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If bounties were smaller, like 10 or 20 points, I would be much more likely to spend.

Maybe bounties should be a whole percentage of your total points (rounded up)? This would make questions by advanced users generally chuckier as compared to newbies.

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(-1) for the reasons in my answer. –  devinb Sep 3 '09 at 18:50

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Bounties were created as a way to in some way reward those who have put a lot of time and effort into the site. They are able to spend some of the good karma they earned in order to get a question answered.

Creating a sliding scale percentage option does not really make sense, because each bounty is created according to how much the user is willing to give, and as they gain more and more reputation, it is more likely that they will offer more. Creating an enforcement of the percentage is just creating extra rules for no reason. The users who already did approximately that will not notice, and the users who don't will be upset. Everyone loses.

An additional bonus for creating a bounty is that it gets the question on the featured page. There are bounty hunters who troll the feature page specifically to gain the generous extra points. If the bounties were to get smaller, then the "featured" page would be come diluted and less visited. It would be covered with tiny, inconsequential bounties which no one particularly cares about.

Furthermore, because of the rules associated with the bounty. It would mean that after seven days, an "answer" would be forced upon the question, which would be unfortunate if the answer was wrong.

Ultimately, I think we should leave the bounty rules the way they are.

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Thanks for the kind answer. ;-) –  djangofan Sep 3 '09 at 23:47

A good question will get more then enough up votes to cover the cost of the bounty. I just got a 200% return on the investment I made in the bounty for a question as more people looked at the question and up-voted it.

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That's one thing I've always liked. Bounties on good questions typically pay for themselves. Just be sure to offer the bounty at the start of the day, so you don't hit your rep-cap from the incoming up-votes and miss out on potential rep. –  Jonathan Sampson Sep 3 '09 at 18:50

The purpose of bounties is to stir up a response to a question that has receive little or no sufficient response. Offering 100, 200, etc bounty points will bring in the answers. Users already provide answers knowing that they'll be awarded 10 or 20 points (1 or 2 upvotes) if their answer is good. I don't think giving micro-bounties will really give any different response than no micro-bounty at all.

If you want to offer a good bounty, I would go out "grinding" for rep by answering questions in your field of experience. You can accrue 100 or 200 rep in a short amount of time rather easily if you're in your comfort-zone (subject-wise). Then return to your question, and post a hefty reward.

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I don't think this is necessary, it is easy enough to get a few hundred reputation, and it is meant to be significant encouragement to get an answer. I could just go to some easy VB homework question for more than 30 or 40 reputation. Why would I go after your bounty instead and do more work?

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