A while ago I posted my first bounty, on this question: What are the key considerations to creating compelling environments?
There were two different things I didn't know about bounties that, if I'd known, would have entirely changed the way I would have handled that bounty.
Here are the two things not described anywhere that I needed to know:
- Bounty reasons are not editable. Everything else everywhere I can input something on the site is editable - even chat and comments are editable for a few minutes. If this isn't behaving that way, we need to be told first.
- Repeated bounties cannot be smaller, and are much larger than the first bounty. After now having placed a bounty on that question of 200, my next bounty must be 400. I don't know if this is a static amount for the second bounty, or just double 200. We need to know that this happens. We also need to know whether this amount is just double the previous bounty, and how third and fourth bounties work.
Our FAQ section on bounties doesn't appear to mention these significant and permanent repercussions, nor does the setting bounties privilege article, nor do the bounty-posting dialogs, though they all mention other very important things about bounties that I'm glad they describe.
I would have done two things differently knowing these things:
- If I had known bounty reasons were not editable I would have taken a lot more time to draft it, and bounced it off one or two people.
- As it was, I had four answers I wanted to reward, and I had actually planned to give three others smaller rewards of 100. 500 total? More than worth it. Those answers were fantastic.
- If I had known subsequent bounties increase like that I would have planned ahead and worked with the system by starting my bounty at 50. That way, I would have been able to give a 50, then a 100, then a 200 to the three best answers - and maybe even planned for a 400 if I felt like four were worth it.
- If the second bounty had to be 400 regardless of the first bounty's cost, then I'd have given 200 to the second-place answer and 400 to the first.
- If I had only found out after starting the bounty I would have done the same - I would have given the 200 to someone else, then a 400 to either BESW or another answerer.
I don't like this situation one bit. I didn't get to act the way I would have if I'd known how things worked, and I don't get to reward the excellent answers I want to reward the way I wanted to reward them.
This stuff is really important. Please let us know about it.