We're introducing a new 'bounties' feature in Answers. How should it work?

We're in the process of designing a new feature to allow for bounties to be offered for certain questions. The idea is that you could use some of your accumulated karma to add value to a particular question. Not all questions are alike; some are harder or more important than others, and this would give a way to show that. Also, it'd give a chance to really promote sharing and a sense of community.

It was raised as an idea by a customer initially, and again came up in our recent survey. I think it's a great idea, and it's working well on other various sites.

A couple niggles I'm thinking about, that we'll have to take into consideration:

  1. Bounties should get "paid out" when an answer is accepted. There's a possibility that people won't be good citizens, meaning that they won't accept answers. We can mitigate this in a couple ways - we can have administrators intervene and accept answers on their behalf, and we could also do something like make three up-votes equivalent to an acceptance.
  2. I'm trying to figure out if karma should get deducted up front or once it's answered. I'm thinking up front, but in that case you should be able to change your mind before the question is answered and get your karma back.

What do you think? Would this be a good feature? Should we be thinking about anything else as we design it?

Thanks, any comments are welcome!

Jeremy

8 answers

1 accepted

Accepted Answer
1 vote

This is a ripoff from http://www.stackoverflow.com

But I approve of it :) I did put out a question with a bounty but received no answers within the time limit. However, the points I put out as bounty was deducted from my profile up front and I never got it back, even though there where no answers that was anywhere close. To put it short - if no answer is accepted, give the bounty back to the person asking the question and enable "angry" people that believe they answered the quesiton with an option to contact a moderator/admin to rule if the question was answered or not.

The whole thing is a ripoff of SO, but an open source ripoff.

Fair point, of course. I'm hoping to be able to make changes around how the rules should work. We'll tweak it as we learn.

Wouldn't those who need the help most have the least karma to offer? A quick click on users shows only 10% have more than 100 karma points.

Right but the people who have more karma generally have harder questions, so are more likely to need to use a bounty.

I think there should be a limit on the number of open questions, say you can't have more than bounty/10 questions open. That will at least encourage people to accept answers. IMHO getting people to accept or vote up is a more important goal than bounties (hence the segue).

I think we'll need to address this with a different mechanism than bounties. Bounties aren't about democratization, it's about giving a reward to the people who earn it - that reward being a more likely chance to get their questions answered when need be. As Jamie points out, the experts on here ask real stumpers that are likely to go unanswered, which just seems wrong.

As for democratization, a couple weeks ago we introduced a 'poke Atlassian', which right now I'm watching. I'm already seeing where it's gone beyond my knowledge level and in the coming months we'll add more dedicated staff to deal with those. Also it was pretty loud and clear from the survey we just sent out that people want a strong Atlassian presence in Answers. So, we'll have a way for anyone to get answers when needed.

Not sure if you were responding to me or Justin, but I just realised I meant to type "rep divided by open questions", not bounty... argh.

0 votes
Mizan Community Champion Jan 23, 2012

I think this will be a good feature however only those who have a good amount of accumulated karma will benifit from this because 25 karma is by default earned when our answer is accepted so the added karma to a question should be greater than that and a user with less karma wont be able to add value to his/her question.

Will those questions get an own "tab" similar to newest, most viewed etc? Anyway, I like the idea.

So long,

Chris

Yes, it'll have a tab. Also when viewing a question you'll see it's value.

0 votes

Yep, that's right - you'll have to accumulate karma before you have the opportunity to use bounties effectively. Seems only fair.

so if I undersood correctly, if I have 25 karma points, I could start 4 bounty questions because the karma points are not deducted upfront and then I don't have to accept any answers. If the community marks one answer as answer (3 votes logic) and I now have 0 karma, then what happens to 3 remaining questions?

So Do you get to pick how many karma points to give away? I def dont mind to put everything to this one ticket i have :/

I have several questions on this bounty system:

1) what happen when you accept 2 answers? Currently,you can accept multiple answers, but I definitely dont want to remove my points two or more times. Is that means we will lock to one-answer concept for bounty questions?

2)What if you answer your own bounty questions (or really can we cancel our questions anytime?)?

3) What is the timeframe before Atlassian step in to either close teh questions and return the points back? 1 month?

Side Suggestion:

-> Bounty related Badge? Maybe bounty hunter for those who get through the bounty request in a row or something :)

So Do you get to pick how many karma points to give away? I def dont mind to put everything to this one ticket i have :/

Yes. You'll get to pick up to your current karma (you can spend it all!).

1) what happen when you accept 2 answers? Currently,you can accept multiple answers, but I definitely dont want to remove my points two or more times. Is that means we will lock to one-answer concept for bounty questions?

As we have it in test right now, it'll go to the first accepted answer. I suppose we could modify it to split that in half, if this becomes a problem.

2)What if you answer your own bounty questions (or really can we cancel our questions anytime?)?

You can cancel before an answer is given. I'm going to revoke the ability to accept your own answer when we introduce this change.

3) What is the timeframe before Atlassian step in to either close teh questions and return the points back? 1 month?

We'll introduce a new 'flag' reason. If you flag, we'll review. I was thinking a review would be that we'd contact the author, and if we don't hear back in a couple days, we'd force-accept the answer.

Thoughts, recommendations, on any of this?

I dont really have recommendation, they all good :)

One thing to suggest is the 'flag', I think it might be a good idea to allow karma king/queen to help Atlassian staff of forcing to accept the answer. People who get to Karma King/Queen should have some kind of 'admin' level like in wikipedia and they must have known a lot to get to that point, so having them to 'patrol' would make this semi-automatic.

0 votes

We've released bounties today. Any feedback is welcome!

Awesome. Any updates on bugging users to mark an answer as answered? ;)

For starters, I've added a 'review for bounty' flag reason. I thought we'd start with a moderator review.

We have a hidden feature where x number of up-votes will trigger an automatically accepted answer, but wanted to hold off on that until we see what kinds of trends happen.

I like the bounties idea, but can we have the Unresolved tab back as well as Bounties?

I quite often look at the Unresolved tab to vote up given answers and/or offer new answers. I can still visit https://answers.atlassian.com/questions/?sort=unresolved , but it would be nice to have the tab there in addition to Bounties.

Cheers,

Andrew.

Nice job finding the URL. I'm working on a UI redesign so we won't run out of real-estate up there.

Still no questions for the bounty hunters, and I think the reason why is it's a bit unclear how to add a bounty. What's the reason it's not available when adding a question...?

Mizan Community Champion Mar 20, 2012

I created a bounty question with 50 karma points as bounty but by default it took 75 karma points .. why ? will i get my 15 points back or is it a bug ?

Mizan Community Champion Mar 20, 2012

Not a bug . Its 50 + 25 = 75 :)

Still no questions for the bounty hunters, and I think the reason why is it's a bit unclear how to add a bounty. What's the reason it's not available when adding a question...?

Good one - it was just an oversight! Added 'Add Bounty to the Ask Page' to JIRA.

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