At least twice now, I've created a bounty on a question for the specific purpose of rewarding an answer that is really excellent. The system then lets the bounty sit out there, not awarded, for a period of time before I can award it to the answer that I have in mind.

I'm not seeing the benefit of requiring that delay. I'm not doing this to draw additional attention to the question itself, although if that's the goal then why not draw that attention AFTER the bounty has been awarded (so the answer that earned it is highlighted along with the question, and the attention-getter is visible for a defined period rather than however slowly/quickly I get back to select the answer I have in mind once the window to do that opens). Also, I don't want to attract other answers to the question by somebody who sees the "+500" and, misunderstanding the tag under it, tries to provide a better answer on the spur of the moment. The answers there are good, and one of those in particular is excellent; more answers aren't what I'd want to generate (even unintentionally).

So how come I can't award the bounty right away? It's not like I'm likely to change my mind and realize that some OTHER answer is actually excellent... I'm just waiting for the timer to finish so I can award it to the answer I have in mind, already. For other purposes (attract attention to the question in order to get more/better answers, etc), a delay makes sense, but when rewarding an existing answer... not so much.

(Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere; I didn't find anything on it in Aviation Meta.)



1 Answer 1


It's a system limitation. The wait period is at least in part to avoid under-the-radar rep transfers.

But the bounty system doesn't understand any more than that. It just displays (slaps if you will) whatever note you choose.

Personally when I want to reward an answer, I like to keep the bounty up to give that answer more attention and upvotes. Upvotes not for the sake of points, no, for the sake of appreciation from more than 1 person and to allow as many eyes as possible to see it and benefit from it.

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PS when there's more than 1 answer, you can markdown a link in the custom notice (last window before proceeding with the bounty) so readers wouldn't speculate, "I wonder which answer he likes so much that I need to give special attention to..."

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    $\begingroup$ Didn't see the option mentioned in the PS... would have been nice, since the answer I was impressed by wasn't the accepted or highest scoring one. The "rep transfer" rationale seems pretty thin to me; maybe pause an award going to a very new or low-rep account, or for repeated bounties one-after-another, but for most cases, the most common reaction seems to be a variation of, "well this makes no sense." $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Sep 6, 2021 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ I've started over 500 bounties, and probably close to 100 of them were to reward a specific answer. I tend to do that mostly for relatively new users who go out of their way to write an authoritative and well-sourced answer. I try to let them run for five to seven days to maximize the visibility of their post, and for these I always add a bounty message, something like "It's great when a (relatively) new user knocks themselves out and writes an authoritative and well sourced answer" or similar, something that echoes a comment I'd left under their answer itself. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 6, 2021 at 22:11
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    $\begingroup$ @RalphJ maximizing visibility of a post that's good enough to deserve a bounty is a good thing as it likely brings reader views to good answers, and that's the central theme in Stack Exchange. The delay causes this to happen, so I think it has a net-positive effect and so does not fall into the "this makes no sense" category. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 6, 2021 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 I'd never thought of linking directly to the answer, I guess my style is to leave a suggestion of which answer it is which hopefully gets viewers to look at all the answers to guess which one. I've had some trouble with links in bounty messages because they can't be edited; you have to get it right the first time. Editing bounty messages, is it finally time for a little "Love"? (anti-Doh! feature request) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 6, 2021 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: you have to get it right the first time -- true! Filling bank applications is less stressful :P The horrors of SE's indelible ink ;) $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Sep 7, 2021 at 0:47

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