What if there was a 50 point rep bonus for actually reading the FAQ?

I think this would address two issues.

  1. New users often have trouble with things that are covered in the FAQ.
  2. New users need 50 rep to post a comment, and many just write an "answer" instead.

If you got a 50 point bonus for actually reading the faq (and maybe even passing a test), we could reduce occurrences of both of these problems.

(Disclosure: I'm stealing this idea from Will)

Edit: If 50 points is too much (and too risky for spam reasons), then how about 25?

  • I actually think this is a dupe... – user1228 Apr 5 '11 at 21:36
  • @Will - then shame on you, as I can now clearly see that this was your idea. – user27414 Apr 5 '11 at 21:36
  • @status-declined: lol'd – user1228 Apr 5 '11 at 21:39
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    -1, spambots will abuse this easily. – badp Apr 5 '11 at 21:40
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    Hmm, passing a test... reminds me of the test you have to take at dotnetkicks.com in order to post a story. You are shown a series of words and have to pick out the ones that relate to .NET. Keeps out an amazing number of spammers. I suppose, generalized, something like that could be offered so new users could get, for instance, enough rep to leave a comment. Maybe a quiz about StackOverflow... Which of the following is NOT an acceptable answer here? Which question will be closed as being argumentative/subjective? Damn, I like that. Please, steal that idea immediately. – user1228 Apr 5 '11 at 21:42
  • @badp'ssockpuppet: Hell, you're probably right. – user1228 Apr 5 '11 at 21:42
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    @badp, @will - then we throw in a trick question: What is a great site to get deals on designer shoes? -- if they answer correctly, they are booted as spam bots. – user27414 Apr 5 '11 at 21:44
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    recaptcha at the bottom of the page, anyone? – MPelletier Apr 5 '11 at 21:59
  • @badp'ssockpuppet: I said that in my answer...primary reason I don't want this to happen... – studiohack Apr 5 '11 at 22:57
  • Bad idea, for reasons already said by others here.. bronze badge for reading the FAQ is more than enough. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 6 '11 at 12:49

If you want to reward reading the FAQ, you could award a badge for example Informed) for that. But this still won't get the required goal (all new users read, memorize and live up to the faq).

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    badge is at least a much less dangerous idea.. bronze for reading the faq is actually not bad – Jeff Atwood Apr 6 '11 at 8:19

Meh, I still think the best way to get reputation is to participate actively in the site.

(and if they read the FAQ, they'd get the 50 rep by participating easily)


The problem is, this could be abused, because they could just go to the FAQ and then get their 50 rep without even reading the FAQ...

We would need some way to confirm that they have actually read the whole thing...so your idea of a test at the end is a good idea, maybe just 3 question sat the end...

But, this could frustrate users who feel that they are going through too much work to ask a question on the Stack Exchange.

Plus, instant 50 rep would immediately give the new user a bunch of privileges that they did not really earn so potential spammers could milk this and get the ability to post images, comments, talk in chat, vote, and flag, all without doing any work... (see the privileges page found at /privileges on any SE site for more info)...

Do we really want to do this?

  • (psst... we wouldn't tell them) – user1228 Apr 5 '11 at 21:35
  • Fill down a captcha at the bottom of the FAQ ? Problem solved ? – HoLyVieR Apr 6 '11 at 2:25

I don't see any merit in this idea.

  1. Instant +50 rep on solving a captcha is a bad idea.

  2. You'd have to give some sort of quiz to ensure that people actually read the faq and didn't just mindlessly fill in the captcha.

  3. Users won't read the faq anyway. And the ones that would, don't need this flawed, exploitable incentive.

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    Reward winning three rounds of Not-A-Real-Question with the 50 rep, you need pretty good understanding of the FAQ to do that and it's random enough to not easily be gamed :P – Ivo Flipse Apr 6 '11 at 17:20

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