I've asked a question and got two very nice answers, both within a very short period of time, both excellent, both would have deserved the +15rep for "accepted answer". I decided to mark the earlier post as "accepted answer", although there have been maybe 10 seconds between them.

I upvoted both answers. Is there any possibility to reward the second answer with the +15 for an accepted answer as well? I'm ok with a bounty-like system which takes the 15 rep away from me.

Not an option:

  • Losing 50 rep for the minimum bounty, I only want to be fair and give the same +15
  • Waiting 48 hours until the bounty system is enabled

What do you think about adding a "donate rep" button?

  • 2
    No, such an option does not exist. There are bounties, which have the limitations you mentioned, and there are upvotes, which give +10. That's basically the answer to this question. If you'd like to suggest adding such a feature, please tag your question with the [feature-request] tag. – Cody Gray Aug 3 '13 at 7:14
  • I've re-tagged my question. I'm definitely in favor of such a "donate rep" button. – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 7:19
  • Exact same feature was asked before. But couldn't find right now. – hims056 Aug 3 '13 at 7:20
  • There are these two questions (Can the lower bound of a "bounty" be smaller? and Why does a bounty cost so much?) about lowering the cost of a bounty, but they don't really apply in this case, since DR isn't actually asking for a bounty and doesn't care if the question appears in the "featured" tab. – Cody Gray Aug 3 '13 at 7:23
  • 1
    And there is this support question, which this might have been a duplicate of if I hadn't persuaded the asker to make it a feature request. :-) – Cody Gray Aug 3 '13 at 7:25
  • I think this is in some sense related to the frequently asked "How do I chose which answer to accept (who to award the +15 rep)"; but in this case, instead of picking one, you want to award it to multiple users. – Old Checkmark Aug 3 '13 at 7:37
  • I already picked an answer, this is not related to this. I just want to be able to give two persons the exact same amount of rep for their exact same amount of effort in answering a question. It is not about which answer is marked as accepted. – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 7:41
  • Maybe the downvotes can give some reason what is so wrong about wanting equal rep for two people if they put in the same amount of effort in their answer? – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 7:44
  • -1 ben's answer sums it up well – Samuel Liew Aug 3 '13 at 13:18

While your idea is admirable and the feature request makes sense within the bubble of this specific issue, you have to think of the bigger picture to understand why this is not a good idea.

Being able to arbitrarily transfer your own rep to someone else outside of the bounty system will open up the possibility for a huge black market for reputation. The current bounty system has numerous controls to help prevent that (waiting 2 days to start the bounty, minimum length of the bounty, not to mention the extra visibility to the post where fraud attempts would be seen quickly), and there are probably still cases where it has been attempted.

So a feature to transfer small amounts of rep would be too easily gamed and require significant oversight and restrictions to prevent abuse. It is likely that the value of the feature would not outweigh the cost to implement and the cost to maintain and oversee the feature.

There are alternatives, such as bounties and voting. If someone really gave you an answer that is worthy of more rep than you can award, you can always award a bounty, or if you don't think it is worth the cost of the bounty, you can find a couple of worthy posts of theirs to upvote (just don't do this too much to avoid hitting the serial voting scripts).

  • +1 for voicing my opinion better than I did in my answer. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Aug 3 '13 at 14:30

I say no.

If you really want to go the extra mile because you think the answer is great you should use a bounty. Otherwise pick the one that helped you the most and up-vote it.

But why?

There is a very good reason to only have one accepted answer - it makes readers of the Q&A format find what actually solved the problem easy. As a reader I just want to get the best solution to the problem.

If you want to say both answers are helpful - well that's what upvotes are for. Upvotes indicate usefulness which is what you want to show.

If you really want to show the guy who provided the answer more appreciation you can also look through his answers - find another one you think is really good and upvote that too.

  • You don't see the point Benjamin. Both answers are more or less exactly the same. I don't want to mark two as "accepted answers", I just want to give them both the same amount of rep for their work. This is not possible currently. – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 7:22
  • @D.R. Two things, first of all : Can you show us the question? Second, you're asking to award the poster with rep to indicate usefulness which is exactly the problem upvotes solve. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Aug 3 '13 at 7:23
  • I've already upvoted BOTH. This means: +25rep for the accepted answer and +10 for the second answer, which isn't fair to me. – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 7:24
  • @D.R. then find another worth answer and a worthy question of the 2nd answer to upvote - problem solved. – psubsee2003 Aug 3 '13 at 9:43
  • This is clearly a workaround for the problem. Why do you propose workarounds instead of voting for a/the solution? There seems to be an aura of "do never criticize the status quo, it is perfect as it is" at meta, which I didn't expect at all in a community-driven environment like ths... – D.R. Aug 3 '13 at 10:02
  • @D.R. the workarounds are necessary because the feature is not feasible. Please see my answer. – psubsee2003 Aug 3 '13 at 12:55

I understand your desire to play fair and with multiple good answers ten seconds apart there really isn't a way. However the concern is not really necessary. A single upvote provides +10 anyway, so the accept bonus isn't a deal breaker for most people answering. Much better to collect 2 or more upvotes from the community for writing a good answer than to win the "check mark".

You just have to pick the one you think is worded best and most helpful to you. If you think an answer is especially worthy of recognition, a bounty would be appropriate. 50 rep is not really very much in the grand scheme of things: just at token worth the same as a handful of upvotes. It isn't necessary to place a bounty to balance being "fair" about awarding accepted answers, but if an answer is exemplary for any reason it is a nice gesture to recognize the extra work that went into it.

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