If a user posts a really difficult question that is not answered by anyone, why is that user asked to start bounty and lose reputation points to get an answer?

there should be an encouraging flow for both users who ask questions and users who answer difficult questions.

I mean both should be given reputation points instead of one losing his earned reputation to get an answer.

What do you say?

OK i get rewarded for this question with a great -2 awesome this is hmmmmm

my opinion about bounty system is that if one post a good question and don't get answered then one start a bounty on that question when this question get more attention through bounty and many people get together to ans the question in parallel of this many people are entertained by this question so because of this it is beneficial for both answerer and how view or take part to answer the question by commenting on it.

in the end many people get benefit of this question with bounty then y not the person which asked the question is also get rewarded for this in form of some reputation points? instead of losing the reputation points.

i think my point of view is very much clear now @

ohhh another one comes and it is -3 now its great to see waaoo

  • 2
    Free bounties would be very easy to abuse.
    – jjnguy
    Nov 5, 2010 at 14:37
  • 3
    Downvotes on Meta means that users do NOT agree with you, and should not be taken as an indication of the quality of your question. Nov 8, 2010 at 11:10
  • ok thanks buddy i got something new from your comment Nov 8, 2010 at 11:35

4 Answers 4


Originally, SO did not have a bounty feature. What happened was that some questions would go unanswered and simply die. Users asked for a way to award their own rep as a way of encouraging people to answer these questions. Hence, the bounty system.

You don't have to use it if you don't want to. If you simply ignore it, SO will continue to work just like it did before.

SO already does a lot to encourage answering questions, and I think few would argue that they have not been successful. The bounty system is something of a last resort for difficult, niche questions.


How desperate are you for an answer?

Is there anything else you can add to the question that might help potential answerers?

If there is then edit the question to include this information - which might be other things you've tried, results of profiling etc. This has three beneficial effects. The first is that the question will reappear on the site's home page (if only briefly). This will give your question more exposure. The second is that there is now more information for someone to work with. The third is that by working on the problem yourself and marshalling your thoughts to update the question you might actually find the answer yourself.

The bottom line is that if you can afford to wait then don't put a bounty on the question.


It encourages reciprocity. If you need reputation to get an answer, you can earn it by answering other questions, thus contributing to the site.

  • a good but difficult question should be rewarded extra but it makes the reputation down for getting ans............:-( Nov 5, 2010 at 13:28
  • 5
    @moon good questions usually get upvoted
    – Pekka
    Nov 5, 2010 at 13:49
  • 2
    @moon The reward is the answer. The reputation system is there to build community, not for the sake of racking up points.
    – detly
    Nov 6, 2010 at 4:18

Note that with the new bounty system anyone who wants a better answer to a question can pay rep to set a bounty. Your question was already out there. If people though it was good, they could have tried to answer it already. You are asking for more than people were willing to give for nothing. So you have to pay. Or not, maybe someone will come hunting for eventually.

Note also that question votes are only worth 5 points while answer votes are worth 10. It wasn't always thus, so why the change? My view is that this decision was made largely because "all questions all the time" as a behavior pattern on the site was judged to be less helpful and less community building than "all answers all the time".

  • 2
    Where did that tag syntax come from??
    – jjnguy
    Nov 5, 2010 at 14:49
  • @jjnguy: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66965/… (I had to go looking through recently-active [status-completed] questions to find it).
    – mmyers
    Nov 5, 2010 at 15:51
  • @jjnguy: That was a frighteningly quick response. I'm thinking that with the new global inbox, chatting in comments would actually work pretty well. Except for the fact that right now all this is going into dmckee's inbox too.
    – mmyers
    Nov 5, 2010 at 15:54
  • 1
    @Michael, yeah. The inbox has really improved my comment response time.
    – jjnguy
    Nov 5, 2010 at 15:55

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