First of all, I have read and understood:
But still. I have a suggestion/question. I have started a question on StackOverflow that didn't give me any answers. No answers at all. I really didn't write a bad question, it got 3 upvotes, but still I got no answers ( jTDS + stored procedures + prepareSQL = nesting level error? ). Therefore, as a relatively new user, I decided to add a bounty to the question, hoping it would attract some new attention. But nothing new happened. That doesn't really motivate me (as a new user) to use this bounty system more.
I think there are a few situations that can happen to questions with an attached bounty.
- One of the answers gets manually awarded the bounty. As long as it's not an answer of the person handing out the bounty himself, this shouldn't be a problem.
- In case nobody manually awards a bounty, but there are good answers, the automatic awarding system makes very good sense to me.
This all sounds good. Nobody should be able to award a bounty to himself and good answers should be rewarded.
But. What if there are no good answers? (so no answers with upvotes at all, only answers with minus 4, or no answers at all after a week of extra attention) Right now, the policy is to just discard the bounty. The bounty starter loses its rep and nobody wins. Sure, you have "bought" a question some extra attention and that requires some commitment and a kind of "handling fee". On the other hand, if we compare this to real life, it doesn't make sense. If I place an ad "I lost my wallet, I have a $ 500 bounty for whoever returns it to me", I can keep my $ 500 in case my wallet doesn't show up. I just spent money (if any) on placing the ad.
Therefore I would like to suggest another way of handling this. For me there are some realistic options, keeping in mind that we don't want to have the bounty system be abused.
- After a question with a bounty is not answered in a satisfactory way, so the automatic awarding system would discard the bounty, the bounty is refunded to the bounty starter after a deduction of 25 rep (for example). So a bounty of 50 would give a refund of 25; a bounty of 100 would give a refund of 75. See it as the "administration fee" for having a bounty.
- The same as 1, but half the bounty is refunded to the bounty starter. This way, the higher a bounty and the more attention it therefore gets, the more "administration fee" you pay.
- When wanting to place a bounty, you pay the administration fee in advance (like placing the ad). So for example it costs 15 rep + the bounty to place a bounty. To place a bounty of 100, you pay 115. To place a bounty of 50, you pay 65. This of course includes that when no bounty is awarded, the full amount of the bounty is refunded.
I don't want to kick against any people's knees, I just want to help make this (network of) site(s) better. It's fine if nobody agrees with my suggestion, then I'll just rest my case. It's also not about getting my own bounty back, I have agreed to this system at the moment I started the bounty. But we're talking about a website where we try to help each other, where we can get (hard-earned) reputation that we can invest in others. Compare it to giving a recommendation about someone. It just makes no sense that someone's reputation just "vanishes" because he has asked a good question where simply nobody knows the answer to.
I'm curious to your opinions on this. :)