I've quite often started a question that I find very important, to where I'm sure I'd like to reward a bounty on it. I would also like users to know that I value the question highly and that I will hold answers to a higher standard, so if I start a high bounty on it users would be more inclined to spent more time answering it. However, when you start a question you have to wait two days to start the bounty.

I've never really seen the benefit of delaying bounties, in fact they seem detrimental as I often see as soon as a bounty is posted more quality answers come in and previous answers are rewritten to be better. So if more bounties were offered quicker, users would answer with those "good answers" right away, and it would improve the overall community.

What is the purpose of the two day wait period?

1 Answer 1


This has come up a few times network-wide. For instance: "Question eligible for bounty in 2 days". Why?

I would say that a delay is still beneficial, mostly because I really don't want people posting questions and immediately putting a bounty on it of the 'PLEASE GIVE ME AN ANSWER IT IS URGENT' variety.

There isn't really any good reason to give a question a bounty early. It's already there on the front page, and in the active questions list, so it doesn't need the bump in attention that a bounty gives questions. The reason for bounty-ing a question is usually because it's not received the attention the OP thinks it should have. Well, how do we know it's not received the attention it should if it gets bountied straight away? It might have been fine and got the answers anyway.

Also, questions aren't always well written initially. They need to go through revisions (both by OP and the community) to get them to a position where they can be answered. We need time for this process to happen, otherwise a badly-written question will get a bounty on it when it shouldn't even be open in the first place!

So yes, the reason for the delay is:

  • It doesn't need the bump in attention because it is already on the front page
  • The question hasn't been judged as a 'good' one until it's been live and vetted for a while
  • It would open up the opportunity for people to use the site as a way of getting immediate answers to their urgent question. (We're not an emergency service; we're a repository for the solution to particular problems)

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