What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 131 Stack Exchange communities.

I would like to offer a bounty (incentive) and would like to purchase it instead of offering my own reputation as the bounty.

I see that Careers.SO already has a system to accept transactions for posting a job listing so it shouldn't be far fetched to hook bounties up to the transaction system.

I'll think of some responses and provide my own:

  • This can/will be gamed. - Probably. But unfortunately I make money faster than I make reputation.
  • If you really want to pay for help, hire someone. - I would like to make the question & answer available while also involving the community; not just a company who I'd have to spend time searching for anyways.
  • Setting a price for bounty-rep will disrupt the economy. - I suppose. But $350 for a job posting was decided on. I assume something can be done for a bounty too.
  • You'll utterly destroy the community by involving money. It'll become greed and mayhem. For the love of man, it'll turn into 4chan! - Although very possible, I do have my doubts this will actually happen.
share|improve this question
10  
If making money faster than reputation makes you feel unfortunate, quit your job and spend all your time on SO. Both problems fixed! –  ЯegDwight Nov 5 '10 at 21:22
5  
Welbog whines about being out of downvotes in 3... 2... 1... –  user27414 Nov 5 '10 at 21:28
1  
+1, here's 10 rep for free, go wild. –  Lance Roberts Nov 5 '10 at 22:38
1  
I've added a bounty free of charge, just this once. I'll be expecting cold hard cash next time! –  Andrew Grimm Nov 8 '10 at 5:11
    
Buy Land, they are not making it anymore ~ Mark Twain –  ApprenticeHacker Dec 19 '11 at 6:28

6 Answers 6

I think this idea has more merit than the knee-jerk reaction of money=bad.

It is different to other suggestions about payment because no-one answering the question knows that the bounty has been paid for in cash. It is indistinguishable from any other question with bounty on it.

The problem of what monetary value to place on bounty is a valid one, and I understand why people object to it on that basis alone, but please take a moment to weigh it up against the alternative.

The alternative is that people who do not get an answer to their question, and do not have enough reputation to offer a bounty, are forced to take their question to an alternative site. SO not only misses out on the initial payment but also the exposure and advertising revenue from people who have the same problem and land on the other site's page instead of SO.

I asked my first ever SO question a few days ago and have received no response at all. If I now take it to a site where I can offer a cash incentive, is it fair on that other site if I answer my own question on SO once I have the solution? I think not.

share|improve this answer

I think this is a dangerous, slippery slope.

If you buy rep to use as a bounty, and the winner of the bounty gets worthless points, the system falls apart. Why should I give you my time in exchange for useless points when you're willing to pay actual money?

The way it works now, you earn rep by contributing your time to SO. You can exchange that rep for my time. It's nice and fair.

If we turn rep into money, the whole site will fall to pieces.


Edit:

Think about how money for Q&A would work. How much would it cost to ask a question? How much would get you for answering one? Rates would have to be so low for questions that it would never be worth answering.

And instead of a happy, helpful community, we'd have people bickering over who should get paid for their answer on a question. Right now, if I think my answer is better than yours but yours is accepted, I'll get over it. Add money to the mix and that changes.

As others have mentioned, this idea has been up and down the flagpole. The consensus is overwhelmingly that money+SO=bad.

share|improve this answer
    
I see. So: Rep is time, time is money, money is rep. It seems it is already that way so it's just simply exchanging money in place of time. Can you explain why the system falls apart please? (Pref. edit your answer please. Comments are horribly "walls of text") –  Rob Olmos Nov 5 '10 at 22:17
2  
@Rob I respect people offering to pay money, because it shows an appreciation for people's time and knowledge few users have. However, this discussion has been had many times, with the majority opinion (i.e. many people's and Jeff Atwood's :) that money changing hands, however small amounts, would poison the system. After participating in the system for a year, I must say I agree. The community as it is working today is too precious to be put at risk by introducing payment for answers, however indirect. I realize this means lost opportunities for both sides, but it's better this way overall. –  Pëkka Nov 5 '10 at 22:34
    
@Pekka Thanks for the input. I tried searching for the keywords surrounding this issue but was unable to find anything close at all. Are there any sources for these discussions that I missed? –  Rob Olmos Nov 5 '10 at 22:50
    
    
@Rob However, I can't find the "big discussions" either with Jeff's official verdicts, but I think there were some. –  Pëkka Nov 5 '10 at 22:59

I'm suprised that noone's started "farming" SO accounts and put them on ebay, in order to sell rep.

share|improve this answer
    
lol. That could be a nice way to earn some cash. –  ApprenticeHacker Dec 19 '11 at 6:29

Why not just offer the money as the bounty?

share|improve this answer

How dare you make such an immoral suggestion!

Meet me in half an hour in the chat. Bring cash.

share|improve this answer

How about just shorting it? You borrow the bounty from someone, and then when it is distributed, you pay them back, either at a loss if you haven't made up reputation in time (a sort of IOU, perhaps?), or with a profit if you have made it up in time (the profit would come from the system, not the person you borrowed from). Idea on why to make a profit: you've been useful enough in the meantime, so you are obviously a boon to the site and should be rewarded.

Just a silly idea, but no less silly than the original

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .