So I just added a bounty to my own question because I need an answer pretty soon if it's going to be useful to me. Not the most altruistic use of the bounty system, but I figure it's my rep, I can be selfish with it if I want :-) My only qualm is that I had to pick a reason, and none of them seem to really fit “I just want an answer badly enough to sink some rep into it.” I went for “This question has not received enough attention,” but that seems like a whiny thing to say about your own question ... maybe it's received only as much attention as it deserves! IOW, every reason on the list has to do with the merits of the question when (as I see it) a legitimate use of the bounty system is, in the grand tradition of capitalism, to realign incentives in your favor (for a price).

Maybe the best solution would be just to allow not giving a particular reason. I mean, putting rep on the table kinda speaks for itself; if the purpose is really just the obvious “here's some rep if you can answer the question,” why obscure it?

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    I see no problem. You can even put a custom I sacrifice these points to the cookie monster etc. So you can do whatever you want with your points. Maybe in other networks they even complain about this obscure detail here we don't care. In fact we don't care about the points other than teasing each other :)
    – percusse
    Oct 10, 2013 at 14:42
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    @percusse: done. ♥ :) Oct 10, 2013 at 17:08
  • It's not that I care so much about the points as that I don't like having to shoehorn my intent into a predefined list of reasons. It feels like the system's putting words in my mouth. And it seems especially weird since it seems to me that simple self-interest is probably the most common reason to offer a bounty. Oct 10, 2013 at 19:10
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    no worries i will kill for moar rep.... let me see those arrows now. but wait qrrrbrbirlbel(grrr) has a linked answer no?
    – percusse
    Oct 10, 2013 at 19:13
  • Almost — I guess I'm not sure how it translates to an arrow style I can use from tikz-cd. Probably pretty easy for those in the know. Hey, I never said it was a difficult question :-) Oct 10, 2013 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


First of all...Hi! I'm Laura, a product manager at Stack Exchange.

The rationale behind having bounty reasons be displayed along with the bounty amount is to help other users know what they should do in order to receive the bounty. You're right about the general reason that bounties exist: people want to do whatever it takes to get an answer. However, since bounties draw extra attention, extra guidance is useful.

Often, bountied questions receive multiple answers. Having a bounty reason prominently displayed quells any later cries of "But why did THAT answer get a bounty but not MINE?!" (not entirely, but it sure helps). And since anyone can place a bounty on a question - not just the question owner - it's not always clear what the intent of the bounty is.

As far as why we don't allow the option to not have ANY reason...if we allowed that option, very few people would choose a reason. When the bounty system was first introduced, reasons were not required.

I realize that the existing reasons don't fit every situation perfectly, but that's also why we have the option to allow the bounty offerer to include a custom message.

So while I'm declining the request to have NO reason, you've got me thinking that maybe a "this question is time-sensitive" / "I need an answer soon" (though maybe not worded like that) bounty reason might be useful. What do you think?

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    Ah! Sure, that makes sense. Not everyone is as assiduous about filling out forms as I am :-) For something to cover my case, maybe “This question is important to me”? Something that says that it's not because the question deserves more attention or a canonical answer or so forth, but just because of my needs. Oct 11, 2013 at 1:24
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    Hi Laura, good to see you around! Make yourself at home. Ah, and welcome to the friendliest community of all SE network! :) Oct 11, 2013 at 17:10
  • Hi Laura, I think your suggestion of adding the time-sensitive reason is a good idea. what is the current status, are you still planning to introduce it? Jun 14, 2014 at 22:10

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