One question I have on etiquette is whether it's proper or possible to offer bounty after a question has been answered to my satisfaction.

Specifically, I asked this question - Is there a way to have Snow Leopard match the scrolling behavior of Lion? and got the perfect answer from a new user within 10 minutes of asking the question.

I would love to be able to offer an instant bounty to the answerer. Is there a proper way to gift that person +50 (or whatever would be appropriate) to recognize his swift and excellent answer?

I'm guessing the down side of this might be a shortening of the learning period where initial privileges are earned from many small votes.

Perhaps it's better to check to see what other good things the user may have done here and vote appropriately?


It's your reputation, so feel free to dish it out as you want. The waiting period for bounties is designed so that high-rep users can't immediately attach bounties to every question they post, giving them an unfair advantage in getting their questions answered. If you want to reward someone for a great answer it's OK to use the bounty system to do so, though you will still be bound by that waiting period. As long as you don't start promising a bounty bonus with every question you post it's fine.

  • Yeah - I got a little excited there. After I did it - i realized it looked a little crass. Just because I'm stumped, doesn't mean others are ;-) Should I delete that offer?
    – bmike Mod
    Jul 24 '11 at 21:01
  • How would I actually award it to the answerer. Can I award it on answers that existed prior to the offer? (I must be confused about the scenario where I fail to award bounty where it's worded to go to people that answer after the bounty is offered)
    – bmike Mod
    Jul 24 '11 at 21:03
  • 1
    @bmike Once a question is elegible for a bounty, all you have to do is unaccept the answer and you'll have the option of placing the bounty. And yes, you can award the bounty immediately and to an already existing answer. Jul 24 '11 at 21:10
  • 1
    With regard to the offer, I think it's fine to occasionally mention that you're going to offer a bounty ahead of time, but just don't make a habit of it and you'll be fine. Jul 24 '11 at 21:11
  • Excellent - I want to spread out some of the rep, but be sensitive to the expectations on how bounties are seen in the SE ecosystem. This is my first SE site I've spent any serious amount of time in - it's clear that voting and bounty here are much rarer (overall) than say stack overflow where questions with literally hundreds of votes are commonplace (as well as large populations of seasoned users to see behave and emulate)
    – bmike Mod
    Jul 24 '11 at 21:41
  • Hey, that's me! Glad I could be of assistance :) Regarding any bounty - seriously don't worry about it. I'm happy to work my way up the rep system slowly. Jul 24 '11 at 21:42

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