I think it would be useful if we had an option when deciding to open a bounty on a question that we could choose to allocate rep from one site even though the bounty is being offered on another site.

For instance I would like to use my rep from SO for putting a bounty on a question that resides on SF. I don't have enough rep on SF to make it enticing. So when you click on "start a bounty" you get sliders for each site that you can pull your rep from, maybe make it where you need to burn up all your rep for the site that your asking the question on and then allocate more rep from other ones, if you have it.

thanks devinb for clearing up my question with your comments! " transfer rep INTO a bounty. But you can't transfer rep across accounts. So, the rep you'd 'lose' from SO would never actually go into your SF account, it would go straight onto a bounty on whatever question." – devinb


5 Answers 5


This has been asked before at some point (moving rep from another site's account for a bounty on another site), but it has been shot down for the most part.

I can see why there is a reason to ask for it. For someone like me who doesn't use ServerFault at all, it may be a good idea to offer up a bounty on a question, but I don't have any rep at all

On the other hand, rep is supposed to be site specific and is a measure of the site's trust in you, and that has to be only for the site you earned it on.

  • So add the feature, make it where you have to allocate a bounty of 500, that should mean that you would have had to put in some time that your trustworthy, wouldn't you think?
    – Breadtruck
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 11:13
  • I am on the fence on the issue. In some ways I would like to have the ability to use my rep on other sites to get a problem solved on another site that I am not particularly active in. In other ways I want to keep rep site specific. If I were to make a decision I would probably say no on this suggestion because as a person who doesn't normally post bounties and doesn't really like the idea overall, I wouldn't be upset in the least if this didn't get implemented.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 11:20
  • 14
    Sounds more reasonable to me if you can transfer rep INTO a bounty. But you can't transfer rep across accounts. So, the rep you'd 'lose' from SO would never actually go into your SF account, it would go straight onto a bounty on whatever question.
    – devinb
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 11:45
  • 4
    @devinb : From an inner working perspective that is really what I meant. It would go straight to the bounty, and never actually show up as earned rep or anything.
    – Breadtruck
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 11:51
  • 1
    @devinb: That is the only way I would ever envision it being done. Straight rep transfers absolutely not. Even with the idea of paying a bounty from another account still just doesn't completely sit right with me and it's unlikely that anything will ever change that.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 12:18
  • @TheTXI : What is it that doesn't sit right with allocating rep to offer decent bounty on a question. Isn't the most important thing here about helping people get answers to their questions, especially for those who might not be as brilliant as people like you, altwood or skeet
    – Breadtruck
    Commented Aug 22, 2009 at 17:11

I feel such a feature is useful given that the overall objective of SE is to help solve questions.

Let's say I am an expert programmer but have only limited experience in server admin. I have the greatest capacity to answer questions in SO, but there's limited incentive for me to do so because rep there only allows me to post bounties in SO, where I probably don't need to ask questions anyway. On the other hand, I am more likely to run into problems in server admin and therefore will be more likely to ask questions on SF and may need to post bounties there. However, because I have limited experience with server admin it will be difficult for me to answer questions to win reputation on SF to be able to do so.

Cross-site bounties would therefore give me more incentive to answer more questions overall, and people answering more questions means everybody wins.

There is the argument that people should help simply because they can and not for the benefit of having their own questions answered. However, in the real world people are busy and so will be far more likely to help when there is some chance of a tangible benefit in return. If we take the purely altruist approach that people should be helping each other anyway just to be helpful, then there shouldn't be any bounties in the first place.

Cheers, Kevin


Transfering your rep directly to some other site for bounty might be a bad idea for some reason. So there could be some handicaps for that... One possible solution might be rep exchange rate... If you ask how and why:

If a person whats to start a bounty, but do not have enough rep for it, so he can take that rep from another stackexchange site with an exchange rate... rep exchange between similar sites might be lower or higher Like

  • Between Stackoverflow and programmers.stackexchange, its 1:2
  • Between Stackoverflow and serverfault, its 1:2.5 etc...

(Above are just for example)

SO if i wish to start a bounty worth of 200 in serverfault, i had to withdraw 500 rep from my stackoverflow account! That will make is usable only in extreme needs... But users who needs will use it for its costs.

Meta have a diffrent role in stackexchange system. Rep in other sites shows knowledge and experience of a user while on meta, it shows how good a user is in observation and solution offering. Answering a question on stackoverflow (or serverfault or other sites) requires knowledge, while everybody can offer something for nearly any question on meta...

So rep transfer between meta and main site might be for higer costs. And it is possible just for the main site and its meta. Like:

  • Between Meta.stackoverflow and stackoverflow is 1:5 (or may be higher)
  • No rep transfer for bounty between meta.stackoverflow and site other than stackoverflow itself.

If you want more rep on SF you'll have to contribute on SF to earn it... Else you're not really entitled to the rep you want to offer as a bounty (on that site)

Plus a larger bounty shouldn't really give you any advantage, people should help you if they can and want to help you. The size of the bounty shouldn't matter.

  • 10
    Lets be real here, its not like I get that much rep from asking what I think are decent questions, and I just don't know enough to answer question, especially on that site. So I am stuck in low rep land with no ability to offer decent bounties on any questions that really matter to me.
    – Breadtruck
    Commented Aug 21, 2009 at 11:12

I think that reputation should not cross sites at all, except for maybe the account association bonus.

The idea behind rep is the fact that you have helped other people, so they have upvoted your stuff, and you now have a certain amount of 'reputation'. While this idea might not be clearly expressed on some sites like meta, the rest of the sites pretty much hold true to that idea, except for possibly CW.

With a bounty, you are giving the reputation you earned from you helping people, and giving it to people who are now helping you with a hard problem. I think that it wouldn't be ideal to give reputation you earned from helping people with Server Admin problems, to people who are helping you with a Programming problem, or vice versa.

(Unless all reputation could be transferred, making the sites more closely interconnected so you basically just have a single pool of reputation.)

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