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An “urgent” tag for questions that need answers within minutes

I was thinking about how one could set a bounty only after two days to give the community a chance to answer the question. But what if a question is urgent? Maybe there should be the option to set a bounty from the beginning of the question's lifetime. I looked around at other options for helping people in need of urgent answers and found this (An "urgent" tag for questions that need answers within minutes) question. The accepted answer for that question was this:

I am very much against this idea. Stack Overflow is meant to be a repository of information. It is NOT meant to be a place to farm out your work to.

If you have something urgent, your time would be better spent asking the people around you, or figuring it out for yourself. On SO, because the answers are provided wikipedia style (anyone can answer) you can't guarantee it is correct, so if you are on a time-crunch the first answer could be completely wrong, and might destroy your application.

Of course that could happen if you were doing your own work too.

All questions are equal on SO, one person should not be able to skip the line or get special treatment just because they didn't manage to get everything done beforehand.

I agree with this answer in that all question are indeed equal and a tag would not change that, but I disagree with the answerers point that this is not a place for urgent questions. For the majority of questions, this is true; the asker does not need an urgent answer. But with the homework tag, for example, what if the asker needed an immediate answer to a homework question or a developer for a firm was late on a deadline and this site was a last resort?

Basically, I propose that there be the option to place a bounty on a question when creating the question. However, the bounty would have to be above 200 rep as to make sure that the question is indeed urgent.

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marked as duplicate by jmort253, kiamlaluno, Anna Lear Jun 25 '12 at 23:00

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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"But what if a question is urgent?" Put simply: we don't care. –  Cat Plus Plus Jun 24 '12 at 20:48
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And, further to Cat's comment: why should we care? A lack of forward planning isn't our problem to solve. –  David Thomas Jun 24 '12 at 20:50
    
Interesting that this should come up less than an hour after I addressed someone else who was also whining for an early bounty. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 24 '12 at 20:52
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Did you read some of the other highly rated answers and comments to the earlier questions? Did you notice the very strong link that many people attribute between the asker's "urgency" and rudeness? Essential nobody posts to Stack Overflow because they need an answer "when you get around to, Wednesday week or so would be fine". –  dmckee Jun 24 '12 at 21:00
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Every question is urgent. Mine are even more urgent than others. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Jun 24 '12 at 21:00
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There's no place to get an answer faster than SO. The classic rookie mistake is to convey urgency by rushing the question, spending no more than 5 minutes on composing it. Usually with the odd conviction that if it looks rushed then everybody will understand that it needs rushed. That does not work. At all. –  Uphill Luge Jun 24 '12 at 21:33
    
If I wanted to do charity work, I'd go help the actually needy. –  McGarnagle Jun 24 '12 at 23:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 23 down vote accepted

The terms "Urgent" and "Volunteer Q&A Site" are pretty much diametric opposites.

But with the homework tag, for example, what if the asker needed an immediate answer to a homework question or a developer for a firm was late on a deadline and this site was a last resort?

That's the problem of the developer/student, not of Stack Overflow. This is not an issue that we should be solving.

My point being, that Stack Overflow is for answering questions. Their urgency or lack thereof is immaterial to the site.

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6  
You should have waited a little longer before answering. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 24 '12 at 20:52
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@BoltClock'saUnicorn - Getting the rep was urgent for me ;) –  Oded Jun 24 '12 at 20:53
    
Psh, nobody cares about your rep. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jun 24 '12 at 20:54
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I can't believe you actually linked to a definition of diametric opposites. –  Park Young-Bae Jun 24 '12 at 20:56
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@Cicada - you forgot to link to the definition of your username. Fixed that for you. –  Oded Jun 24 '12 at 20:59

I agree with Oded, it's not what Stack Exchange / Overflow is for.

Questions are mostly answered within the hour on Stack Overflow. The median time to get an up-voted answer is only 11 minutes (taken from this meta question on research done on Stack Overflow).

If a developer or student has a complicated problem then they should not be leaving it to the very last minute. If they have a problem and do leave it to the very last minute there's a good chance that it will actually get answered in the time-frame. I do not see how a bounty would help much more.

How more urgent can you get?

Your argument hasn't countered the points made in the linked answer either. What happens if the first answer is horribly wrong?

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