I got to thinking...

Should questions with an open bounty get bumped periodically? Maybe once halfway through the bounty.


3 Answers 3


I think

  • having a dedicated tab on the homepage
  • a visual marker that distinguishes them from every other question
  • a potential reputation award for every new answer
  • getting bumped to the homepage at the time the bounty is set

.. is sufficient.

  • But doesn't the Community User bump unanswered questions? I was hoping for something similar here. Just so that each bounty question has an extra chance. Commented May 4, 2010 at 6:39
  • 3
    All that an no "status-bydesign" tag? You're slipping Jeff.... :)
    – Randolpho
    Commented May 4, 2010 at 16:16
  • 5
    It obviously also needs to come as popup on regular intervals with blinking message and the mention "YOU CAN WIN 500 REP CLICK NOW"
    – Gnoupi
    Commented May 4, 2010 at 16:28
  • @rand this would be more of a "status-declined" Commented May 4, 2010 at 16:42
  • I.... ok, fair 'nuff.
    – Randolpho
    Commented May 4, 2010 at 18:15
  • 1
    I don't see why - more people seem to be in favor of this than opposed. Commented May 4, 2010 at 18:37

I've had a few bounties that after making the question a bounty I only saw probably 20 or 30 more views and no new answers or anything. You put a bounty on something to get it answered. Not as the creator of some competition

So bounties could be bumped maybe every day of the bounty. This way the question has a much greater chance of being seen. I mean, who looks at the bounty tab exclusively?

  • 1
    I'm not sure about daily - but I agree with you. Commented May 4, 2010 at 6:57
  • i put a bounty on a question for the first time recently and it got me to wondering about the same thing (whether the bounty adds any weight to Community's random-ish bumping). i think it should; "daily" might be often enough for, say, SU/SF, where there aren't many bounty questions; it might be too often for SO, where there are more. Commented May 4, 2010 at 7:34
  • @quack: Just did my first bounty too. Commented May 4, 2010 at 7:39
  • 2
    I think adding a bounty counts as activity and so will bump the question to the home page.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented May 4, 2010 at 14:21
  • @Chris apparently: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/48578/what-causes-bumps @Kyle tested it and confirmed it
    – Earlz
    Commented May 4, 2010 at 16:12

As with all questions, if you are finding that people are not answering, you have a few options.

  1. Do extra research to try and find more information
  2. Re-read the question, answers, comments and edit your question
  3. Add a bounty.

At this point, you have already gone to step 3, so I'll consider steps 2 and 1.

Re-read and edit

Re-read your own question. If even twenty minutes has passed, I will find that even my most carefully considered questions seem very different once I publicize them. You might discover that there is contextual information missing, or irrelevant information contained. Try making it shorter or longer. The people on SO have a limited amount of time, and they will give up on questions for their own reasons. Small edits can have huge impacts.

Check the answers or comments (if any) they may indicate where the disjoint is between you and the community. If they ask for clarification, clarify, if they ask for more information, give it to them. This will show you are engaged, and it will be more likely that they answer.

And of course, each edit gives you a bump, regardless of having a bounty or not.

Do More Research

Most people will do a simply google/bing search before they post their issue onto SO, but it is entirely possible that the comments or answers, despite being wrong, can still give you clues that enable you to do some extra research. Maybe it will help you find your answer and maybe not, but it should enable you to add extra contextual information to the qusetion which means an edit. Every edit gives you a bump to the top of the active page, so once again you will generate extra interest.


As Jeff says, you are already getting some bonuses from adding a Bounty, however it doesn't mean you should just give up and assume that your job is finished. Adding a bounty to a bad or unanswerable question does not make it answerable. It also doesn't mean that the problem you originally had will go away.

Bottom line, if you remain engaged, your question will stay in the active page, and you'll get more responses. Oftentimes, if you do that, you won't need the bounty at all.

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