If I found a solution to a bountied question using a suggestion in a comment rather than a separate answer, how to I make sure the commenter gets the bounty at the end of the day?

For example, I solved this post recently based on one of the comments. The person commenting had posted an answer earlier which didn't work, so I don't want to accept that one as the solution. However the bounty expires very soon, and I really want him to post his comment as a seperate answer. But without any method to be able to PM users all I'm able to do is add another comment suggesting that he post a new answer.

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5 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In the case that the person leaving a comment hadn't left an answer; find a question or answer by the user that helped you (via their profile page), and add a comment to that (linking back to your question), so that the desired target sees it. Crude but effective, and it doesn't start the slippery slope of private messages via moderator proxies ;-p

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Ask the commenter to re-post their comment as an answer. Bounties cannot be awarded to comments.

Since the poster has already posted an answer, accept it for the time being, and leave a comment politely asking for him to edit the answer to include the correct information.

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Basic Answer: You can't.

More Details: The closest thing you could do is post a comment saying "Hey, make your comment a question and I'll give you the bounty." Then sit back and hope that they pay attention.

Another way you could potentially try is flag it for moderator attention. A moderator could then in theory relay a short message to the commenter and let them know. I would imagine that given this type of heads up, nobody would hesitate to go ahead and make an answer so they could collect a quick bounty.

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Something like this might be cool on SF, but elsewhere don't flag for a moderator with a request like this. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 25 '09 at 1:46
    
Kyle: I would think that this is such a rare occurrence (wanting to give a bounty to a commenter) that I personally would not see any problem with it. I can't actually imagine any times in the past where I would have seen this happening, so I think a once or twice in a lifetime instance isn't too bad, right? –  TheTXI Aug 25 '09 at 1:53
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I'm pretty apprehensive about contacting a user by email already - I think it's pretty ridiculous to contact one user on behalf of another, especially for something as trivial as a bounty. –  Kyle Cronin Aug 25 '09 at 2:06
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I guess if a particular mod is uncomfortable about it they could ignore the flag and perhaps leave it for another and after a certain amount of time if there is no action on it, just kill it. –  TheTXI Aug 25 '09 at 2:19
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Now that everyone can suggest edits, you just edit the existing answer to include the information from the comment. Once the edit is approved, award the bounty and everybody's happly, especially future visitors who won't be deceived about what answer is the most useful.

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If the commenter's comment is not to further his/her own answer, a new comment to that post will not reach the desired user. In that case, you can comment to the user on his/her own answer that the suggestion left on either the original question or on a different user's post will be accepted if it is added a new answer. This comment will then show up in this user's Recent Activity page and the mail icon on top of the page will light up. Chances are, if this user was interested in the bounty, he/she will be back before the bounty period is up and will take the appropriate action.

If this user does not follow up as you request, you can still accept the wrong answer and add the note on the bottom for posterity, that you accepted the answer for the user on the basis of a comment, and again ask the user to update the accepted post.

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