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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.

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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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Development and maintenance cost for the adjustable length
  • Adds another piece to the already complex bounty system that must be explained to the user
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  • $\begingroup$ Cons are not costly or complicated $\endgroup$ – Muze the good Troll. Oct 9 '18 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ 25 rep = 5 days 5,000 rep =1 year and new users can't bounty 300 rep needed. $\endgroup$ – Muze the good Troll. Oct 9 '18 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know the actual sequence of events, but Jeff Atwood's post in June 2010 is followed by this answer in September 2010; each subsequent bounty's minimum is double the previous bounty. Change was made to make it harder for people to game the system. See this and answer to Any way to award a second +100 bounty to a second answer to the same question? I'm confused Is "(s)tringing together a series of four +50 bounties" even an option now? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 10 '18 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Good point, you are correct that it is not. Bounties have to be increased each time, but it still doesn't defeat the idea in principle. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Oct 10 '18 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ The one week + one day grace period seems short to me. I don't know how to find out what fraction of my bounties expired un-awarded, but I'm guessing 30%. That's rep nobody received (and possibly questions not answered) so I'd strongly advocate for some mechanism to make my bounties stay alive longer. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 10 '18 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ An exponentially increasing cost feels like defeat when you experience it personally. I feel like I'm borrowing money from Tony Soprano. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 10 '18 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ After a few weeks it self-limits to 500 points per week, which is actually better terms than Tony's would be. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Oct 10 '18 at 1:24

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