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I like bounties, but they don't seem to get used much. How can we encourage people to use them?

Particularly, can we change the options around offering bounties? For example, can we allow people to set lower bounties for questions (25 or 10)?

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You shouldn't really overly "encourage" the routine use of bounties across the board. Bounties are designed to be used as a last resort.

You are supposed to start by putting the effort into getting the question answered yourself. If you don't get an immediate answer, you are expected to improve, clarify, and document your continued efforts. These activities bump your question to give it more exposure. That's how the site is supposed to work.

When those efforts fail, bounties offer an escalation of that process by offering your "reward" and placing your question on the featured page. But you don't want to create an environment where bounties are routinely used to get questions answered. You don't want to create the perception that you can only get good answers to your questions if you "paid" someone to answer it.

That's obviously not the case on this site. A high percentage of questions answered without resorting to bounties. That's why you don't see the feature used that much.

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I don't know that they need to be encouraged, given that the answer rate is really high. Bounties don't have value in and of themselves.

If there are a lot of unanswered questions, then bounties would self-encourage, unless people just don't know they exist.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems to me that the answer percentage on the site is so high, that there's little need for bounties.... Maybe we all need to ask harder questions ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Withers Nov 3 '10 at 1:24
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I agree, bounties are not used enough.

Bounties are a stackExchange wide thing and cannot be changed just for this site.

We also have a really high answer ratio, which may lead to people not wanting/needing bounties.

I do think we'll see more bounties once more people get over the all important 1000 rep hurdle. Least thats when I did mine.

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