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This question already has an answer here:

Have you ever gotten an answer soooo good, you wished you could give a +20 instead of +1 ?

Bounty System

That's a good mechanism, but they're not always right for this situation:

  • Bounties are usually associated with giving incentive to answer or draw traffic. I would expect that most users offered bounties before getting an answer, not after.

  • Bounties are usually offered by people with plenty of reputation. "New" users should be able to reward exceptional answers too.

Thanking in a comment

A warm comment on the answer is always nice, but I'm not sure comments are intended for saying thanks - but to clarify / improve the answer itself.

So what is the recommended way to reward this truly exceptional answer?

Other suggestions?

I know there is an answer of the week blog, is there a way to nominate an answer to be there? Sometimes exceptional answers are hidden in low-interest questions that receive less traffic - so those will never be upvoted enough to become noticed.

Or maybe instead of a single blog for the entirety of SO, there should be an entire section called "Answer of the week" with more than one answer (maybe on a per-tag basis). Answers should arrive there based on manual nominations and not on upvotes so unpopular questions will not be discriminated against.

Clarification:

It's not that I'm personally against bounties - I use them plenty of times. I'm mostly concerned about what other people tend to do. I suspect the bounty post-answer reward is not used as much as it should. I believe the majority of people don't consider bounties for this purpose.

marked as duplicate by Cody Gray, hims056, Tobias Kienzler, Martijn Pieters, yoozer8 Aug 7 '13 at 11:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Just use a bounty. That's exactly what you want here. If it attracts a bit of additional interest, well then no harm done. You might get an even better answer. – Cody Gray Aug 7 '13 at 8:18
  • Alternatively, you can go to his profile page, look at his other answers - if they are good, then upvote them (don't upvote for the sake of upvoting though). – Old Checkmark Aug 7 '13 at 8:54
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    @OldCheckmark doing it too many times will result in the serial voting mechanism to detect and cancel it. But yeah, upvoting another answer or two won't cause any harm. – ShaWiz Aug 7 '13 at 9:00
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As a user with a sufficient pool of reputation points (on Mathematica) I tried to assist users on my site by starting a "charitable fund" for bounties, specifically to draw attention to (and reward) overlooked or under-appreciated posts.

Perhaps you could convince a few reputation-wealthy users on your site to do something similar. In my case I made it clear that I had final right of approval so it could not be abused; similar assurances would be prudent I believe.

  • Charitable fund thats uncommon, Wish you do that on Stackoverflow, you will be filled with HELP ME request. – CRUSADER Aug 7 '13 at 8:37
  • Interesting idea, but I notice that all but one of the users who made suggestions had over 1k reputation themselves. I'm not sure why they are in need of your charity. They could just bounty these excellent answers themselves if they felt strongly that they were due an additional reward beyond an upvote. – Cody Gray Aug 7 '13 at 8:50
  • @CodyGray True, they could. However, I felt I was in a position to benefit my site and its users and I took the opportunity. – Mr.Wizard Aug 7 '13 at 8:53
  • Thanks! I like the way you're thinking. Ideas for spreading appreciation is definitely what I was looking for. – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 11:33
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image

I know you said not bounties, but there's a dedicated reason for rewarding an existing answer. Use it!

Your arguments against them are:

Bounties are usually associated with giving incentive to answer or draw traffic. I would expect that most users offered bounties before getting an answer, not after.

Well, usually, but this reason was added for the sole purpose of encouraging you to do the opposite of that! It is used quite often.

Bounties are usually offered by people with plenty of reputation. "New" users should be able to reward exceptional answers too.

Bounties only require 75 rep. That's not a lot at all.

  • It's irrelevant what I personally choose to do. I use bounties all the time. I'm mostly concerned about the majority of people who I suspect will never offer a bounty post getting a good answer. – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 11:14
  • @talkol: Why are those people someone you need to concern yourself with? Do they need a method to recognize posts beyond upvotes? Is there an actual, objective problem that you're trying to solve here? – Nicol Bolas Aug 7 '13 at 11:25
  • I was hoping there's a better way than bounties. I think it's in our common interest that as many people as possible reward exceptional work for going the extra mile. Who knows, maybe some feature idea could come out of this discussion.. – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 11:28
  • @talkol: That's what upvotes are for. Stack Overflow doesn't seem to be lacking in rewards for things. So I don't see the problem being solved. BTW, people don't get notified that you said something in a comment unless you use @-notation when using comments (or are commenting on an answer, and even then, only the answerer gets it). – Nicol Bolas Aug 8 '13 at 5:47
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"New" users should be able to reward exceptional answers too.

Um, no. New users have not yet demonstrated the judgement needed to know what an exceptional answer is. And if they do have that knowledge, they'll have the rep to award bounties soon enough.

  • I'm not saying new users should be able to give bounties. Forms of reward like nomination for "answer of the week" can be performed by new users as well. – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 11:21
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    @talkol ... except they haven't yet demonstrated the judgement needed to know what an exceptional answer is. :P If they've over 75 rep, they've quite well shown they may have that judgement. – doppelgreener Aug 7 '13 at 12:06
  • I didn't start giving bounties until I've reached 500 rep.. I hardly believe it's common for a user with 75 rep to give 50 away – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 16:36
  • @talkol: "I didn't start giving bounties until I've reached 500 rep.. I hardly believe it's common for a user with 75 rep to give 50 away" And what exactly is wrong with that? – Nicol Bolas Aug 7 '13 at 23:02
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Here are a couple you can do with zero reputation: (i.e. even without account)

  1. Share it. In Facebook, Twitter, Google+, family, friends... everyone you know. This will likely cause more upvotes as some people ought to have account on Stack Overflow with 15+ rep. If you do have account (even with 1 rep) you might even get shiny badge of your own as result.

  2. Look in the author profile if he has any contact information and if so, send him a personal thank you message where you can even offer things like beer coupon. Some people even post things like Amazon Wish List on their profile so you can grant them a wish. ;)

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    To expand on #2, I've seen quite a few people who have links to their Amazon wishlists in their profile. That's often a good way to reward people who have been particularly patient and helpful, at least for the teetotalers. – Cody Gray Aug 7 '13 at 8:21
  • @Cody good point, never thought of that! – ShaWiz Aug 7 '13 at 8:23
  • If you're really nice, you can share the link with the other user's account number and get him a badge. – Double AA Aug 7 '13 at 8:54
  • I would much rather have a book or a beer than an Announcer badge. I mean, just saying. – Cody Gray Aug 7 '13 at 8:57
  • @DoubleAA not sure how "legal" this is but yeah, guess it's possible. :) – ShaWiz Aug 7 '13 at 8:59
  • Not sure how contributions with monetary value are looked upon. Can you offer $100 for a good answer, is this good practice? – talkol Aug 7 '13 at 11:25
  • @talkol if it's done in private yes, don't go asking or offering money in comments. :) – ShaWiz Aug 7 '13 at 11:27

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