I'm a new user on MSE, and there's a question which had been asked about a week ago. It got 4 up-votes and (till now) has no answers, and not even a useful discussion or something. The question is quite interesting (at least to me), and I don't mind giving it a bounty of 100 - 300.

My question is: Does giving a bounty make a significant jump in the attention the question is getting from users? I have never seen a question with a bounty or given a bounty to a question; so I know no much further than the site (help section) can offer.

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    $\begingroup$ "I have never seen a question with a bounty" Here are all the questions with a current bounty: math.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=featured $\endgroup$ – Rahul Jan 31 '15 at 4:55
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    $\begingroup$ In this particular case, the question might also get a few more views due to "meta effect". (Some users who see your post on meta might be curious and go to your profile to see on which question you put a bounty.) Just for the possibility of later comparison: The question has 86 views now. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 31 '15 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ This older discussion is somewhat related: Is bounty really guaranteeing more exposure? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jan 31 '15 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ I've had success with bounties; four of the questions I've bountied received answers (though only three received answers during the bounty period, the other one did soon after). The only other bounty I posted made it to the first page of "unanswered questions" from all the attention it got. $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Jan 31 '15 at 21:33

I've had mixed results offering bounties on my own questions. There are certain cases where it definitely helps:

  1. The question requires a long/involved answer. People ordinarily discouraged from answering by the amount of effort involved will be more inclined to write something up if there is a bounty. For instance, here are a few questions I answered that I wouldn't have if there hadn't been a bounty offered: Linear ODE and Fourier Series, covariant and contravariant components and change of basis, Understanding the Laplace operator conceptually

  2. The question is one that should be easy for a subject-matter expert, but it somehow "slipped through the cracks" and is now far from the front page.

On the other hand, if a question is already very popular, but has no answer simply because it is hard, adding a bounty won't necessarily increase the chance of getting an answer (but might get people to write out in full their current progress and thoughts about the question).


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