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I don't know if it's just me, but I just stumbled over some bounties on SO, which, at first glance, looked like bugs to me. The questions, the bounties were offered for, are dated back to year 2009.

The block

This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from User ending in 6 days.

below the question made me think "Wow, a bounty running for nearly 2 years?! Is this a bug?".

Without searching the SO FAQ and finding the setting bounties entry (which is somewhat hidden within the "What if I don't get a good answer" block), I still wouldn't know that bounties (at least on SO) always expire after 7 days.

Hence, I still would think of bugs (and probably "I guess there won't be much users willing/motivated to answer bounties running for such a long time...").

Wouldn't it be better to show the bounties starting date somewhere (e.g. in the bounty block below the question) to avoid such kind of misinterpretation/irritation?

I mean s/t like this

This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from User ending in 6 days (bounty started at YYYY-MM-DD).


This question has an open bounty worth +50 reputation from User, started 1 day ago, ending in 6 days.

or whatever would help right away.

share|improve this question
I think there's one of two solutions here. a) increase awareness of how the bounty works (you stated yourself you had problems finding it) or b) what you propose above. I don't have a problem with the above, although some might think it adds noise. If it doesn't add noise, then I'm all for it. – casperOne Nov 11 '11 at 19:57
@casperOne: yeah, a) would be good, too. I somehow managed to miss that bounty tooltip for more than a half year... ^^ – Jürgen Thelen Nov 11 '11 at 20:23
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Put your mouse above the bounty expire time (e.g. "6 days" in this question), then you'll see the tooltip with exact timestamps.

enter image description here

Note that it's perfectly valid to put bounties on old questions.

share|improve this answer
Argl, missed that one too, thank you. – Jürgen Thelen Nov 11 '11 at 19:59
@Chichiray: It answers the question, but I think that it's one of those "easter egg" kind of things. I think better visibility in some area is required. – casperOne Nov 11 '11 at 20:02

It actually does tell you when it started, but you have to be a bit intentional about it:

bounty time tooltip, a bird's eye view

The bounty information is also available in the question history. Arguably both of these locations are a bit out of the way, but the relative time tooltip displaying the specific time information is a pretty common convention on the site.

share|improve this answer
I wasn't that intentional, I guess. Thanks for pointing out the question history. Missed that one too, my bad. – Jürgen Thelen Nov 11 '11 at 20:02
I don't know how you expect to get upvotes without a bird in your screenshot – Michael Mrozek Nov 11 '11 at 20:07
I would've upvoted him except there was a bird in his screenshot. – jcolebrand Nov 11 '11 at 20:35
+1 for the freehand bird. – The Unhandled Exception Nov 11 '11 at 20:39
Hmm, competition :( – BalusC Nov 11 '11 at 20:40
@Chichiray Not really, your self-photo is still far more impressive, I must admit. – Tim Stone Nov 11 '11 at 20:43
My bird? I don't have one. I am the one! – BalusC Nov 11 '11 at 20:44
@Chichiray Fixed! – Tim Stone Nov 11 '11 at 20:46

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