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For Advent 2013, I was thinking of starting daily bounties for existing good-but-overlooked answers. But I want to gauge consensus on whether this would be a good or bad idea.

Vague plan: give away 100 rep daily for 25 days (maybe bigger amounts towards the end?). Try to span the range of traditions and not give too much to any one person - ideally nobody would be picked twice. Skew towards currently active users and those who don't already have tons of reputation points.

Pros:

  • it would be a nice thing to do
  • give a boost to people who could do with a boost
  • draw attention to and reward high-quality answers

Personal cons:

  • I would lose 2500+ rep (which is fine).
  • I would lose the "access to moderator tools" privilege, until I accrued more points.

Nagging doubts:

  • Does this distort the "reputation economy"?
  • Is it an abuse of power for me to wield my aggregate reputation, as opposed to just upvoting answers I like for 10 points each?
  • Am I trusted to be fair in my selection? I don't want to do this if there is any suspicion that I am rewarding a particular ideology, or a social clique.
  • Is it disruptive/annoying to have lots of questions being "featured"?
  • Would it be better if several people participated in the giveaway, and if there were more process than "I decide who gets what"? There is some attraction for me in doing this unilaterally because then I can just get on with it, but if anyone else wants to be involved then that's fine too. (In many ways, the bias issue is easier with a small unofficial group, because then it's me that gets the blame - any kind of "Official Christianity.SE Answer Awards Project" would be problematic in implying moderatorial endorsement of the recipients.)

If I do this then I will start a meta index post describing each answer and the reason for its selection. Also, chosen answers will have a thematic link to one of the days of Advent (although these may be quite tenuous on some days).

An obvious alternative would be to create such a list, but without the bounties, although I do quite like the idea of giving more substantial rewards.

  • Given that there has been some support and no opposition yet, I think I will go ahead with it. Look for a meta post at some point on Sunday with the full story. – James T Dec 1 '13 at 3:43
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    I don't want to discourage you, but this site needs all the people it can get with access to moderator tools, particularly those that care enough to use them and that use them correctly. – David Stratton Dec 1 '13 at 5:03
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    Better to store up your rep in heaven where neither worm nor moth can gobble it up – Peter Turner Dec 2 '13 at 3:14
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First thing:

THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA.

The spirit of giving is upon us and this is an excellent way for people to get excited about the site and especially the Christmas season.

Some issues:

Your plan to do 100 per day the whole time will only work if you also award them as soon as possible. User's may only have three active bounties at any given time and a bounty must remain active for at least a day.

As you point out, this would be something by yourself, which makes it less fun to me. I think it would be great if the event was optional and members of the community could post saying they will commit x amount of rep to the Advent Rep Give Away. I think you already have the rules down well. Pick a lower rep user (at least less than yourself by half) who has made a stellar answer. Make a separate meta post saying you would like to celebrate the Advent with a bounty gift to this stellar answer and maybe post why it is a good answer.

If that is something the community wants to do, I commit 100 rep to reward one answer.

Since this is your baby, if you want to do it, you should make a meta post saying basically what I said above, inviting users to commit to the event. As people commit you will need to make a second meta post summarizing who is rewarding what and on what day (for ease, you should just assign the days to people). The idea is to have at least one post in the featured tab for each day of the Advent.

SO IT STARTS TOMORROW. BETTER GET ON TOP OF THAT.

  • Missed the themes part the first go around. I think we should leave that to you. I could probably do it, but I would need direction. That is probably the same for most people. – 3961 Nov 30 '13 at 19:02
  • On messing up the rep economy, I don't think its a problem, plus, who cares? It's Christmas! – 3961 Nov 30 '13 at 19:02
  • Thanks for the support! I think I will make it so that others can claim a day, and I will try to give some ongoing hints, if necessary (say, if it looks like we've only given awards to Methodists). – James T Nov 30 '13 at 20:09

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