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This question: Delinking bounties from privileges - spent bountry rep should regenerate over time in proximity to my own badge request made me think of a possible alternative.

I agree with the down-voters of the first question that this is not a good plan for the site. However, better badges for offering a bounty might be useful, without breaking the system.

I propose a silver and gold badge, each based on total bounty offered and percentage of reputation offered as bounty.

For example, one might get a silver badge for offering 500 total bounty and total bounty amounts to 25% of reputation at the time of offering the bounty. Gold could be perhaps 2000 and 25%.

This should serve to reward users with at least moderate reputation who are generous with their bounties, without being devalued as automatic badges for every high-rep user.

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What about the people who ask a lot of questions which get answered right away? A lot of users never really have the need to use bounties. I think the bounty badges should remain as bronze "teach me how to do this" badges. – animuson Dec 21 '11 at 18:03
@animuson pardon me, but I don't understand your point. The first two sentences appear logically unrelated to the third. – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 18:04

Badges should encourage beneficial behavior.

There are already 4 badges for the use of bounties:

  • Two for offering and awarding a bounty on your own question.

  • Two for offering and awarding a bounty on someone else's question.

To earn these 4 badges, you have to learn how to offer and award bounties (which seems to be the purpose of most bronze badges).

I do not think that badges for more bounties also encourage beneficial behavior nor that having those badges is really fair.

  • Badges should reward you for doing something good.

    Bounties are used to attract more attention to a specific question or to reward a single user for his answer. In both cases, the bounty does not benefit the entire community.

  • Offering bounties already gives you a reward, and it's more important than any badge you could get: You attract more attention to your question, which will probably result in an answer.

  • Badge X for N reputation is a simple trade-off.

    Users with high reputation could just "buy" the badges.

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I thought that offering a bounty was beneficial behavior. As you just wrote, the existing badges are little more than a "I know how to use feature X" reward. I think that offering a significant bounty beneficially rewards others for participating, and the reputation you use has to come from some presumably beneficial action on the site. Surely offering a bounty for someone else's question is a beneficial behavior if it generates good answers to a hard question. You say that users with high reputation could "buy" the badges, but how many would give up 25% of their reputation to do so? – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 18:42
I have to admit that I did not read the 25 % part. But I doubt that it will benefit anybody if someone throws away a quarter of their reputation for bounties. I admit that offering bounties on other users' questions might result in more benefits to the site than to the user itself, but I don't think that offering bounties on your own questions should be further rewarded. – Dennis Dec 21 '11 at 18:48
Do you think that any variation of the concept has merit, or are you wholesale against it? – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 19:12
I'd welcome the variation silver badge for awarding a total of X bounty points on other users' questions. I don't think the percentage idea is a good one and I think this is not enough for a gold badge. – Dennis Dec 21 '11 at 19:30
Thank you. As you can see I didn't mark this question feature-request because I didn't give it much thought. It appears the idea is neither popular nor hated and should be left to slip into obscurity. I could support the silver badge you propose, if you care to make it a new question. – Mr.Wizard Dec 21 '11 at 20:30
@Mr.Wizard: I will if I can come up with the details. – Dennis Dec 21 '11 at 21:13

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