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How does the bounty system work?

If we're reviewing the queue, and we happen to see a first answer/question that's extra-ordinary, I think it'd be really nice if we could give an extra +5 or +10 rep to that first time user; encourage them to stay a bit more.

I know this could be abused, so maybe we only get like 3 a day, or 2 a day; or make it cost some of our own rep, and limit it to first-answers, and first-questions only.

Especially for first answers, I mean, to register a new account, or get out of the question asking mode, and post your first answer, and then have it be a really good/extra-ordinary answer; you don't always get a lot of upvotes, especially on a question that might not have gotten a lot of visibility.

Thoughts? I didn't see any other directly related requests, but it would also solve this problem:

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marked as duplicate by Time Traveling Bobby, ChrisF, Brian Deragon, Lorem Ipsum, kiamlaluno Dec 14 '11 at 21:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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@Bobby I don't think so, I'm not talking about giving people a bounty of 50 or more rep, I was talking about a small, one-time, daily bonus we could give out while reviewing new answers/questions. –  Brian Deragon Dec 14 '11 at 16:07

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

While I'm sure there will be those who say it's harder to start being an active user than it used to be, I don't think it is: I think it has been and continues to be true that users old and new who post quality content are duly rewarded with reputation.

So I don't think it's necessary to have a special "Well done, you look like you're going to be a valued user, here's some extra help", because such users will very soon 'conventionally' acquire the rep that your special measure would give them.

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You already have two ways to award a bonus:

  1. Upvote
  2. Award a bounty

Adding another doesn't add anything to the site and opens possibilities for fraud (that's why the bounty system is so strict).

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Although I agree that a good first answer shows that users are willing to read the faq, and understand how to write a good answer from the start, I think that an extremely good answer that is a first answer from a user, is equally valuable as an excellent answer later on.

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I was just looking at ways of encouraging/retaining those borderline users, the ones that might only post occasionally, or even rarely, but still have good answers. –  Brian Deragon Dec 14 '11 at 16:08

This might be considered a bad practice, but you can downvote then remove the downvote of a 1 rep user to put them at 3 rep instead. I'd argue that this "feature" is a bug in the design, but it's there nonetheless.

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