These posts both mention the "new bounty system" that's apparently been around for ages, but I can't for the life of me figure out HOW to use it, and what the rules are. I've visited the blog entry in the second question detailing the features implemented/improvements to the bounty system, but I haven't been able to find answers to the following basic questions:

  1. Where do I top-up a bounty from or start a new bounty for an existing question (others' questions. Data on "own" questions would also be helpful, but not necessary)
  2. What happens to the old bounty points when a new bounty is started? When I close the new, extended bounty, does the answer I assign the bounty to get:

    1. The points I first assigned
    2. The top-up points
    3. 1 and 2

The "new bounty system" replaced the old one; the main change was the ability to bounty a post written by someone else. You can't "extend a bounty" the way you're thinking; you start a bounty, it runs for a week, you pick a winner (or don't), and it ends. At that point you're free to start a second, unrelated bounty. The first bounty's points were already awarded, so they don't affect the points for the second bounty. Restrictions:

  • You can only have three bounties active at a time
  • A question can only have one bounty at a time, so if someone else puts a bounty on it in the interim you won't be able to start another one
  • A new bounty has to be for more rep than the previous one, so you can't keep putting 50 rep bounties on a post over and over
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  • Ahw man. That's a little disappointing. "Topping up" would have been really interesting, if at the end of a 2 week bounty - say - I'm able to reward the final answer 250 points instead of, assigning one answer 100 points the first week and another better answer (possibly) 150 the next. It just seems like a slight waste when it's still possible to make users pay for attention without them ending up gaming the system - I think. Still, thanks! This clears everything up a lot. – Dev Kanchen Jun 7 '12 at 2:50

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