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I little while back I awarded Dennis a 500 rep bounty for his excellent answer to one of my indefinite bounties. Thinking that Dennis would want his well deserved rep as soon as possible, I awarded the bounty within minutes of the end of the 24 hour holding period, only to discover that this was generally considered bad practice and it was customary to wait the entire week before awarding a bounty.

I now have a 1000 rep bounty for beating Dennis' original solution and I was wondering how I should award it. Since it is impossible to award a 1000 rep bounty all at once I am going to have to award two 500 rep bounties (or some other number of equivalent bounties). Should I leave both open for a full week or should I close one as quickly as possible and keep the other open for six days?

I suppose it is ultimately up to me what I do with my rep but I would like some suggestion from people in the community who have been here for a while.

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Maximise the visibility time

  • It costs you the same in rep regardless of the approach you take.
  • The recipient receives the same amount of your rep regardless of the approach you take.

I therefore recommend taking the approach that leaves the challenge with an active bounty (and therefore in the "featured" tab on the front page) for as long as possible. This gives the maximum amount of visibility to the challenge, and to the submission you intend to reward. The recipient is therefore likely to receive more rep from upvotes, on top of the bounty rep you award.

The extreme case

I think most people here would agree with this general approach, but when taken to the extreme I don't know how people would view it. For example:

  • rep of 150 could be applied as two bounties, 50 and 100
  • rep of 500 could be applied as three bounties, 50, 150 and 300
  • rep of 1000 could be applied as 50, 150, 300 and 500

When the bounty is this large, it is possible to "buy" 4 weeks of visibility in the featured tab for a submission you wish to reward. I don't know how long would be too long, resulting in people becoming irritated.

I see no problem with getting the most out of it

Personally, I think if you are prepared to spend the rep then you should be able to buy time in the featured tab for as long as you wish, whether for rewarding a specific submission or advertising a specific challenge. I'd be interested to hear how the rest of the community feels about this.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd say use the minimal amount of bounties but keep them up as long as possible. Apart from artificially increasing visibility by using unnecessarily small bounties it also prevents others from bountying the challenge which isn't nice. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Oct 25 '16 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even with the minimal number of bounties, keeping them open for as long as possible also delays others who may want to bounty the challenge so it's hard to know where people will draw the line. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Oct 25 '16 at 2:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ You missed the real extreme case: Two people bounty back and forth to maximize the visibility time of a pair of answers indefinitely. If the idea behind maximizing exposure time is that "the recipient is therefore likely to receive more rep from upvotes", it's only logical to take that next step >_> \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits Oct 25 '16 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that the extreme case is just unfair, unless, the bounty is >500 rep, in which case you could wait the entire week with the first bounty and then start batch-awarding it and the rest to the answer, to sort of create the effect of one >500 bounty. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer May 4 '18 at 20:57

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