We are in the midst of round of improvements to the bounty system.

We will be adding the facility for bounty remarks.

We all agree that having this extra information is useful. The information will no longer be trapped in comments or as an edit to the question and it will help guide the "bounty hunters".

However, we also want to force people to choose a top level category and have the remark optional.


What top level bounty categories do you think make sense?

  • 2
    Are you sure that you want to force people to choose one of the pre-defined options? I agree that having them is a good idea, but I can't see the harm in a free-form "other" box like we have for the flag dialog, etc. Expert users and edge cases abound, and bounty messages will have to be moderated in the case of abuse anyway, just like any other user-provided content. Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 3:36
  • Should not this be a CW?
    – avpaderno
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 15:29
  • @kiamlaluno, to what end? I don't feel inclined to demotivate people who answer this, I feel this got lots of great feedback
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 23:41
  • I dunno; I see that other similar questions are normally made CW. I am not saying it should be; I simply asked to understand when a CW is used on MSO.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 23:46
  • @kiamlaluno meta.stackexchange.com/q/63427/164291
    – user164291
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 13:49

10 Answers 10


1. Improved visibility

This is an awesome question and / or it has an awesome answer and I wish to increase its visibility to the community. (Please add 'feature request, nasty bug, etc' for the Meta sites).

2. Request for updated answers

The current answer(s) are considered out of date and require revision given recent changes in technology, software, etc.

3. Reward an existing contribution

Given an excellent answer, I wish to provide a bounty to thank the user for going above and beyond in their effort to make a quality contribution here.

4. Request for improved detail: .....

I feel that the current answers are lacking detail in one or more specific ways. I think the user should get a small amount of space to say something like:

  • Please add authoritative references
  • The answerers neglected to note that I said X.
  • Could you provide a screen shot with your answer?

5. Other: ..........

For those many reasons which we can't cover, please select this option and explain in 250 characters why you've chosen to offer a bounty on this question.

Muddled Other Musings:

  • If the user can provide a description with their bounty category, then this text would have to be editable to avoid problems of vulgarity, typos, etc. Perhaps this could be along the lines of the 20K tag wiki edit privilege?

  • I personally don't like the idea of Could I have a solution in Java instead of C++? as I think this should be a separate question entirely. The ability to ask even mini-follow-up questions could easily lead to knowledge-base style posts which are a poor fit to the Q&A theme.

  • Lastly, I don't see the distinction for categorization only when offering a bounty on someone-else's question? Sure you can edit your own question to clarify your intent, but I'd prefer a consistent styling/presentation to this bounty system so why not force everyone to categorize their bounties?

Edit by waffles:

I just deployed bounty reasons based on the feedback here:

bounty reasons

We are open to improving and amending the list, just post new meta questions if you think we need to (so we can make sense of it)

  • I am not a CS person, but to use your example, what if the original question is "can you provide an algorithm for solving..." (that is an algorithm that works in any language) and after the answer, the bounty ask "I want other solution". Note that an algorithm can have different solutions regardless of the programming language. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 4:19
  • I think the difference is that here on topic questions should be software algorithms. So requesting an algorithm isn't really on-topic where as requesting an implementation (or hopefully: proofreading an implementation) is on-topic. But this is a distinction which I'm probably not qualified to draw -- something which a moderator or a developer should weigh in on.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 4:29
  • Thank you, so do you mean this feature is to be implemented only for stackoverflow.com website? Isn't it for all SE? ( it is a beginner question) Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 4:51
  • I suspect it will be rolled out first to Meta, then to Stack Overflow, and then to everywhere else -- but that is pure speculation. I'm just a user, not a developer. I intended the above answer really only for Stack Overflow, but it's general enough that it could go elsewhere. We really don't have any site where a 'please send more code' is a reasonable request.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 4:55
  • @waffles - For bounties to reward existing answers, is there still a minimum one day waiting period for you to award this bounty? Perhaps these bounties could be allowed to be awarded immediately, now that we have a way of categorizing them. Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 15:57
  • @waffles Are these bounty reasons arranged in any particular order? Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 1:47
  • @Chris that is an oversight, I should at least order it by name (fixing)
    – waffles
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 1:49
  • 1
    @BradLarson yes the one day waiting period still applies, it avoids some nasty gaming. I am a bit uneasy about the "reward existing" reason, it feels kind of pointless to grab everyones attention just to dump rep at someone.
    – waffles
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 1:50
  • 1
    @waffles Another consideration is which reason should be selected by default. I'm sure that a lot of people will simply click Next without reading any of the reasons. Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 6:56
  • 3
    Should this still be enabled even if the question doesn't have any answers yet? Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 18:24
  • I'm with @Ullallulloo - I just got asked for a bounty reason when my question had no answers to it at all. The reason I was adding a bounty was that the question had no answers. I guess "more attention" kind of covers it, but I don't know the comment is relevant in that scenario.
    – glenatron
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 21:30

Current answers are outdated

  • 3
    This could also be something like Current answers outdated, so the message makes sense on SE sites other than the programming-related ones.
    – Kevin Yap
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:10
  • @Kevin Y: Updated the answer as per your suggestion. Thanks for your input.
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:14

- Want to draw attention to this great question

- Want to draw attention to the great answer of X

  • "This is a great question that deserves more attention and love" as a category is a great idea.
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 0:59
  • 3
    off topic, we are thinking of perhaps giving very high rep users a "free" bounty per N rep points ... how would you feel about that?
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:00
  • 3
    sorry, I mean, for example, give you the ability to spend a "500 rep" bounty in your discretion per 10k rep earned. without it costing you any rep.
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:50
  • Given that users with 20K reputation have probably already offered multiple bounties, I doubt that giving them one or two freebies would so significantly increase the number of featured questions so as to be a problem. That said, it would also be a nice cushion where: Hey, I just attained 10K, but I really want to set a bounty, guess I'll wait a little longer so that I don't forfeit my cool skilz.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 4:47
  • waffles, sorry, I completely misunderstood your comment (I deleted my comments). I think that it would be a nice extra. I'd definitely spend the free bounty on questions/answers which would deserve them. @M. Tibbits: On SO I'm on 187K and I've never spent a bounty. Looks a bit silly, but I've there just never had the feeling that someone else's question or answer deserved my own points (I am not the one who'd put a bounty to get more or better answers, because I usually can think of an answer myself :) ).
    – user138231
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 11:45
  • @waffles: Maybe only for bounties on other people's posts? Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 0:43
  • 1
    @Paŭlo certainly ... free bounty on your own questions would be against the spirit of such a feature.
    – waffles
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 3:45

authoritative references/documentation on the subject

If you are looking for a more "sourced" or "authoritative" answer. You may not be unhappy with the current answer, but you are looking for more official documentation or credible references to backup the answer.


I also need the answer to this question.

(For bounties on other's questions that don't have the answer you need)

  • maybe continue with "... and there isn't one yet"? Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 15:54

I want to reward a great answer

  • Yes. Completely forgot this one, @Lance. Spot on.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 7:08
  • 2
    It will be great if the awaring of a great answer can be instant, and not via start bounty -> give bounty after 24 hours Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 12:11
  • That's probably not going to ever happen to avoid sock-puppets sending rep to a primary account. Instantaneous bounties could too quickly be abused.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 3:18
  • @MTi, they can do it anyway, this just lets them show the reason. Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 7:24

Need to use alternate technology or api/product version.

Perhaps the person has a technology restriction or version restriction that they need to work around.

  • If their question was about a specific version, then you shouldn't add a bounty for a different one. If it is asked as version agnostic then you can place a bounty if you need a different version from the answer given.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:35
  • @ckittel, I mean like if an answer is given in an Apache or Google library, but you need core Java.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:43
  • 1
    Sure that's fine, but wouldn't this same bounty category also make one think that they could virtually s/[.net]/[java]/g in the OPs question. You'd end up getting "duplicate" answers only in [java] now, making the answers half [.net] and half [java].
    – ckittel
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:48
  • @ckitt, I suppose that might happen. But I would expect the language in the description of the category would forbid that.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 12:11

Need to get a more specific answer.

Because the answers given are just too broad to be useful.


Have Rep, Must Burn!

(probably mostly for Meta SO)

  • Why is it important to burn your meta rep?
    – ckittel
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:16
  • @ckittel, you must be new here, look up an old post by pollyanna (Adam Davis) if it isn't deleted. Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:27
  • 2
    @ckittel: I think this is the link that Lance was talking about. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/42501/…
    – user162697
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:34

It is self-explanatory.

Or "Want to draw attention and the reason why is self-explanatory". Or "The user declines comments".
This can be followed by a link to the faq, such as this. The reasons I give are:
1. the faq already states that the bounty is for better answers or other good answers.
2. one does want to avoid being judgemental on the already given answers. (example: the given answers are all wrong).
3. a "better answer" is something hard to quantify-it might be the clarity,content, format, English, poor sources, etc. The reasons for bounty can be multiple.

Note that this is stronger than the already proposed "Want to draw attention", which could be followed by "why?" inquires from other users.

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