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I think it would be a good\nice idea for an almost retrospective bounty award. I have been helped out several times by people and if they were someone in the office I would buy them a beer to thank them. I think there should be a SO equivalent where if someone gives a good response you can 'Buy them a beer' i.e You give them 20 of your rep to say thank you. I know we vote and accept answers but it is not as 'personal' as it doesn't cost the OP anything.

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definitely a great idea, I support this. –  Brian Schroth Nov 13 '09 at 17:16
    
possible duplicate of Sacrifice Rep To Reward Question Or Answer –  Pops Jan 12 '11 at 20:56
    
Though this is a dupe of a declined request, it's almost possible anyways with a workaround. Just start a bounty on the question and award it to the user in question. I only say "almost possible" because this method doesn't give you good control over the amount of rep to give; you have to choose a multiple of 50 up to 500. –  Pops Jan 12 '11 at 20:57

5 Answers 5

If you want to be super nice, pay attention to their profile page as well as any comments or answers they leave. Get a feel for them as well as picking up any salient information as to their real world location/identity.

After some investigative work tracking down their details (shouldn't be too hard given some are wanting to display any number of ways to contact them) fly, drive or boat yourself out to their house/flat.

Knock on their door and invite them out for a beer, coffee or what have you.

Because if you want to show someone on the internet that you really care, you'll turn up unannounced at their door at 2am. Then you can give them a real world high five.

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Which reminds me, we need a "funny guy!" badge, too. –  Unsliced Nov 13 '09 at 10:10
    
'funny'\'see you at 2am' badge :) –  Phill Duffy Nov 13 '09 at 10:17
    
Aha, random seems to be either British or from one of the more recently-released colonies. Now off to collect more clues... –  mmyers Nov 13 '09 at 15:16
    
What makes you think it's part of the Commonwealth? –  random Nov 13 '09 at 15:45
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Nobody else would use a word for thickness to refer to a place of residence. –  mmyers Nov 13 '09 at 20:17
    
@random Excellent idea. What's your address? –  Phil Lello Nov 14 '11 at 19:54

You could see if they've written a book, and buy a copy if they have ;)

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I have done that once for you already :) only the 1st edition though. I am thinking about the regular (non-tony-the-pony wielding) types –  Phill Duffy Nov 13 '09 at 10:25
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Do I have to flag this as spam? :] –  Ladybug Killer Nov 13 '09 at 10:26
    
it's too subtle to be considered spam ;) –  jmfsg Nov 13 '09 at 15:26
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This must be some new meaning of the word "subtle" of which I was not previously aware. –  Jon Skeet Nov 13 '09 at 16:09
    
Jon: That happened at the same time "required" got redefined earlier this week. twitter.com/johnrudy/status/5600452523 –  John Rudy Nov 13 '09 at 17:20

You could just go into that user's profile and upvote some other thing that he has done, if you wanna be nice.

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That is true but their other answer might not be any good and that would give everyone the wrong impression that it is a good answer –  Phill Duffy Nov 13 '09 at 9:57
    
Aye that could happen, but I don't see why you would want to give them your rep. But a method to give extra rep could be abused. –  Ólafur Waage Nov 13 '09 at 9:58
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You'd have to be careful that your up-voting of other questions/answers wasn't seen as vote fraud by the automatic systems –  ChrisF Nov 13 '09 at 10:02

You have a point...

I've seen comments to the effect of "I wish I could upvote more than once" etc so this might fit the bill.

Perhaps a "throw my beer in your face" badge too when you can't downvote enough...

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Ha ha, then you might start having bar brawls et al. We want to stay civilized (mostly) –  Phill Duffy Nov 13 '09 at 10:02

Related question - Badge suggestion: gold badge: beyond-call-of-duty

I think it would be great to have a way to nominate a user for being extra helpful, rather than just upvoting. I don't think you should be able to nominate a user more than once, but with enough of these helpful nominations a special badge or designation would be nice for these folks.

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