There is currently a question on the site called "What are abbreviations used in electrical engineering?" which has gotten quite a bit of attention.

Someone just put an open bounty worth 50 reputation, with the reason "This question has not received enough attention." (My emphasis.)

Huh? First of all, this question is Community Wiki, so what does a bounty even mean in this case? (Oh, I think I found that out, see below.) Plus it seems with 170+ answers, this question has gotten quite a lot of attention.

So is the bounty just a joke then? I see the poster actually has only 50 points rep left, and claims to be 13, so maybe that is the case.

But my question still stands, re the meaning of a bounty on a community wiki question.

I did some research (which I should have done before asking the question, my bad), and discovered in the meta.stackexchange.com FAQ that "Bounties awarded to answer marked as community wiki give reputation as usual.

So does this means that the person posting the bounty, can, a week from now, pick one of some 200+ answers (I'm sure it will be up to that point by then), and award one of those answers 50 points? I'm not begrudging the rep, just seems a bit strange. (And I don't understand why the authors of community Wiki answers should get awarded bounties anyway.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I commented on this in the meta thread and on the original thread as well. The user seems to have an OK rep on Mathematics and Tex SEs -- but it seems strange to me. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman May 5 '14 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is strange indeed. I wrote the initial "question" and never intended to ever accept any one of the answers. I think someone is trying to game the system somehow, but doesn't really understand how it works. I'm having a hard time conceiving of what advantage anyone gets by offering a bounty on this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop May 6 '14 at 22:10

It doesn't mean anything.

A bounty "buys" you up to 7 days under the Featured tab, and the ability to give reputation as a reward to one answer. While I'm not interested in researching/testing, the original author gets the award, not any additional editors. It's the bounty offer's money, they can award it to any answer they want.

As to why... I can't answer that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Someone suggested that it knocks out a route or two to closing question. Is this true? \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman May 6 '14 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman It may. If someone is using a bounty to prevent closure, flag it for a mod. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO May 6 '14 at 18:16

It means someone doesn't understand that a community wiki post does not have a single accepted answer, or someone to give the rep bounty to.

Also, since the community wiki feature, like most SE features, are tacked on to exisiting code, the system still sees it as a regular question, including the availability to add a bounty.


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