I'm not sure if this idea has been discussed before, but I couldn't find any posts relating to it:

suppose Joey and Chloe are two users who identify post X as describing a problem of interest to themselves, who each wish to offer a bounty but do not posses (or are not willing to part with) the minimum amount of reputation to offer a bounty. Would it be possible to allow each user to contribute 25 rep to a pool which becomes a bounty on the question?

This could also be used for cases where the minimum rep amount can be met, but higher amounts are desired.

Of course, the standard prohibitions about collecting one's own bounty would extend to the group, which should not have anonymity.

As for the implementation, I can imagine a system whereby one nominates a question with an initial deposit of the reputation that the user wishes to contribute, after which further contributions are accepted for a period of time, and finally a deadline is reached when no further contributions are accepted and the bounty is posted.

Is there any reason not to implement such functionality?

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    $\begingroup$ Who would assign the bounty to an answer? $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Jun 3 '14 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @quid After the contribution deadline, if the minimum rep requirement is met the bounty is automatically posted with the names of all contributers listed $\endgroup$ – user139388 Jun 3 '14 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Similar post at meta.stackexchange: Multiple users to start (“support”) a bounty. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 3 '14 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak thanks for the link, don't know why I couldn't find that. Nevertheless, neither the upvoted nor accepted answer there really address the issue I discuss. The participants of that discussion seemed not to think there would ever be a reason to want this functionality. Also, the accepted answer oddly doesn't really address the question at all, instead mentioning another idea entirely. $\endgroup$ – user139388 Jun 3 '14 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ @quid, I think I misinterpreted your question. As for who awards the bounty, different ideas may work: highest voted, or a (possibly weighted) vote amongst the contributers $\endgroup$ – user139388 Jun 3 '14 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Yes it is the second comment that answers my question. $\endgroup$ – quid Mod Jun 3 '14 at 20:07

Is there any reason not to implement such functionality?

Yes. It would increase the complexity of software without a convincing reason to do so.

Every new feature starts at $-100$ points. Your second paragraph brings it up to... $-95$, perhaps. Joey and Chloe should get to work and contribute material to the site in the form of good questions, answers, or edits.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. One (potentially) useful purpose I had in mind was getting answers for old questions. A good way is to increase their visibility. However, it would take quite a wealthy benefactor to promote the large repository of old unanswered questions with bounties from his own rep. This would make it more of a community activity $\endgroup$ – user139388 Jun 3 '14 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ @user139388 The bounties can't make a dent in the unanswered questions. The scales are vastly different. If we had $800$ featured questions at a time instead of $80$, that still would not be on the order of magnitude of unanswered questions. And the desired increase of visibility would be thwarted by the law of diminishing returns: now a "featured" question is one on the list of $800$... $\endgroup$ – user147263 Jun 3 '14 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, you may be right. I'll wait a bit to see if anyone else has any thoughts about this, and if not, I'll accept your answer. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ – user139388 Jun 3 '14 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ @user139388 Not to mention that unanswered questions have higher visibility anyway - they are in the list of unanswered questions; and they are people who look especially for unanswered questions and try to answer them. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 4 '14 at 6:28

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