There are a few variables here that I was thinking about:

  1. Spend rep to extend a bounty for a certain amount of time
  2. Allow the rep spent to extend duration to add into the original bounty
  3. Create minimums on the amount necessary to extend dependent on how long it has been up

These are just ideas and can be tweaked as necessary, but the idea in whole is to encourage people to spend more on rep and avoid "wasted" rep because there wasn't a good answer to a question while minimizing the amount of possible abuse. This was part of the idea to spend a small amount of rep to extend duration without adding to the rep so that you wouldn't have to spend the whole amount over again for a couple more days.

The typical use case that I am thinking of is when you create a bounty and it still gets no attention. I think it would be cool if you could then add onto it to turn it into a higher bounty instead of having those points completely gone.

Possible abuses:

  1. Keeping bounty questions alive for inappropriately long times.
  2. There is already an answer but the author does not want to award the bounty.

For 1, you can resolve this by increasing the amount necessary to keep a question alive exponentially similar to what is already in place. You could also halve the amount of extended duration per extension. For 2, this is a problem with the existing system as well, but the author does not have a positive incentive not to award the points since he himself still cannot get them back.

  • Isn't this pretty much what we have already? Nov 1, 2013 at 20:37
  • @AndrewBarber how so? now, I lose all my rep at the end of the week and I have to start a new bounty or am I completely mistaken?
    – chacham15
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:38
  • 1
    It is spending increasing amounts on the bounty to increase the time. Nov 1, 2013 at 20:39
  • 2
    @AndrewBarber but part of the idea here was to allow adding the spent rep into the original bounty instead of it just going to waste
    – chacham15
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:40
  • Actually we have the opposite now. You need double the bounty till 500 each week. That way the bounty system stays special and won't get flooded by the same questions for months.
    – juergen d
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:44
  • 10
    @juergend I understand that point, but why make it the amount you need to add in instead of the total amount? As an example: you initially put it 50, then you wait a week, now you need to add 100 (2x50) so why not make the bounty worth 150 instead of 100? You still have to spend the x 2 rep, but now you get the question more attention because of the extra rep (previous amount x 2) put in.
    – chacham15
    Nov 1, 2013 at 20:47
  • 1
    Nice idea - I'm interested . Nov 1, 2013 at 21:44
  • @AndrewBarber I must say, I just wasted rep posting a bounty on Psychology & Neuroscience and I have another smaller bounty there and it's only gained an extra 4 views since having the bounty.. for some of the quieter sites, where it's harder to get rep in the first place, it's a lot easier to lose it trying to stimulate activity. But this is more of a problem for less active beta sites
    – user310756
    Nov 3, 2013 at 5:18
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Allow extending bounties by topping them up (within limits) Aug 17, 2016 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


I'm not a fan of this idea. The great thing about the bounty system is that it allows you to put your question in the limelight for one week and gain some attention. People browse the featured questions because they are constantly changing and provide an opportunity for a reputation boost.

However, if high-rep users are able to extend their bounty time almost indefinitely, then the featured questions page will grow in size and become increasingly full of things we've seen before. Consequently, the impact achieved by committing to a bonus is reduced.

If we allow bonus points to accumulate through this feature, then again it penalises the lower-rep users who can't afford to keep up with the higher-rep users. If we don't allow bonus to accumulate, then I struggle to see the benefit of implementing this feature as it is functionally equivalent to just starting another bonus.

  • 5
    Users can already do this. However, the original bounty simply drops into the void.
    – user206222
    Nov 2, 2013 at 16:15
  • 1
    @Emracool, true but it gets more expensive each time. May 1, 2014 at 11:51

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