For reference: How to Monitor an Adaptec/Intel ICH10R RAID Controller (any SNMP notification options?)

I understand that the bounty system does not guarantee an answer, it guarantees that your question is listed in 'Featured' and increases the incentive for people to provide good answers or answer an otherwise uninteresting question. To this end, I completely agree with the requirement that when you start a bounty on one of your questions you immediately lose the reputation points; again because you're buying the extra exposure for your question that comes with it being 'Featured'.

I don't agree with the idea that I have to award a bounty or that the system should automatically award the bounty for me. While the answers to my question were indeed helpful (and received a corresponding upvote) they did not in actuality answer my question or help solve the issue at hand (To the Answer-ers: please in no way consider this a criticism of your effort and quality of your answers).

Why is it mandatory that I (or the bounty system automatically) has to award the bounty? I'd prefer to award the bounty to the answer, if there ever is one, that actually answers my question.


3 Answers 3


I think you're might be making a bit too much of this. You don't have to award the full bounty. That's always your choice.

If there are questions that are deemed good by the community (through a required 2 upvotes) then half of the bounty is awarded for you. This is a community run site, so the community can decide that the person deserves some extra credit.

In your case, however, nobody received 2 upvotes. So nobody is going to get any portion of the bounty. You've paid your dues to get listed. Nobody has received any part of your bounty. So don't despair.

  • I only downvoted because, while this situation ended well, I think the bounty system is flawed and can be improved for the benefit of the community. I don't think we should award an A for effort. That seems to encourage a "Lots of FLOPS, but no I/O" scramble for busywork responses that aren't actually answers. Take my recent shot at a bounty. I spent a lot of time researching and typing, but it wasn't the answer. I wouldn't have deserved the 100 points that I was one upvote shy of getting. serverfault.com/questions/308781/…
    – Wesley
    Sep 20, 2011 at 2:32
  • TL;DR Encourage results, not effort.
    – Wesley
    Sep 20, 2011 at 2:33
  • I'm not as worked up over it as I seem; I just don't want my bounty to be automatically assigned because of a meager two upvotes... it eliminates some of the incentive for someone who actually has the answer to post it after the bounty period is over. @WesleyDavid- And that's my fault for "rewarding" effort... but if someone provides a helpful answer I feel like even though it doesn't solve the issue an upvote is warranted.
    – user62491
    Sep 22, 2011 at 16:20
  • @kce - I may be mistaken, but I believe you can offer multiple bounties even if the bounty is awarded. If you want to provide extra incentive, this is the way to do it. I think it would be easier to just get a new RAID card that has the features you want though.
    – Jason Berg
    Sep 22, 2011 at 16:36

It's not a perfect system and it is something that worries me about the bounty system. Yes, the bounty can be awarded to someone automatically that has not answered your question, but has somehow tickled the community just enough to gain upvotes.

I think that it is not known by enough people that the highest upvoted question will have the bounty awarded to it and therefore upvotes are not always given as carefully as they should be. My memory recalls some bounty answers that made me stop and think "Why on earth would someone upvote that? That's not a cogent or contextual answer..." That problem is certainly not limited to the bounty system, as plenty of answers across ServerFault have made me stop and wonder that. However, when posterity is at stake via automatic awarding, it seems to be a bigger issue.

Solutions wanted.

EDIT: Upping the required amount of upvotes for a bounty to be half-awarded would be good. Five vote minimum?

  • 3
    What if the the threshold for the automatic award of a bounty was increased to something between five and ten? Two upvotes can be pretty easy to obtain - even if the quality of the answer is severely lacking. All it takes is a witty or snarky comment that people agree with (The Reddit Phenomenon) and the answer is upvoted not because of content but because the community aligns with its prevailing opinion. (at least that has been my observation)
    – user62491
    Sep 22, 2011 at 16:26
  • 1
    Another idea: Set the automatic award threshold to be proportional to the amount of the bounty. The larger the bounty that stands to be awarded the greater the required number of upvotes.
    – user62491
    Sep 24, 2011 at 1:54

I suspect the logic behind it is that it should encourage us to write questions that can be properly answered. Of course theory and reality are two different beasts altogether and for various reasons not all questions can be properly answered by those who participate in SF.

All in all I think the bounty system as it stands has more positives than negatives, as it at least encourages people who might otherwise remain silent to post answers.

  • "encourage us to write questions that can be properly answered" - and maybe that's the the issue... perhaps my question is not appropriate for SF or not of a high enough quality.
    – user62491
    Sep 22, 2011 at 16:21
  • @kce, or it might be due to the sentence following the one you quoted. I personally see nothing wrong with the question itself. Sep 22, 2011 at 22:58

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