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Would it be worth to to add a badge for offering a certain amount of rep over time (say 1000) towards bounties? It could be called the Sheriff badge.

This sounds like a good idea to me now but I've been drinking.

Update:

With the introduction of the new bounty system, this request has become relevant again! Any other thoughts?

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Please share with the rest of the group what you've been drinking. –  random Aug 14 '09 at 5:06
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Must be the colour scheme... –  Ladybug Killer Aug 14 '09 at 8:59
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lol - this doesn't seem as good of an idea as it did when I posted it... but as for what I was drinking: Crown Reserve –  John Rasch Aug 14 '09 at 14:51
    
Is that like Crown Solo? Crown Gloss? –  Marc Gravell Sep 11 '09 at 14:55
    
@Marc - haha, somehow I never noticed that comment, but it's Crown Royal Whisky –  John Rasch Jun 19 '10 at 17:50
    
Beer here, and it doesn't seem like a good idea. I'll keep trying other combinations and let you know how it goes. (NB: Its 2 AM here at the time of this writing) –  Tim Post Jun 19 '10 at 18:17
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Curiously, this request was marked [status-completed] because of the four new bounty badges, even though they're really closer to completing this request. –  Pops Oct 4 '10 at 19:10
    
Shameless plug to: How about a bronze badge for collecting your first bounty? –  karlphillip May 3 '12 at 19:39

8 Answers 8

Using the Top Investors query written by Jeremy Banks on the data explorer I've listed the amount of people on Stack Overflow who would are currently eligible for the proposed badges:

  • 13 users have invested at least 5000 (0 users on sister sites Server Fault & Super User)
  • 73 users have invested at least 2500
  • 414 users have invested at least 1000
  • 1404 users have invested at least 500

Gold badges on Stack Overflow range hugely from 25,691 users with the 'Famous Question' badge to the 79 users who have earned a Legendary badge.

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Awarding a badge for offering bounties is a great way to promote this feature and help make users aware of it, as well as to encourage them to use this feature to help promote great questions.

However, I'm not 100% convinced that the name of the badge fits the actions, considering we already have existing badges named after peace officers and law enforcement that are awarded for flagging unwanted content.

As far as badge names go, I really like Plutocrat as a name for the badge. A plutocrat is:

someone who rules by virtue of his or her wealth.

Does a huge bounty not determine what questions get the most attention in the StackExchange network? Is this not a form of ruling by virtue of one's reputational wealth?

I also like Tycoon:

person who has a lot of money, power.

Below are reasons why "Sheriff" may not be the best name for a bounty badge:

While I can definitely see the correlation between "Sheriff" badge and offering a "bounty", I feel like that could be confused with the two badges that are awarded to those who raise helpful flags.

Currently, the Citizen Patrol badge is awarded to a user who, for the first time, flags a post. The Deputy badge is awarded for raising 80 helpful flags, and the Marshal badge is awarded for raising 500 helpful flags. When we look at these three badges, it's clear that we're comparing apples to apples but in varying quantities.

The proposed Sheriff badge would likely be confused with other badges intended to recognize volunteers who help keep the site clean, free of spam, and who alert diamond moderators of potential problems. Awarding bounties, on the other hand, is more closely related to awarding the accepted answer than it is to blowing the whistle on a spammer.

Since we already have some badges for those who offer and award bounties, we should look to those existing badges when deriving inspiration for naming a new badge.

Bounty Badges:

The current badges awarded for bounties are the Altruist, Benefactor, Investor, and Promoter, with the first two badges being awarded for awarding bounties and the latter two badges being awarded for offering bounties.

Therefore, with this logic, it stands to reason that a question about a badge awarded to individuals who offer bounties over time should have a name that fits within the same categories as other existing badges related to offering bounties on questions.

Investor and Promoter are those two existing badges related to bounty offerings. Here are the synonyms for those:

Investor:

From Thesaurus.com on investor:

a financier

Synonyms: backer, banker, capitalist, lender, shareholder, stockholder, venture capitalist

From Thesaurus.com on promoter:

Promoter:

a supporter

Synonyms: advertiser, advocate, ally, backer, booster, endorser, follower, organizer, publicist, sponsor

Tycoon and Plutocrat were words that are more closely related to investor, and are words I found on the same page. These are not names we've used before on badges. However, I noticed that promoter has two synonyms for two badges that we award for sharing links to questions, the Booster badge and the elusive Publicist badge. Therefore, my logic may be somewhat flawed in ruling out "Sheriff" as the name for the badge.

Still, if we are going to promote the creation of this bounty badge, I'd be interested to see a unique name chosen that helps separate it from other types of badges that are awarded for unrelated activities and that emphasize wealth or sharing of wealth.

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It's worth noting this [feature-request] predates all of the 4 bounty badges you listed...with that in mind, adding a badge for bounties seems redundant at this point anyway. –  Nick Craver May 8 '12 at 0:17
    
Just curious, why would you say it's redundant? What am I missing? –  jmort253 May 8 '12 at 0:19
    
The purpose of adding a badge was to encourage bounties...we've done that via 4 additional badges specifically for that since this request, and bounty activity increased as a result. –  Nick Craver May 8 '12 at 0:20
    
Makes sense. You have enough on your plate anyway, so why waste time on things that pay tiny dividends. ;) Still, if you do implement another badge, we've got the names picked out. –  jmort253 May 8 '12 at 0:26
    
Yup yup, it's not so much dev time...badges are quick to implement, it's the time researching to see if they're needed that's the time sink. In this case though since it's promoting the exact same action, a duplicate badge isn't warranted...if you look at the badge list, we don't duplicate for the same exact behavior (it'd be better to make another badge more appealing in that case, or add a silver/gold level, etc.) That being said, a higher level badge for bounties is a possibility, but I'm pretty sure that isn't needed, yet anyway. –  Nick Craver May 8 '12 at 0:29

Offering a bounty means you are willing to give up some reputation for the good of the community, as all reasons eventually lead to better content or rewarding existing good content.

The act of offering is what matters most in my opinion, not manually awarding and we already got investor badge which is a good start - but I would like to see silver and gold badges as well.

  • Philanthropist - Silver badge. Offered at least 5 bounties worth total of at least 1000 reputation.

  • Good Samaritan - Gold badge. Offered at least 50 bounties worth total of at least 5000 reputation.

The limitations will protect the badges from gaming by offering minimum amount of reputation.

Edit: just noticed there is already pending feature request:
Can we have a badge called "big spender" or "seeder"?

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why should someone who has spent 10x500=5000 be penalized for not spending his rep in chunks of 50? Was that put in just to prevent gaming? If so, I would call the guy who throws away 5000 rep for a badge the king among fools. –  Lorem Ipsum May 1 '12 at 7:41
    
@yoda yes indeed, this is to protect against gaming. Of course it's not perfect, one with 30K rep for example don't really mind losing a petty 5000 no matter how they are spent but still.. –  Shadow Wizard May 1 '12 at 7:44
    
I suppose it isn't that outrageous a requirement as it seemed at first... Oh well. I'm not very hopeful for the team implementing this, but I'm willing to be surprised. –  Lorem Ipsum May 1 '12 at 8:08
    
@yoda same here but we do see new badges from time to time and I think the names are pretty cool. Time will tell! :) –  Shadow Wizard May 1 '12 at 8:12
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I'd probably switch the two names... philanthropist definitely trumps the other in terms of perception. –  Lorem Ipsum May 1 '12 at 8:17
    
@yoda fine by me - but let's first have this approved, lol.. –  Shadow Wizard May 1 '12 at 8:17
    
Gold badge for 50 bounties...it's very hard....Can't we decrease it? –  Somnath Muluk May 7 '12 at 9:37
    
@Somnath nope, Gold badges should be really hard to earn on purpose.. kind of playing games in the Insane mode or its equivalent. ;) –  Shadow Wizard May 9 '12 at 21:48
    
I'd definitely swap the names around and maybe remove the minimum amount of bounties, in favour of the total reputation offered. –  Ambo100 Jul 6 '12 at 16:11

I just won my first bounty... and was about to ask why there are no bounty related badges... I was hoping to get a boba fett badge. But reading TheTXI's answer I can see the logic in not offering a badge for offering a bounty.

So... come on Jeff, add a status-? tag so we know where you stand on this...

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I think more importantly would be an badge for winning that much rep through bounties. Say bronze if you won your first bounty, silver for at least 1000 rep through bounties and gold for 5000 or so. And yes, I also think a badge for giving bounties could be a good thing. I don't think someone easily throw away his hard-earned reputation for a bounty only to win a badge. So such an badge wouldn't hurt the system.

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exactly what I would've said if I'd seen the question sooner :) –  warren Sep 13 '09 at 5:59
    
Especially if the badge is a bit higher for offering. 1k is only two 500 bounties. –  Gnome Feb 22 '10 at 16:59
    
It could be a count of bounties rather than a sum, e.g. 1=bronze, 10=silver, 40=gold. –  hayd Feb 25 '13 at 22:06

I believe the goal of the bounty system is to help users to provide additional incentive to a question they would really like an answer to. Therefore, I do not believe is this a feature that needs any additional encouragement placed on it, as a badge would do. Essentially badges should be awarded to users who are providing services or behavior that the system needs. I don't think that offering bounties falls into the category of a behavior the system needs. Its an available feature, but its available for you, not the system. Voting is something the system needs to function, so there are badges related to voting. The system needs editors, flaggers and retaggers; SO would be lesser without them. I do not think SO would be lesser if no one ever offered another bounty.

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I've answered (and won) several bounty questions (that I previously missed due to having to sleep / work / etc occasionally). Those users got acceptable answers to their problem; so while I agree we don't need a badge for it, offering bounties does, IMO, contribute to the site. Ergo, SO would be lesser without them. –  Marc Gravell Sep 11 '09 at 14:57
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@Marc - I was just thinking that while reading this answer. For one thing, bounties (even pointless ones, e.g. the one this question) have encouraged good answers such as this one which wouldn't have been posted if the bounty were not offered –  John Rasch Sep 11 '09 at 15:02
    
@Marc, I see your point, but I'm still of the mind that the benefit to SO is less, and the OP already is gaining a reward, they've received an answer to something they really needed an answer to, so I don't think it needs to be additionally incentivised. If the badge were for multiple bounties that did not result in an accepted answer, similar to the tumbleweed badge, I could maybe get behind that as a "consolation prize". –  Timothy Carter Sep 11 '09 at 15:04

Badges should be encouraging good behavior. It is still up for debate whether or not offering bounties counts as "good behavior" especially when you can just start making bounties for simple questions and throwing minimum rep at it.

I think a badge for winning bounties is a lot more logical than for offering up bounties.

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Why the tumbleweed-badge? Is asking a question so particular special that nobody is interested in a "good behaviour" that needs badge-support? –  Mnementh Sep 11 '09 at 15:14
    
@Mnemetnth, I believe the tumbleweed is an exception to the rule, and is more of a "consolation prize", but I agree with TheTXI, generally badges are in place to encourage desired behavior. –  Timothy Carter Sep 11 '09 at 15:17
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Doesn't offering bounties for questions you really want answered count as desired behavior? If the threshold is cumulative on rep amount and not the number of questions, then there's disadvantage to always offering the minimum. –  Gnome Feb 22 '10 at 17:02
  1. I absolutely encourage posting while drunk. +1 to you.

  2. And (soberly, sadly) I'm not sure this would be the best idea -- you could get folks offering up easy 100 points on questions they haven't selected an answer to just to get this badge. Bounties are meant to be sort of a last resort incentivizer, not something that we want everybody to aspire to.

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+1, although I see rep as more of an incentive than badges - I wouldn't offer my rep like that just to get a badge –  a_m0d Aug 14 '09 at 7:23
    
Oh I probably would. –  Ether Nov 18 '09 at 7:11

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