# Is paying or donating for answers allowed here?

I am trying to learn crypto and build some background knowlege to finish a CompTIA security certification.

Is there a way to pay or donate for answers to my basic questions since I do not have any badges yet? Even if I donate to a poster's chosen cause for example if nothing else (would need some in-depth answers of course).

• Just a note - questions about the site itself belong on meta, hence the migration :) – user46 Apr 11 '12 at 7:28
• I recommend improving your questions, if you want better answers. Your problem isn't that the question is too basic, but rather that it's incomplete. You don't mention which algorithm you're using, and how you're using it. – CodesInChaos Apr 12 '12 at 9:27

The relevant link from meta stack overflow, the meta site which looks after the whole network, would be: Offering actual money as a bounty.

This was declined and there's some background here - Stack Overflow was originally formed because Jeff and Joel wanted to produce a site that gave excellent answers to programming problems, but not behind a paywall as experts exchange do. This has been the model since then.

The reputation system and badges are designed to provide incentives for users to both ask and answer quality questions. We have a high focus on quality, with rewards for editing and comments for peer review, so chances are in the normal course of using the system, you'll get your excellent answers. Have a look around - quite a lot has been covered already.

Creator brings up the possibility of bounties. These can be used when you're struggling to get an answer, as can the promotion link underneath any question.

In short, the normal use of the site does not require badges, or even (that much) reputation.

In terms of soliciting user contact, users have the option to provide contact details on their profile, should they wish to be contacted. Care should of course be taken here - you're effectively cold-calling.

In terms of on site contact for such things, answers and comments are not for that purpose. Answers soliciting off site contact will be removed, e.g:

As the idea is to make the valuable information available here, for free.

You can't pay someone in cash here, unless you find someone's profile having their email id and contact them separately. You can start a bounty on your question though, giving a part of your reputation score to someone who answered you well.

The general idea is that if your question is good (and answerable), knowledgeable people will answer it even if you don't offer any money.

The best answer usually gets them the benefit of an accept (which gives 15 reputation points), as well as usually one or more upvotes (with 10 reputation points each). If you already got some reputation (by answering, editing or asking good questions), you'll be able to offer some of your reputation as a bounty, though I'm not sure that this will really increase your chance here.

Of course, one can't buy anything for reputation (though there is the custom of Stack Exchange sending some merchandising stuff to the top contributors when the site goes out of beta), but I suppose the most knowledgeable contributors here don't need your money that desperately. (At least for me: If you had to pay me for my time here like my employer does for my working time, it could make you quite poor - although I don't want to discuss how much money you have available.)

The best bet to get good answers is to make sure your individual questions are:

• clear about what you actually want to know,
• answerable in a reasonable amount of time, and
• useful for the general public, too.