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Should the 24-hour timeout apply to bounties awarded for “exemplary answer”?

I set an incentive bounty on Is there a way to automate harvesting cobblestone? (before the new bounty system was announced). Once a qualifying answer had been posted, I clicked to start the bounty, and was confronted with the new bounty system. I selected that I'd like to reward an existing answer, but it's still making me wait 24 hours before I can award it!

For this specific bounty type, can the waiting period be waived?

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Exactly what I thought when reading the new blog post about bounty reasons‌​! –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 10:15
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Make it so that bounty type can only be given to existing answers, so people don't for some reason pick this reason when it's not the real reason just so they can award early. –  agf Sep 24 '11 at 10:26
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On the other hand: leaving the bounty visible for at least 24 hours might even get the recipient-to-be more upvotes. Profit! ;-) –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 10:49
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Say we allowed this, wouldn't that also allow a fairly unthrottled way of transferring rep? –  Nick Craver Sep 24 '11 at 11:48
    
As an aside: what does "I set an incentive bounty [...] Once a qualifying answer had been posted..." mean? Did you "set" the bounty by just posting a comment or something like that? –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 11:50
    
Indeed, that answers it, @Nick! –  Arjan Sep 24 '11 at 11:51
    
@Arjan Yes, I commented that I would award 100 rep to a video of a certain Minecraft contraption working. One was posted, and I am now waiting for the timer to expire to award. –  fredley Sep 24 '11 at 14:53
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@NickCraver As it is it's fairly unthrottled. I can transfer 3*Max bounty per day, which is a lot of rep. –  fredley Sep 24 '11 at 14:54
    
    
How is this a duplicate of a question asked two months later!? –  fredley Jul 8 '13 at 9:02
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marked as duplicate by Shadow Wizard, Toon Krijthe, jonsca, Martijn Pieters, Jim Oct 15 '12 at 13:14

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I can't think of a good reason. Nick Craver♦ commented:

Say we allowed this, wouldn't that also allow a fairly unthrottled way of transferring rep?

And the answer to that is yes. However, the current system is lightly throttled as fredley comments:

As it is it's fairly unthrottled. I can transfer 3*Max bounty per day, which is a lot of rep.

In addition, the whole point of this bounty reason is to transfer reputation (as opposed to the other reasons which also are interested in getting new or improved answers). Finally, the system has already been adjusted to prevent certain types of gamesmanship:

  • To discourage overly promotional bounties, if you are starting a bounty on a question you yourself have answered, the minimum rep cost is 100, increased from the standard 50.
  • To prevent “infinite” bounty periods, multiple bounties started on the same question by the same user double in cost every time. So if the first bounty is 50 rep, the next will be 100, then 200, then 400, then the maximum.

But I'm not interesting in promoting my question, just rewarding a really good answer that I didn't happen to accept. Waiting 24 hours only gives people besides the person I'm rewarding the false impression I might award them the bounty instead.


If preventing someone from draining their reputation in less than 24 hours is the concern, why not continue to limit the number of bounties offered each day to 3 and remove the waiting period for awarding bounties? (Perhaps the waiting period is not needed at all?)


For reference, the dialogue box item in question currently reads:

Reward existing answer
One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.

My reading of this statement is that by taking this reason, you are signalling that you want to transfer reputation to the user who wrote one of the existing answers. To me, the "or more" is either a pleasantry or an indication that the person offering the bounty has the option to reward multiple answers. (The second is not strictly true, since there is a waiting period, but in practice one can easily accomplish it.) In no way do these words imply that the person offering the bounty is seeking more answers. In fact, the opposite seems true to me.

According to Jeff's answer to this question:

If you start a bounty, part of your contract with the community is to allow everyone to have a shot at potentially earning it with a great answer.

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. However, when it comes down to the words used in the dialogue box, there is no such contract. The contract I actually "signed" was to "Reward existing answer". If the system intends that I "reward an existing answer unless a better one is posted", it ought to say that.


Suggestion

Perhaps Reward existing answer ought to be removed as a bounty reason.

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i agree with you, i wanted to "Reward existing answer" to an answer that was approved 3 months ago, why wait 24h? –  aki Jan 11 '12 at 21:05
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I don't support this request.

If you start a bounty, part of your contract with the community is to allow everyone to have a shot at potentially earning it with a great answer.

If the conclusion of the bounty is foregone, if you can award it instantly, it is no longer a bounty system for new and great answers, but a mechanical system for transferring reputation between users.

And I just can't get behind that.

( also, see Cody Gray's excellent answer which is superior to mine: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/a/99458 )

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I asked this because the bounty reason is worded in such a way (Reward existing answer - One or more of the answers is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty.) that it goes against what you have said here ("If you start a bounty, part of your contract with the community is to allow everyone to have a shot at potentially earning it with a great answer."). Perhaps to avoid this re-word the bounty reason? –  fredley Jan 10 '12 at 9:33
    
@fred one "or more" meaning, more answers that don't yet exist. So no. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 10 '12 at 9:49
    
I've updated my answer in response to this one. Perhaps the "transfer reputation between users" bounty reason should be removed? (I think this is what @fredley's final sentence in their comment was meant to mean. There seems to be one or more missing words.) –  Jon Ericson Jan 10 '12 at 17:37
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Wait, you are "rewarding an existing answer", where "existing answer" can be answers that "don't yet exist" ? There is surely something not completely logical there? –  Nanne Apr 12 '12 at 14:14
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