort to compose than the answers. (Programming Puzzles and Code Golf is arguably another site with the same characteristic.)

Most of the questions posted on Puzzling.SE are puzzles that are to be solved, and the answers provide the solutions to those puzzles. Many people put hours (or days) of work into creating amazing, intricate puzzles, which are enjoyed by many users of the site. We want to encourage questions like this as much as possible, and give them as much visibility as possible, both to hold them up as an example of how to ask an excellent question, and to allow them to be enjoyed by as many users as possible.

Currently, upvotes do not seem like a sufficient way to accomplish these goals:

  • People seem less inlined to upvote questions than answers
  • Upvotes on questions only provide 5 reputation to the asker, as opposed to upvotes on answers, which provide 10 reputation to the answerer.
  • Even if a question gets many upvotes, no particular extra attention is drawn to it, which is something we want for exemplary questions: Let everyone see it, both as an example of how to ask a good question, and to allow more people to reap the benefit of such an excellent question.
  • The question is not singled out or marked in any way as being an exemplary question.

There have been a few different proposals given for how we might go about resolving this problem. I have listed all the ones that I've heard as separate answers below, with their pros and cons. If you have other ideas, please post your own answer in a similar format.

Please use your up-/downvotes to vote on the answers below so we can come to a clearer idea of what we want and how we might implement it.

(Note that some of these options require code changes by the StackExchange powers-that-be, so even if we decide it's what we want, it won't necessarily be implemented.)


Summary of answers

  • Implement bounties for questions that work the same as the current "exemplary answer" bounties for answers.
  • Implement "bounties" for questions that can be awarded instantaneously.
  • Increase the value of an upvote for a question.
  • Implement a new "supervote" that allows you to award significantly more rep than a regular upvote.
  • Ask the question asker to answer their own question, and then award a bounty on that placeholder answer.
  • Continually edit the question to keep it in the list of recent questions.
  • Implement a new "exemplary question" checkbox, and a list of exemplary questions.
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    $\begingroup$ Excellent work here; I normally don't care for "poll" posts, but I think you've done a good job of setting an example of how to present a problem and solicit ideas for solving it (even if currently all of those ideas are your own). $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ The purpose of this is to encourage "excellent" questions. From your answers, I see 2 ways to do it : give more reputation or draw more attention. May be we should first find out which one is the most needed $\endgroup$ – Fabich May 18 '16 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Lordofdark The two are linked, I think. Generally, the way to encourage excellent questions is to provide a better incentive by way of reputation gained. That's more likely to happen if the questions draw more attention. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 18 '16 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain Great discussion. Thanks for putting it on in such a well organized manner. Special "Question-Bounty-UpVote" for this one from me ;c) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ For reference, here's the PPCG version of this question. $\endgroup$ – Bobson Jul 1 '16 at 18:35

11 Answers 11

38
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Increase the value of an upvote for a question.

Currently, an upvote on a question provides only half the reputation that an upvote on an answer does. (5 reputation vs. 10 reputation.)

This would see the amount of reputation provided by each upvote increased to 10 or perhaps even higher (do we value questions more than answers?).

Pros

  • No cost to consumers of the question. They can reward a question without sacrificing their own reputation.
  • It's a simple way to reward a question and requires no more effort from consumers of the question than they are already putting in.
  • Requires minimal change to the StackExchange platform (I assume).

Cons

  • The amount of reputation assignable by any one user is still quite limited. You can't give a "bonus" for a question you consider exemplary.
  • The question is not marked in any way as having been considered "exemplary", except for the number of votes, which would still be the same as in the current model.
  • The question doesn't appear on the "featured" list, so it doesn't draw any extra attention that way.
  • Requires changes to the StackExchange platform
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    $\begingroup$ Considering each of these as mutually-exclusive, this is by far my favorite. It's fairly simple and works the way that you'd think it would work, sight-unseen. $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 17 '16 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ @question_asker They don't need to be mutually exclusive. For example, we could do this and also implement one of the bounty options. Actually, we could probably implement almost all of them simultaneously if they all received support. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 17 '16 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ I know, and I'd actually prefer it if we got the +10 upvote and the bounty (instantaneous would be best, in my opinion, but I'm not married to that idea), but I know that there might be a tendency for people to just look at vote-count on these and interpret them as mutually-exclusive. $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 17 '16 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ I think (re-)balancing the created rep for questions/answers on this site is a good start, highlighting the different nature of PuzzlingSE. However, I think it really should be an "additional" modification to the other suggestions. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ We'd really like to see this change on Programming Puzzles and Code Golf too. It seems unlikely to happen but if it makes a difference to put two communities' votes together, there is strong support for it on PPCG too. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax May 23 '16 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ On PPCG they are also talking about the scaling of the downvote to -4. $\endgroup$ – Fabich Jun 1 '16 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ I want all my existing questions to get retroactive internet money. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 19 '16 at 4:23
21
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Implement "bounties" for questions that can be awarded instantaneously.

This would be a method where one user could transfer some reputation to another user to reward them for an exemplary question. Some checks and balances would need to be in place to avoid this facility being abused for the purposes of reputation sharing. (Perhaps several privileged users need to vote on the transfer before it is approved?)

Pros

  • Users can transfer a significant amount of their own reputation if they think a question is deserving (up to 500).
  • The question is forever marked as having received a bounty, which indicates to others who find it later on that someone deemed it exemplary.
  • There is no waiting period (or at least one that's measured in minutes instead of days, if the voting idea mentioned above is used). If several different users want to reward a question, they can all do so in a short period of time.

Cons

  • A high potential for abuse (there might be ways to mitigate that).
  • The question doesn't appear on the "featured" list, so it doesn't draw any extra attention that way.
  • Requires changes to the StackExchange platform
  • May require more effort to implement (which means it might be declined).
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  • $\begingroup$ We need to take into account that bounties are daily reputation exempt, though, so instant bounties may not be the best method. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 17 '16 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha I think they may still be the best method. The reason they're exempt is because they transfer rep rather than creating it. Whether it happens after a day or instantaneously, there's no real difference. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 17 '16 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ I definitely understand that - though I would contest that there is a major difference between transferring rep once a day and 10 people transferring rep in a single day. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 17 '16 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ The biggest potential for abuse here is simply the speed at which this could happen; without rate-limiting or rep-caps, one could construct an army of sockpuppets and then consolidate their reputation very quickly, potentially garnering users with extremely high-level privileges before the activity can be detected (much less addressed). That's an extreme case, but not unknown among otherworldly visitors; there's a big fat grey area too. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ I originally preferred the "exemplary answer clone" version specifically so that it does appear in the featured list. But the more I think about it, this is better. It keeps existing bounties as actual "bounties" (to encourage people working on answers), and gets to the heart of rewarding the poster. I'm sure we can find other (arguably better) ways of advertising the good stuff. Hell, I'll happily write a bot that posts a weekly meta post compiling that week's bountied questions, which could then be tagged as "featured" by a mod. $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 18 '16 at 3:46
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    $\begingroup$ Has anyone considered a system where upvoting an answer simultaneously adds rep/votes to the poster/question? You can't have a good answer without a good question... The question gets more votes and therefore gains notoriety. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 19 '16 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Chowzen, why don't you add that as an answer here? It's a good suggestion. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 19 '16 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ I think the disadvantage of any "one-user-bounty"-award mechanism is the potential of abuse and the non-democratic nature of the award. An excellent question shouldn't be awarded because one person find the questions great, but because many do. That's what regular voting is for, though, just that it seems "too weak" for Puzzling. Something like VTC - but with a positive twist - seems more appropriate for me. I've stitched together a suggestion as separate answer. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9: I don't understand the threat model.  Are you suggesting that a BEM or other miscreant would create a sockpuppet and earn 200 rep the hard way, just so he can turn around and give 300 rep to his main account via bounties?  That doesn't sound speedy. … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … Are you suggesting that he would use his main account to upvote his sockpuppets?  Would that really be more effective than just using the sockpuppets to upvote his main account?  Aren't there currently monitoring systems that would catch that before it got very far? $\endgroup$ – Peregrine Rook Jun 1 '16 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ To answer your last two questions: yes and "depends on how far is very far", @PeregrineRook. I'm not gonna draw a map for you; you've pretty much already identified the rough idea... Your incredulity at the notion that someone would put this much effort into fraud is admirable, and no doubt speaks to the purity and honesty of your character. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 1 '16 at 5:33
12
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Implement bounties for questions that work the same as the current "exemplary answer" bounties for answers.

We would use the current bounty facilities, but when placing a bounty, you would be given both options (along with all the other existing options):

  • Reward existing answer
    • One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.
  • Reward question
    • This question is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.

Since this uses the existing bounty functionality, you would have to wait 48 hours after the question was posted before you could create the bounty, and another day before you could assign it. During that time, the question would appear on the "featured" list, just like other bounties.

Pros

  • Being on the "featured" list draws attention to the question.
  • Users can transfer a significant amount of their own reputation if they think a question is deserving (up to 500).
  • The question is forever marked as having received a bounty, which indicates to others who find it later on that someone deemed it exemplary.
  • This could (probably) be implemented fairly easily, and could (probably?) be enabled only for this site, so it would have zero impact on other StackExchange sites.

Cons

  • Only one bounty can be awarded at a time; if more than one user wants to transfer rep, each one will have to wait a day, during which time they could easily forget or lose interest.
  • No one can reward the question until 48 hours after it was posted.
  • Requires changes to the StackExchange platform
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  • $\begingroup$ (Con) No one can reward the question until $\mathit{72~}$hours after it was posted — am I right? $\endgroup$ – Peregrine Rook Jun 1 '16 at 2:41
9
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"Vote-To-Exemplary" (VTE) mechanism similar to "Vote-to-Close" (VTC)

To implement, add additional exemplary link to question, i.e. share|edit|close|exemplary|flag at the bottom of the post.

This link would work similarly to the close, requiring certain site-rep to be allowed to vote and requiring multiple such votes to get the question the status.

Once the status is achieved, the question becomes 'highlighted' in the list.

Potentially, voting for exemplary status costs the voter some rep. and if the status is achieved (but only then), the sum of those rep. gets transferred to the question author.

For example, to vote for a question (VTE):

  • Only users with at least 500 rep have the privilege to vote exemplary
  • To vote a question exemplary immediately costs the voter 50 of their rep. (Cannot be gained back.)
  • People voting a question exemplary are named (just as in close votes)
  • As with close votes, everyone can only vote once per question.
  • It requires 10 exemplary votes to mark a question as exemplary.

When a question reaches exemplary status:

  • The question itself is visually marked in the list as 'exemplary' (or receives a moderator-tag ).
  • The questions becomes non-editable and protected.
  • People may still vote the question exemplary, immediately transferring 50 of their rep to the author.
  • The question author receives all reputation from the exemplary votes - starting with 500 reputation from the first 10 votes, and each additional 50 reputation from subsequent votes.

Pros

  • Utilizes similar system as 'close' votes
  • All of the following prevent over-extensive (ab)use of the feature: 'cost' of voting, 'required privilege', 'non-anonymous voting', 'minimum number of votes for status'
  • Questions with status can be filtered for and can be visually highlighted
  • Even if question has status already, a user can still "donate" some of their rep towards it (once).

Cons

  • Requires significant changes to the StackExchange platform
  • Feature may not immediately 'visible' to users, compared to "favourite button"
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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like pretty much the same thing as this answer, with a few more details specifically spelled out. I'm not sure that it needs its own separate answer... $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 20 '16 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain not quite. The main differences are "needs privileges" and "needs multiple votes to succeed". I really see it more as a positive VTC and not as a new additional "checkbox". $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ The question author receives 50 x votes reputation - this seems like an insane amount of reputation to award. At 50 reputation per vote, unless I'm misunderstanding, our top-scoring questions would singlehandedly grant over 5000 reputation. Also, what problem would making the question non-editable solve? $\endgroup$ – Aza May 20 '16 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul No, I meant 50 per "VFE" (vote-for-excellence), not per general upvote. Everyone who VFE has to "pay" 50 of his rep, but it is only transferred when the whole vote succeeds (Kickstarter-principle). You could see it as 50rep bounty given per voter (for the VFE vote), if you will. The numbers, however, are only suggestions. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest Ah, got it! That makes a bit more sense. I've edited to hopefully help clarify exactly how this would work a bit; mind double-checking to make sure it's what you had in mind? $\endgroup$ – Aza May 20 '16 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Thanks. Much clearer now. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ You say VFE would be like VTC.  Do you envision a VFE Review queue?  Would it be possible to vote to "Leave as non-Exemplary"?  I, also, wonder why Exemplary questions should automatically become non-editable and protected.  The whole "People may still vote the question exemplary after it reaches exemplary status" paradigm further strains the commonality with VTC; this may be the option with the biggest development footprint.  I believe that this idea needs some refinement. … … … … … … … … … … … That said, I believe that this option shows a lot of potential. $\endgroup$ – Peregrine Rook Jun 1 '16 at 2:07
4
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Implement a new "supervote" that allows you to award significantly more rep than a regular upvote.

This is almost the same as the instantaneous bounty idea, but this would not transfer reputation; it would just assign reputation the same way that regular upvotes do.

There would have to be limitations on these "supervotes". Perhaps a user only gets one (or some small number) per day. Perhaps they can only award one per given time period (day? week?). Those details can be ironed out; for now the proposal is for some type of limited high-rep vote that doesn't cost the voter any rep.

Pros

  • Users can offer a significant amount of reputation if they think a question is deserving.
  • Questions could be searched/sorted by supervotes received, which would make it easier to find exemplary questions.
  • Questions can be ranked as "more" or "less" exemplary based on the number of supervotes received.

Cons

  • This might inject too much reputation into the system too quickly (not sure if that's a concern at all).
  • Requires changes to the StackExchange platform.
  • Would probably require significant development effort.
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3
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Implement a new "exemplary question" checkbox, and a list of exemplary questions.

There would need to be some details figured out for this one, but I envision it as a checkbox right underneath the "favorite" star on the left of a question. If you consider the question "exemplary", you can check the box. If a certain threshold of people (perhaps a given fraction of the question's views or upvotes) consider it exemplary, it is added to a list of exemplary questions that can be viewed by users of the site.

Alternatively, once a question is marked as exemplary, it could be put in the review queue as something to be voted on (like a VTC). If enough reviewers approve, it receives "exemplary" status.

Optionally, being deemed an exemplary question could also reward the asker with a reputation "bonus".

Pros

  • Doesn't involve reputation transfer; little potential for abuse.
  • Could involve community moderation which would further reduce the potential for abuse.
  • It is easy for users to find and view exemplary questions.
  • Could potentially provide a large reputation reward for askers of exemplary questions.

Cons

  • Would likely require significant changes to the StackExchange platform (which means it might be declined).
  • This might make it too easy for users to mark mediochre questions as exemplary.
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, especially considering that there's an existing "favorite question" feature that... Currently means almost nothing. And is already public data... IOW, y'all could trial this with a sede query & get a rough idea of what might turn up & whether or not it'd be useful. (to be clear, I'm suggesting redefining "favorite" as exemplary, at least in the context of this site) $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 Yes, I considered mentioning the "favorite" button, but it seems like that horse has already been flogged to death on meta. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 17 '16 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ On the one hand, no one agrees on what to do with it... On the other, I'm not convinced anyone would really care if folks started doing something with it. Apart from a few people who use it to maintain "hit lists" and a somewhat larger number who use it as sort of a poor-man's social network, I've not seen any real consistency... So y'all are probably free to do what you want with it. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ Another con on this list is that many users use the favorites button in order to find posts again, later, whether good or bad, and asking them not to do this removes a feature from the site. $\endgroup$ – Khale_Kitha May 17 '16 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Khale_Kitha This answer suggests a new button alongside the "favorites" button, not the repurposing of the button. $\endgroup$ – f'' May 17 '16 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ To thwart the possibility of users marking "mediocre" questions as exemplary, you could implement a badge (2000 rep?) enabling this checkbox only to those who are "reputable." $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 18 '16 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ Taking on some of the ideas in the comment, I've posted a similar idea for separate voting now. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:14
3
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Use a moderator only tag voted in meta

If we want to draw attention to an exemplary question, we could add a special tag that only moderator can give, such as in the meta.
This tag would require a vote in a dedicated post on the meta explaining why the question is exemplary. If the post reach a criterion (such as 30 upvotes?) then moderators add the tag to the question.

The criterion to choose the exemplary questions could be based on :

  • number of upvotes in meta
  • number of upvotes on the main site
  • the ratio upvotes / downvotes on meta

Pros

  • A red tag draws attention
  • You can click on the tag to see all
  • Moderator tags already exists on meta so it seems easy to implement in main site.
  • Explanation about why it is a good question can be found in meta.

Cons

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  • $\begingroup$ I like the tag (even if it is a meta-tag), and having it in red would be nice. I don't like burdening the moderators with any of this work though. I could see it working in combination with a privilege-vote like VTC, though. See my suggestion below. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest VTE would be an ideal solution, but far more difficult to implement at the SE level. I have tried to make a solution based on classic SE mechanics : tags / meta / moderators. The moderator job would be very small : a user creates a post on the meta, organizes the vote, ect... When the criterion is satisfied, the post owner add a tag like "exemplary-question-completed", then the moderator check quickly and add the tag to the awesome puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Fabich May 20 '16 at 21:49
-1
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Implement a system where upvoting an answer simultaneously adds rep to the Question Poster and/or votes to the question.

You can't have a good answer without a good question, but there may be times when Users get so caught up in

  • being entertained by "Good" answers, or
  • finding some answers that are "Good" yet incorrect or denoted as "Partial" answers which may help them in their own quest for an answer

that they overlook (or forget about) rewarding the question itself.

Additionally, the poster of the question may feel disheartened when the "Accepted" answer (or even a "Good" but not "Accepted" answer) gets an inordinate number of upvotes compared to those awarded the creator of the question itself.

This system would

  • Reward any "Good" answer(s) as usual

  • Offer an additional reward to the question/Question Asker by either

    • simply adding to the total Vote tally (making it more visible to the community), or
    • assigning reputation points (1? 2?) to the poster of the original Question, or
    • both

Pros

  • Gives incentive to the community to become Question Askers (or perhaps Better Question Askers).
  • Rewards Question Askers for questions that inspire exemplary answers.
  • Allows more people to see exemplary questions.

Cons

  • The dreaded "Answer that is not actually an answer, just a joke" could award unworthy upvotes/rep for a bad question.
  • The Question Poster could conceivably abuse the system by blatantly upvoting all answers, good or bad, for personal reputation gain (Unless the system could exclude the Question Poster from receiving rep for upvoting answers to his own question).
  • Requires some (little?) changes to the StackExchange platform.
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    $\begingroup$ Your first assumption of "You can't have a good answer without a good question" is wrong. This assumption is usually wrong in lateral-thinking tag and in other questions where the answer is very good in to a low-quality question. $\endgroup$ – manshu May 20 '16 at 13:12
  • $\begingroup$ @manshu Right you are. I rarely use words like "impossible", "always", "never", and in this case "can't," but I let this one get away from me. That being said, I would attest that a bad question that has one or more good answers (enough to significantly affect the Question Asker's rep) isn't quite that bad after all $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 20 '16 at 16:45
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    $\begingroup$ I think both "good question + bad answers" and "bad question + good answers" are possible, and linking the rep-voting dilutes the voting system overall. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest May 20 '16 at 19:13
-2
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Alternative Bounty System: Set bounties requesting puzzles of a certain type

I propose that a new system can be put into place where bounties are set looking for a puzzle of a specific type (i.e. Wordplay, Rebus, Cipher, etc). Only one bounty (per user) would be able to exist on a tag at a given time. Once a question of the requested tag appears, the bounty can then be awarded.

Pros

  • Proactively incentivizes questions to be asked
  • Gives an idea of what kind of puzzles we're looking for (we have the fortnight topics, but those aren't incentivized with rep)

Cons

  • It is not guaranteed that a question will be awarded the bounty, which could work both ways in discouraging (put in effort not to be rewarded massively) or encouraging (put in effort to make a very good puzzle) the question askers. Although, the question is still rewarded via the upvote system.
  • Tags can be broad (I want a puzzle about a horse)
  • Potential for abuse
  • Requires changes to the StackExchange platform
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    $\begingroup$ This is, IMHO, the most generally-useful idea here. Critically, it matches the sorts of "topic challenges" that've been done on quite a few sites over the years, meaning we have quite a bit of experience to draw on when designing them. If a platform change needs to be made, this offers a lot more value for the investment than most of the other options. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ I don't agree here. Because it encourages only certain tag(s) and doesn't really take every tag to be equal. $\endgroup$ – manshu May 17 '16 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think this turns into a competition for the best question on a topic, which is not what we really want. We just want to be able to reward good questions when we notice them, we don't want to create competitions. I don't necessarily think this is a bad idea, but I don't think it solves the problem we are trying to solve $\endgroup$ – Gordon Allocman May 17 '16 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Then... I think you don't want bounties, @Gordon. They are by definition (and by name) a contest, an incentive offered to promote competition in pursuit of some goal. The same applies to 2-3 other suggestions here, with the remaining "bounty" proposals being instead some form of "super upvote" (adding an indicator and rep but not actually offering anything in exchange for work). $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 21:06
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 except when used to reward existing answers, which is the functionality we want to duplicate for questions $\endgroup$ – Gordon Allocman May 17 '16 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ I mentioned this in chat before, but instead of "bounty" it would be more correct to say that the community would want the ability to "tip". This isn't what I've proposed in this answer, and can be put into another answer. It would then be sort of a compromise between the Supervote and Bounty. It would allow us to give up our points (+5, +10, +15) like a bounty. It would be unlike the Supervote in the sense that it costs us extra to reward the question more than it deserves. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 17 '16 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Would it be one bounty per tag per user, or one bounty per tag in total? $\endgroup$ – Matthew0898 May 18 '16 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ Also, who would decide what question would qualify for the bounty? With the first question that has the tag receiving the bounty, anyone could add said tag to their question and take the entire bounty. For instance, a 500 point bounty on math might be "won" by What is two plus two? or something to that extent. $\endgroup$ – Matthew0898 May 18 '16 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Matthew0898 The person who set up the bounty would decide which question wins it. Also, I think I'll amend it to be one bounty per tag per user because there's the issue of only one user who can decide the "best" puzzle. I initially put the limit of one per tag to prevent a preference skew.... I'm still thinking on an alternative taking everyone's considerations into thought, but I'll get back to you on that! $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 18 '16 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Matthew0898 How does this sound? Instead of individual bounties, we can have a community bounty where users can pool together their rep. At the end of the bounty period, there will be a voting period in which the bounty setters can distribute their points amongst questions related to the particular tag. To prevent the community pool from being forcefully fed into a "bad" question for lack of relevant puzzles, we can set a threshold such that only questions with X amount of upvotes is eligible for the pool distribution. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 18 '16 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ @WesleySitu That could be interesting, would the entire bounty go to one question, or would it be split? $\endgroup$ – Matthew0898 May 18 '16 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Matthew0898 "Voting" would be the incorrect term... since that implies people would vote to distribute the pool with equal power, but what I mean is that if User X set a bounty of 400 and User Y set a bounty of 200, the total pool is 600. But they're distributed individually, so lets say there exists question 1 and question 2, then... User X can reward 300 to question 1 and 100 to question 2, while User Y can reward 50 to question 1 and 150 to question 2. $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 18 '16 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ @WesleySitu That's not accurate at all - we don't want to "tip", and that wasn't part of the discussion, which is archived in the chat. $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 18 '16 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ @question_asker I'm not entirely sure what we're asking for here. My understanding was that you were looking for a way to "reward existing question" which to me, like a "tip" is just a transfer of reputation. Or was there something I missed...? $\endgroup$ – Wesley Situ May 18 '16 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @WesleySitu You were present for the discussion in chat yesterday, where we clearly outlined that we were looking for one or both of the two highest-voted "answers" on this post. $\endgroup$ – question_asker May 18 '16 at 15:42
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Ask the question asker to answer their own question, and then award a bounty on that placeholder answer.

This is a kind of "workaround" suggested by Shog9, which would allow us to award bounties within the given system. Instead of awarding a bounty to the question itself (which is currently impossible), ask the question asker to post a "dummy" answer to their question, and then award a bounty to that answer instead.

Pros

  • Works within the current system. (No changes to the StackExchange platform.)
  • Being on the "featured" list draws attention to the question.
  • Users can transfer a significant amount of their own reputation if they think a question is deserving (up to 500).

Cons

  • Only one bounty can be awarded at a time; if more than one user wants to transfer rep, each one will have to wait 7 days, during which time they could easily forget or lose interest.
  • No one can reward the question until 48 hours after it was posted.
  • It's a very "kludgy" solution that doesn't really solve the problem; it just works around it.
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  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, this is functionally identical to the bounty same as for answers suggestion, with the exception of requiring askers to "opt in" by self-answering. Critically, they share most of the same "cons". $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 17 '16 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ if a bounty is awarded for the question then a good answer can't receive bounty for a week $\endgroup$ – Fabich May 17 '16 at 23:53
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Continually edit the question to keep it in the list of recent questions.

If we want to draw lots of attention to an exemplary question, we could just keep editing it every few hours, so that it remains near the top of the list of active questions.

Pros

  • Requires no changes to the StackExchange platform
  • Allows more people to see the question.

Cons

  • Doesn't reward the question asker at all (aside from perhaps getting a few more views).
  • Seems like an abuse of the system.
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