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Background

I strongly believe that in many cases a good edit provides more lasting value to SE than a good answer to a mediocre question. A good question will bring good answers that will be more useful to people in the future by making it easier to find, more general in the answers it gets, and more attention from the community.

Unfortunately, edits currently cannot be rewarded directly.

In this feature request for allowing bounties to be awarded to editors, the sole answer is a suggestion to award a bounty to one of the answers the editor made.

It currently has 4 downvotes.

Discussion

The Bounty FAQ doesn't give any guidance on whether this is acceptable within the bounds of the bounty system.

  1. Can I feel free to award bounties to good answers for heroic edits to a separate question?
  2. Will this either provide poor signalling (by indirectly rewarding behavior with no indication of what the reward was for?), or otherwise harm the site in another way?
  3. If I did offer a bounty and explained in a comment that it was for an edit to a separate question, would this clutter things up even more and confuse the issue?

This is somewhat discussed in these separate questions:

(Bear in mind, none of them answer this question, and are only tangentially related -- please don't close as a duplicate)

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1 Answer 1

Generally-speaking, I really don't think this is a great idea.

Now, if you happen to notice that someone who has made a particularly good edit has also written a particularly good answer somewhere and you want to show your appreciation for their particular taste in goodness... Well, go for it.

But by and large, I'm with gnat on this: if you can learn something from an editor's work and apply it elsewhere, then do it; there's too much work for any one person, but the more people following the examples of good editors today, the more folks who'll see the results tomorrow and join in as well.

Of course, if you ever see something I've edited that strikes you as useful and you want to leave a comment offering to buy me a beer...

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2  
For Beta Sites like The Workplace there aren't many editors with more than 10 edits. While pay it forward is a great concept (that I agree with in principle), when trying to build up the pool of editors I want to have a carrot to dangle in front of people to give them a reason to think 'edit' prior to 'answer'. Of course, you could just approve the other feature-request to allow people to reward editors! (And I'd be happy to buy you a beer next time you're in Kansai, Japan. Edit-related or otherwise) –  jmac Oct 4 '13 at 1:59
    
Encouraging answerers to edit is a hard problem all by itself; strictly-speaking, they already have a good reason to do it: the better the question is, the more folks will read their answer! If you think of a good way to emphasize this... –  Shog9 Oct 4 '13 at 2:43
1  
Other than the Big 3, many of the highest vote totals come exclusively from the Hot Questions list (which has its own set of problems). Unfortunately this means that the connection between editing and more views is tenuous, though at least it gives me somewhere to start looking to improve the number of editors. In the meantime, it can't hurt to look at the feature-request and recommend a status-planned to the developers –  jmac Oct 4 '13 at 6:12

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