As this is Meta-MS, I would like to ask an opinion question. What do you think about the possibility of giving extra reputation points for elegant solutions? By elegant solution I mean:

  • Clear solution.
  • Perfectly Understandable.
  • Not ultra complex machinery to solve the problem.

It's obvious that some questions won't have it, because they're technical solutions and sometimes there are no ways to make a more clear answer. But if an user has a very clear answer, he could be motivated to give it even if the question was answered, letting the other users get more than one possible answer.

The reason of my question is based on the idea of making an answer accesible to any user. What do you think?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Good answers get upvotes, and the more understandable a post is, the more likely people are to upvote it. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ But sometimes the question is answered and then dies even if the answer can be better. $\endgroup$
    – iam_agf
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 23:23
  • 17
    $\begingroup$ You can set a bounty on the question and award it to the answer you feel deserves it. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 23:24
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Indeed, one of the options you can choose when you start a bounty is "Reward existing answer: One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty." $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 23:36
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I am not sure I agree with your set of criteria. The use of "ultra complex machinery" may be essential in some cases. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that in some cases it is essential. That's the reason of why some questions won't be able to be answered in an elegant way. But some questions could be answered using less things or more basic things. For example, this question (not trying to give credit to myself, is only an example): math.stackexchange.com/questions/1797074/… the other answer has more votes even if the other is shorter and less complex. $\endgroup$
    – iam_agf
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ oftentimes the use of complex machinery makes solutions elegant (=. short) $\endgroup$
    – syzygy
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 0:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How do you propose to accomplish this? It sounds like a case of suggesting "The community should find the best answers and vote them to the top" which the design already provides for. (Of course, this doesn't mean that the design always does what it's supposed to, but that's another issue) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it can consider two symbols like a symbol of star just like the questions one likes. Instead of only the usual symbol, add a star next. Obviously in theory people won't put a star to everything, only the answers one really think are great. $\endgroup$
    – iam_agf
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ As an user, sometimes I read questiond and answers and sometimes really like some answers because are interesting ways to solve problems. Other times you see the answer you know and you give it a positive votation, but the one who made the amazing proof has the same points as the one who made an answer very canonical. Other example is how one makes a detailed answer and other only adds a hint and both have the same points if one votes for them. $\endgroup$
    – iam_agf
    Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ The criteria looks very subjective to me... Complex machinery for me might be elementary for you. $\endgroup$
    – Surb
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


I understand OP's frustration. I don't think have "special reputation" is the answer or even possible. But I understand the frustration of seeing a particularly insightful answer go mostly unnoticed and unrewarded.

What you CAN do is leave a bounty which was discussed in comments. You can always upvote them. There's not much more you can do.

Really, just take satisfaction that the people who do see and understand such an exceptional answer will appreciate and benefit from the answer.


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