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I would like to draw attention to one and, eventually, more questions that I've posted that have community wiki answers. The Bounty system isn't really designed for that, but it's the most obvious way to do it.

  • The bounty text would clearly state that it's a fake bounty, that no new answers will be accepted, and that the purpose is to draw attention to greater participation with the community wiki.

So... what does the community think about doing this? Is it too screwy? Would it work without causing a riot? Is there an alternative I'm overlooking?

Example question: How to Create Sensible Plate Tectonics

In fact, that would be the first question to get the "fake bounty."

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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings I have not issued it. I'm trying to be sure I don't offend the snot out of a bunch of people by doing so. Or, at least, I'm setting up some indemnity should someone get mad because I did it ("why are you mad? You had your chance to say you didn't like this...."). I can imagine someone not reading the bounty text and then getting mad when I vote to delete their answer. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ I'd check on main meta if it was mechanically possible first :D, Also your question Isn't CW so... you could 'just' award it to the best answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ @JourneymanGeek The "Bounty" link is there, so I'm assuming it works. I also can't understand why it wouldn't work. A community-wiki answer is merely a type of answer that everyone can edit - but it doesn't automatically preclude the presence of other answers. That's simply a rule imposed by the question. That's why it's a fake bounty, the award will go to me, the bounty provider, or (more likely) I simply won't award it and it'll auto-cancel. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ You can't self award it - the bounty ig going to be lost anyway $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:09
  • $\begingroup$ @JourneymanGeek You missed my point. I've had several bounties over the years where I didn't have time to award it in the 24 hour award period. The bounty was simply reabsorbed into my rep. In other words, it doesn't matter if I can't award it to myself. It costs me nothing to do what I'm proposing. But does it matter if it does or doesn't? What's your opinion about using the bounty in the way I propose? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:59
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    $\begingroup$ .... it does not get absorbed into your rep. It goes away $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 2:13
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    $\begingroup$ @JourneymanGeek Once again, does that matter? What are we arguing about? Does it have value? How does it pertain to what I want to do? What a small price to pay to get more attention to the questions - and since, as you suggest, I'd simply lose it anyway, why does it matter? Time to have this all pushed into chat, it's meaningless. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ Greta Thunberg will not be amused. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ Why not feature a meta post? $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ Far too few people are visiting Meta nowadays. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 2:48
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas wait... do we care about Greta Thunberg's amusement? The more I learn about climate change the more amused I become by people who think "carbon footprint" is something more than a marketing tag line. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH I'm more interested in how Greta will amuse us in the future. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @fredsbend --- Case in point: I literally just read that she received an honorary doctorate in theology from the University of Helsinki. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 4:25
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I literally can't argue with you. She does look like the angriest woman in the world and it has seriously lowered her aesthetic. And I have to admit that I'm mightily amused that the University of Helsinki would give her an honorary anything. My goodness, we let kids feel entitled these days. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 5:33

2 Answers 2

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Officially, you can

The "start a bounty" screen's screenshot
The "start a bounty" screen's screenshot

There's an official statement to reward existing answers. Nothing says you have to award it immediately, nor that giving attention to the question (and therefore best answers) is not part of the reward. On contrary, getting attention is explicitly stated as the main purpose in the help-center.

What is bounty?

A bounty is a reputation reward you can put on a question to get it more attention for exactly one week.

My personal opinion?

Others have spent all their credits putting bounties before closing their account and it hasn't really shaken up the community to see 3 bounties active at once for a while. So doing the same on a few select questions isn't likely to cause troubles, either. After all, you're just using the system as intended, who are we to tell you cannot use your resources to play the game you want to play?

Now regarding whether you should spend points... Your current score is over 100k1, so the cost is kinda meaningless2, especially if you're Scrooge McDuck and only put 50 points each time. Just remember though that bounties last only one week (unless you double it). So my only advice is to choose the best moment in order to get the best effect. Perhaps choose one community question per week that treat similar, recent topics?


1 : That sounds like I'm telling your power level; It's over 9000!
2 : Both in feelings by the logarithmic perception scale and tactically by the potential loss of privileges.

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  • $\begingroup$ So... I'm promoting a community wiki where no other answer is expected and somebody doesn't read the bounty instructions and gets their answer deleted... cause the only answer is supposed to be the community wiki... you feel it's OK to do that? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH I read more carefully your example question, that's more a problem with it than the bounty system or the answerer being deleted. Your wiki-query should not override SE's core system : Excluding any inherent broadness to such wiki question, it should allow multiple answers in place of a single one as it's the only way to evaluate answers's quality one to another. However that's outside your present question :) : Yes, I don't mind, even if you promote a question which has troubles from my viewpoint. Although... Remember that advertising is a double-edged sword so double-check you're ready! $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is that community wikis, while not necessarily meant to exclude all other answers, are basically meant to represent a community-wide effort to create a cannonical answer, which intrinsically means all other answers are subordinate. They're an odd duck in the SE system, probably a hang-over from an earlier age long before present behaviors came to be, but they're useful and can be made successful. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH That's why I haven't barged too much about the "too broad" aspect, even though it should have been instantly closed for that were it a normal query. You're just making life a bit hard for nothing by not grouping each of the points into smaller thematic answers (making fault lines, putting volcanoes...). This makes the wiki more flexible and actually allows users to post if they think a theme or specific point is missing, and to vote for what is usually the most important in preparing landmasses ^^. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, I found back the example of a better wiki I vaguely remembered. It was made by you actually : here. One question, several answers each tackling one point individually and can be separately voted. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ I created that one, too, but the circumstances are different. There shouldn't be value in voting on individual "rules" when it comes to creating the basics of tectonics, weather, and currents. Every rule should be required or it doesn't belong on the list as each should reflect a scientific reality. In the Catalog of Questions, the community could decide if each individual question had merit for the community because each question type reflected an attitude toward policy (we somewhat arbitrarily accept that type, but not another...). $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 15:50
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My Four Hapence.


I see no ethical issue with offering a "fake" bounty. In fact, one of the bounty rationales is to literally draw attention to a question you'd like to draw attention to! Even without the bounty, I certainly was drawn to it. I read it, found it and the response interesting and useful. I updooted both and even replied to the comment regarding the Mariana Trench as abduction vs subduction zone. So, placing a fake bounty would at least be an attention getter.


It's certainly less nefarious than asking someone to intentionally write a duplicate question, then VTC the new query as a duplicate of the wiki question. Though somehow editing the column on the right side to get it into "featured queries" might be more useful.


What I think might be super helpful is an index of all the community wiki queries in Main, added to our Worldbuilding Resources post on Meta.

Obligatory image:

enter image description here

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