I have used the bounty feature, it was a terrible experience. What I received was not worth what I gave. I can admit, maybe my expectation was higher than what the feature was meant to provide. Still, it was an awful experience.

Bounties are the tool for people that want exposure. Good for them, may they use them until they dehydrate from tears of joy.

I would like to suggest a feature that 'rewards' someone for supplying the answer without the strict seven day limitation. Seven days of exposure is nothing to me. Ultimately, would it be possible to add points to a question for a more long term reward window for generating the most valuable answer.

I believe this would allow a rolling level of expertise in the latest and greatest for many questions.

Would this lead to a possible wave of resurrected questions? Probably. But, when I search for an Android Question and Answer which happened to be for the 'Doughnut' API and want the 'Lollipop API' solution, I'd like to be able to slap points on it and have new answers compete for the points-- with a defined end date for issuing the 'reward' (maybe via a date picker with the minimum being 8 days, similar award rules to unselected answer bounty distribution, granted that there should be a reasonable limit to how long the reward can remain open). Bam, same question answered with fresh and correct up-to-date information-- no new question posted for mods to scoff at and at the same time preserving older well, made answers.

I also want to ask new questions and be able to have the best answerer receive a 'reward'. Bounties are far less useful when you hope a knowledgeable person stumbles upon your question. Maybe a 'reward' never graces the featured tab-- I don't know that I have even seen that section of the site... The goal is to provide a larger window of opportunity for what may be less zealous answerers otherwise-- like myself. Before, I answered when I had something to add. Sometimes time didn't allow me to answer via my own internal cost/benefit threshold. Today that still holds true and especially not without a little extra incentive-- this is where the reward would come in and a bounty would fail. I might leave the tab open and answer in the late night of the weekend, if there were something in it for me in and above the warm, tingly feeling of making the world an ever so slightly better place.

--The ability to steer answerers towards helping me-- that makes points valuable to me. The beginner, easy questions have been answered. If you have points, there is a good chance you aren't a beginner and the possibility of new and enriching Q&As for intermediate to advanced issues increases. Up until the day I took out that bounty, they merely represented the actions I could do on this site. That I would be able to leverage them for help, they achieve a new level of value and would spur me to participate in a way that would earn me points to spend.

Seven days, I've had hangovers that lasted longer than seven days.

If you believe that bounties are the one true incentive and there is no room for improvement or that they don't have shortcomings-- then I have nothing for you. But, if you could possibly stretch your imagination around a new idea, well, we can talk. Bounties are the tip of a good thing, but not the whole picture. You have the opportunity to impart real value to points. I have a lot of things in my life that make me happy enough that having umpteen billion points on Stack Overflow isn't really all that important and the side effects of that bounty I issued-- well, except for this one post, I would say it had a negative effect. I gave crappy yet, correct answers to bulk up my score a hair-- which worked. But, if those points are translated into being able to attract help; well, I am inclined to participate more. I have a PDO post, it is old, but every once in a while it-- well, it was responsible for a lot of my points. So, I know that value of a good answer over the long term. Inspire me to make more of them.

  • 1
    Sure. Please fix it to something that a) doesn't include the words "feature request" (that's what tags are for) and b) describes the feature beyond "rewards". The way it read to me is that you wanted something speedier than "wait 7 days for a bounty"... I apologize if I misread overall.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jun 3, 2015 at 5:52
  • 6
    I was really hoping to get up to 3% back on Stack Exchange grocery purchases or at my local Sunoco.
    – jonsca
    Jun 3, 2015 at 5:57
  • I was expecting many downvotes-- where are you @james ? Jun 3, 2015 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


Things you can do to reward an answer:

  • Accept it (if you're the asker). Bam! 15 points and a priceless green checkmark.

  • Upvote it. Hey, 10 points is nothing to sneeze at.

  • Edit it to fix typos and weird grammar errors. Nothing says "I love this answer sooo much" like taking time to polish it up.

  • Track down the author's home address and ship them a gift basket of beer and sausages. Post a link to the answer on your favorite social network so that others can see how great it is.

  • Leave a comment noting which parts you found particularly helpful. This isn't just gratifying; it's actually useful in helping authors get better at writing.

Also, don't forget to pay it forward by helping others - a big part of what makes this whole thing work is that everyone helps out in areas where they're best able to; you may not be able to do anything for the author directly, but by helping others you strengthen the community that they are a part of.

  • 2
    What if an answer would be worth more than 25 points to me...? Say, something non-trivial-- 100 point multiples. At 243k points & counting I can see how even 100 points alone may not sway you to spend time-- my time, strangely enough, is worth $35-50 an hour. My peers make similar if not more and whatever favors or requests on it have a social cost if not real from my pocket cost. Stack overflow is a first resort in that I can search-- but also a last because I have admitted a measure of defeat & asked. If it is that important points that can be spent that have to be earned change the dynamic. Jun 3, 2015 at 10:43
  • I often upvote answers that impart clarity or that solve my issue at hand. I have 'cleaned up' an engrish post and my best answer was a cut/paste implementation of someone else's very good but non-functioning pseudocode answer (credit given)... Jun 3, 2015 at 10:43

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