Badgees? We don't need no stinken badgees!
While sometimes badges as rewards work well to entice people to flag/edit/vote etc, with title edits I think these rewards will attract too many bad badge whores.
It's easy to change something minor, so they'd change any old thing to gain their badge.
Reviewers can deny the change, but as it needs reviewing this causes more work for reviewers and adds to review queues.
While it will also attract badge whores who actually suggest worthwhile title edits, by their very nature, badge whores seek out potential opportunities. So even the decent ones will likely suggest edits which while are arguably decent and so accepted, they're also still unnecessary and time could be spent elsewhere for them and the reviewers.
Tiny pointless edits from badge whores introduces more work for reviewers, unnecessary edit history, more data to store and show so more server strain, things for people to view and potentially rollback, etc etc.
It also provides badge whores and robo reviewers to feed from each other, with badge whores posting pointless title changes and robo reviewers allowing them.
Yes, it's currently easy to post tiny edits in the question body for rep, and with robo reviewers there too, so the point is don't introduce another badge(s) to add to the current issues.
In summary, I think all you'd mostly do here is provide more people with more badges...
The goal is to get the questioners to make decent titles, and avoid others having to edit, flag, review, etc.
Add a new vote function (up/down) for the title. So users vote on question as per normal, and additionally and separately the title.
Rep gained is 1 reps per positive vote, -1 per negative vote and just added/removed from their usual site rep.
(or, -5 rep lost for negative.. hmm..real incentive..)
I know this is a bit fiddly, and will make the currently simple and easy voting system a bit more complex and faffy.
I also know this is a lot of work for devs, and a big change to the site for people to get used to, but I left the idea here as it is a good one that will very likely return better titles, from the want for rep/avoid rep loss.
It makes questioners aware that it was their title that got them the downvotes and so they edit and improve it, and as this becomes common knowledge people write better titles from the start.
Change the ask a new question form title place holder to something more, persuasive.
"What's your programming question? Be specific" is not really pushing people to write a decent title. In fact the first part is suggesting they can be vague about it as they think "I'm about to write that further down so this bit doesn't matter..".
Be specific and summarise your question here (Bad titles give bad rep)
As people posting bad titles are often just after a quick answer:
Good titles return decent answers, and quickly. Bad titles get downvotes and slow or no answers
-This is very important- if you want decent and quick answers. Summarise your question carefully
Freebie SO hats for good titles.
Ability to edit the title separately from the (current) question edit.
Clicking "Question edit" remains the same, and still has the title in there so one can do all in one go if necessary.
If the question is ok but title needs some love, one can click the newly implemented link "edit title" and get a single text field to quickly edit and done with.
Min char limit 3 perhaps, as titles having a small amount of text are likely to need a small edit.
No badges or rep gained, so while rubbish edits will be suggested (nature of the beast(s)), they will be minimal (or at least lacking rep/badge whoring).
This just makes it quicker and easier to edit titles, which might push more people to do it as the HUGE page full of stuff on the current edit is daunting, and fiddly with min 6 chars in body, XX chars in "reason for change" do this, don't do that, etc.
Change a lot of the system so good people doing good things can continue, and bad people doing bad things lose (relative) privileges indefinitely.
Someone found robo reviewing, no more reviewing, ever, kthx.
Someone with a poor accept to deny flag ratio, no more flagging.
This would allow introducing rep gained and/or badges to various things, such as title edits.
Then, again, poor accept to deny ratio for title edits, no rep or badge for you! Lose the badge if you gained it, do not pass go, etc.
While change requires people to learn something new, it also freshens the site and shows people new ideas are being implemented in the site for improvements.
I know a lot of these things wont be implemented here, but they should be. People get away with lots of shit around here, and continue to do it.
This drops morale in those doing good as they feel demotivated as while there's incentive to do good, there's no loss for people taking the proverbial.
To give incentive for people doing good, rep and badges is not enough, being told thanks you've done good, but this person didn't so we've punished them, is what drives a lot of people.
Well, that and money, if we got cash instead of rep...