A well(?)-known problem for new users is placing bounties to get better answers. While it is justifiable to prevent just anyone off the interwebz to come in and start offering bounties, it is also the case that a, say, < 1000 reputation user (which is the vast majority IIANM), will be hesitant to sacrifice 5% or 10% of his virtual worldly possessions on a bounty. This is doubly true since new(ish) users are often incapable of estimating whether a bounty will 'pay off' reputation wise.
Why should only a single user be allowed to offer a bounty? Each user could contribute an arbitrary number of reputation points to a bounty pool (but not more than the maximum bounty value of course); and the OP can choose to start a bounty with the pool of contributions plus something of his own (what this "something" is needs further development).
- A benefit of this mechanism is that, say, 10 newbies can easily sponsor a bounty with 5 rep each.
- Reputation is not actually subtracted from the contributors until a bounty is actually offered.
- This mechanism is not really specific to new users, but since veteran users usually have reputation to spare they can just pay for the bounty themselves. So it's bounty reform to "aid the suffering masses", to use populist rhetoric.
- Haven't given enough though to the case of users others than the OP wanting to utilize the pool to offer a bounty. Maybe the contributors can choose to offer the bounty without the OP's decision?
- Another benefit is maintaining new users' sense of self-respect. Some suggestions regarding this issue sound almost like begging for alms.