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I posted a bounty on this question, which despite the bounty got no (serious) attention. I am now seriously considering putting up another bounty for the coming week and noticed I have to wait for 24 hours before I can do so (despite there being no answer to award the bounty to). So, the first feature request is to allow posting bounties during the grace period.

  1. A user posts a bounty (costing it's full reputation cost)
  2. For 7 days nobody is able to figure out a solution
  3. On the 8th day he wants to post a new bounty and believes no answer deserves the bounty, likely also meaning no answer has at least two upvotes. This removes the original bounty from the system and a new bounty is posted (costing the new full bounty reputation)

Originally this post had another secondary idea as well (upgrading bounties during the grace period), which is now posted seperatedly after multiple people asking for this.

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    Are you trying to get a freebie bounty from the meta effect? :P meta.stackexchange.com/questions/235225/… – James Nov 4 '14 at 2:51
  • @James: Feeling like I am missing something... "freebie bounty from the meta affect"? – David Mulder Nov 4 '14 at 2:52
  • James' answer is correct to point out that there are two features being requested here. They should be voted on independently. (Regarding the "freebie bounty": you're posting a question about your question on Meta, with a link. People are probably going to look at your question. Someone might answer. So you get attention for "free".) – Louis Nov 4 '14 at 12:12
  • @Louis: Aaaah, that's what he meant :P Well, no complaining here if that were to happen, I just added the link to give some context. – David Mulder Nov 4 '14 at 15:28
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I'm in favor of this proposal.

The evidence I've found indicates that the reason we have a grace period in the first place is to benefit the bounty offerer. See this question:

This way, each bountied question can have its full 7-day timespan for meaningful answers to be added, and no bounty offerer will have to cut a bounty period short or risk missing out on being able to assign a bounty.

Or you can read this question or this one. In every case the benefits are for the bounty offerer. It is true that if the grace period is shortened this will remove an opportunity to submit an answer during the grace period. However, the fact that answers can still be submitted during the grace period is not the primary goal of the grace period. (Moreover, this can still be interpreted as a benefit to the bounty offerer: a great answer could come during that time.)

Since the reason for the grace period is to benefit the bounty offerer, then the bounty offerer could be allowed to shorten the grace period. By shortening the grace period, the offerer is effectively giving up a benefit that was meant for the offerer in the first place. The only thing this would mean is that whatever automatic calculations the system performs in the case where the bounty is not manually awarded would happen earlier than at the end of the 24 hour grace period. It would not eliminate the rules by which bounties are automatically awarded.

And then a new bounty can be set.

The way I'm talking about it suggest that ending the grace period and starting the new bounty could be two independent actions but this could perhaps give rise to shenanigans. (E.g. someone gave a good answer but bounty offerer is irritated due to discussion in comments and does not want the person to get the full bounty so the offerer ends the grace period before the answer can get the votes to at least get an automatic award.) It may be wise to tie the two actions together. That is, the grace period can be shortened only when a new bounty is immediately offered.

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(Answer edited to coincide with the split)

I believe the grace period is to allow the system to catch up, and to provide a period after the bounty has ended for you to review answers and manually award the bounty.

I'm not convinced a handful of hours to wait is worthwhile changing the various parts of what is a working system.

Also, what you are proposing is a paradox, in that if you could post bounties in the grace period, then there would be no grace period in the first place.
Certainly not as the grace period is currently defined.
As such you are essentially proposing we change how the grace period itself works.

And this includes changes such as:

  • Allowing a 14 day bounty
  • For 14 days we potentially cannot moderate poor questions other than flagging a moderator
  • Introducing a scenario where there may or may not be a grace period, depending on the bounty giver's decision/actions

And what benefit is there to be had? You don't have to wait a few hours to post a new bounty?
After 168 hours passed already, is another few hours to wait really an issue?

Sorry to be negative, I just don't see the appeal to this other than not having to wait to post a new bounty when the last one returned suitable answers.

no answer deserves the bounty, likely also meaning no answer has at least two upvotes.

The two are not naturally synonymous, and a bounty being "deserved" can be for various reasons. A user might post a great answer and deserve the bounty even if it doesn't provide exactly what the questioner wants.

  • What ill effect would there be to allowing the bounty giver to click a button that means "Listen, I don't need the grace period. I'm not going to allocate the bounty. Apply now whatever automated rules you would apply later."? – Louis Nov 4 '14 at 12:31
  • @Louis - Isn't an answer posted within the grace period still eligible for the bounty? I'm not sure. There might be other issues, or maybe none. Perhaps do some digging into the ins and outs of the bounty grace period and submit a new proposal. On face value that sounds like a potentially good idea. – James Nov 4 '14 at 14:31
  • Correct. I guess the question is "who is the grace period supposed to benefit"? All the arguments I found for the grace period is that it allows the bounty giver time to consider the answers after the question is no longer featured. So it is really to the benefit of the giver and if the giver wants to give it up, then why not? – Louis Nov 4 '14 at 14:41
  • @James: That was mostly all idea 1 was saying indeed, but it seems I wasn't really all that clear, so I have split this up into two seperate questions (so you might want to edit and split your answer well, sorry for the trouble) and edited in an example in both to make it a bit clearer. – David Mulder Nov 4 '14 at 15:28
  • @DavidMulder No worries, the split is in the interest of the site :) – James Nov 4 '14 at 15:32
  • @James: Was a bit unsure whether to split it up in the beginning, after all, the difference can be seen as an implementation detail, but as far as voting goes I agree that it's an implementation detail that's major enough to warrant it's own post. – David Mulder Nov 4 '14 at 15:33

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