Sometimes a bounty helps getting your question answered faster.

What is the reasoning behind not being able to start a bounty on your questions the moment you submit them? Shouldn't this be possible?


The original reasoning (according to the podcasts), was that bounties are only supposed to be used after you put the effort into getting the question answered yourself. If you don't get an immediate answer, you are expected to improve, clarify, and document your continued efforts. These activities bump your question to give it more exposure. Bounties are an escalation of that process.

If, after 2 days, you still don't have an answer you like, you can offer a bounty. Slice off a bit of your own hard-earned reputation...

When bounties were introduced, there was a concern that an expectation would develop where you could only get good answers to your questions if you "paid" someone to answer it. Not so.

But when all other efforts fail, bounties come to the rescue... later.


I can't speak for the original reasoning, but new questions are already going to get reasonable attention most of the time. And people who really know about that area will probably be watching those tags anyway, either directly or via RSS. So I'm not sure that a new question with bounty is going to get much extra attention.

I could be wrong, of course.

  • Answering a question which rewards 10-40 points versus a question which rewards 200 and does not factor in with your daily cap.. I'd think that this promotes better answers and more attention
    – cllpse
    Jan 6 '10 at 11:33
  • Not really. If I see a question I can answer, at a time when I'm available, I'll take a pop. Jan 6 '10 at 11:56
  • I guess you are kind o set as far as reputation is concerned ;) I know I would be tempted to answer the question which would give me the most reputation. E-peen you know? ;)
    – cllpse
    Jan 6 '10 at 13:46

One consideration is that, last I checked, I couldn't vote to close a question with a bounty. There's some reason for that; if somebody commits some rep, they deserve a shot at getting answers. However, we don't want people starting questions like "Isn't vi better than emacs?" or "Does Hello Kitty represent cosmic evil?", sacrificing 50 rep, and having them sit out there for a week. (Yes, we could flag for moderator attention, but I'd rather we weren't in a position where that's all we could do about bad posts.)

The delay on bounty gives us 3K+ers two days to close a question. If we haven't closed it by then, it's probably not too bad.

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