Possible Duplicate:
An “urgent” tag for questions that need answers within minutes

I was thinking about how one could set a bounty only after two days to give the community a chance to answer the question. But what if a question is urgent? Maybe there should be the option to set a bounty from the beginning of the question's lifetime. I looked around at other options for helping people in need of urgent answers and found this (An "urgent" tag for questions that need answers within minutes) question. The accepted answer for that question was this:

I am very much against this idea. Stack Overflow is meant to be a repository of information. It is NOT meant to be a place to farm out your work to.

If you have something urgent, your time would be better spent asking the people around you, or figuring it out for yourself. On SO, because the answers are provided wikipedia style (anyone can answer) you can't guarantee it is correct, so if you are on a time-crunch the first answer could be completely wrong, and might destroy your application.

Of course that could happen if you were doing your own work too.

All questions are equal on SO, one person should not be able to skip the line or get special treatment just because they didn't manage to get everything done beforehand.

I agree with this answer in that all question are indeed equal and a tag would not change that, but I disagree with the answerers point that this is not a place for urgent questions. For the majority of questions, this is true; the asker does not need an urgent answer. But with the homework tag, for example, what if the asker needed an immediate answer to a homework question or a developer for a firm was late on a deadline and this site was a last resort?

Basically, I propose that there be the option to place a bounty on a question when creating the question. However, the bounty would have to be above 200 rep as to make sure that the question is indeed urgent.

  • 36
    "But what if a question is urgent?" Put simply: we don't care. Jun 24, 2012 at 20:48
  • 3
    And, further to Cat's comment: why should we care? A lack of forward planning isn't our problem to solve. Jun 24, 2012 at 20:50
  • Interesting that this should come up less than an hour after I addressed someone else who was also whining for an early bounty. Jun 24, 2012 at 20:52
  • 1
    Did you read some of the other highly rated answers and comments to the earlier questions? Did you notice the very strong link that many people attribute between the asker's "urgency" and rudeness? Essential nobody posts to Stack Overflow because they need an answer "when you get around to, Wednesday week or so would be fine". Jun 24, 2012 at 21:00
  • 7
    Every question is urgent. Mine are even more urgent than others. Jun 24, 2012 at 21:00
  • 10
    There's no place to get an answer faster than SO. The classic rookie mistake is to convey urgency by rushing the question, spending no more than 5 minutes on composing it. Usually with the odd conviction that if it looks rushed then everybody will understand that it needs rushed. That does not work. At all. Jun 24, 2012 at 21:33
  • If I wanted to do charity work, I'd go help the actually needy.
    – McGarnagle
    Jun 24, 2012 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


The terms "Urgent" and "Volunteer Q&A Site" are pretty much diametric opposites.

But with the homework tag, for example, what if the asker needed an immediate answer to a homework question or a developer for a firm was late on a deadline and this site was a last resort?

That's the problem of the developer/student, not of Stack Overflow. This is not an issue that we should be solving.

My point being, that Stack Overflow is for answering questions. Their urgency or lack thereof is immaterial to the site.


I agree with Oded, it's not what Stack Exchange / Overflow is for.

Questions are mostly answered within the hour on Stack Overflow. The median time to get an up-voted answer is only 11 minutes (taken from this meta question on research done on Stack Overflow).

If a developer or student has a complicated problem then they should not be leaving it to the very last minute. If they have a problem and do leave it to the very last minute there's a good chance that it will actually get answered in the time-frame. I do not see how a bounty would help much more.

How more urgent can you get?

Your argument hasn't countered the points made in the linked answer either. What happens if the first answer is horribly wrong?

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