Is it possible to refine bounties to have longer expiration dates? What would be the down side? Is this something that can be changed just for SE.SE? It would encourage more bounties.
You know, this idea actually makes sense to me. Eight years ago Jeff Atwood said:
This is effectively completed, because
- bounty system is no longer tied to accepting an answer in any way
- you can issue multiple bounties on your question if necessary
Let's think about this. Stringing together a series of four +50 bounties gives you an effective bounty period of 28 days, so why not just allow for +200 bounties to go for 28 days? Some users may not want them to last that long, but like you say, you can just make the length customizable.
- Allows for risk aversion on large bounties
- Maintains the impression of a lump sum to answerers, thus potentially motivating them more than multiple small bounties
- Development and maintenance cost for the adjustable length
- Adds another piece to the already complex bounty system that must be explained to the user