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I see instances of SO users answering questions using information from comments or other answers, and then being awarded winning rep when their answer is accepted. If that was me, I might feel compelled to give (some of?) my awarded rep to the user(s) who really deserves it.

I know there are cases where I have provided the 'correct' answer first, then someone else comes along later, uses my answer and maybe adds some embellishment in the form of words and links, and wins the rep.

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6 Answers 6

The point of SO is to get the best answer to the top of the page. Reputation is just a bonus to try and get people to do that. If you want to give someone some rep, browse through their questions/answers and upvote a few that deserve it.

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6  
But not too many! It is easy to trip the "suspicious voting" script, which will undo the votes. –  Marc Gravell Sep 29 '09 at 15:50
    
Yes, what Marc said. Two or three extra deserved upvotes should make anyone's day a little brighter. –  Bill the Lizard Sep 29 '09 at 16:21

If the "original" answer is linked to from within the "duplicate" answer (as is the appropriate practice) then others will hopefully click through and give it some upvotes too.

I know there are cases where I have provided the 'correct' answer first, then someone else comes along later, uses my answer and maybe adds some embellishment in the form of words and links, and wins the rep.

That's just the nature of the game, my friend. ;)

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If someone makes a comment, they write that comment knowing they cannot receive any rep whatsoever from it. They would have made it an answer if that is what it truly was.

As for rep, you can give the accepted answer to whomever you feel like and they will receive the 15 rep points. Upvotes are your way to reward other people's answers. So go ahead and upvote any other helpful answers. Upvotes are a reward for good/helpful answers.

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s/recieve/receive/g –  mmyers Sep 29 '09 at 16:14
    
(I don't care about meta rep for its own sake, but I really wish I had enough to edit.) –  mmyers Sep 29 '09 at 16:15
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Also, s/truely/truly/, s/peoples/people's/, s/what so ever/whatsoever/, and (if you really want to be correct) s/whoever/whomever/. Sorry to nitpick, but I am a programmer after all. –  mmyers Sep 29 '09 at 16:18
    
Just for you mmyers. :) Go go grammer gadget! –  Troggy Sep 29 '09 at 16:43
    
Sorry, it has been a long morning... thank you for the concern. :) –  Troggy Sep 29 '09 at 16:43

It's not who answers first that wins, it's who provides the most useful and complete answer.

Also, any answer can be edited and "embellished", if you feel other users provide a more complete answer, you should edit your answer and complete it too.

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I think this could end up easily abused. It would become far too easy for one user to strongly affect the reputation of another, thus skewing what reputation means. There would be no way to tie gifts of reputation to instances where a user truly helped another user earn reputation. Which means users could attempt to sell reputation and further the abuses that can be done using a shell account.

If you feel you shouldn't get credit for answer because of help provided by another, you can make your question/answer community wiki (CW), so you're not gaining from someone else's work, but I think a system allowing users to transfer reputation would be too easily and frequently abused.

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Those who provide answers in comments know they get no rep (they also can't get downvoted). Information in comments cannot be found by search so it's better not to encourage people to answer in comments. Sometimes the OP will tell a commenter to post an answer so they can accept it.

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