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I've noticed a disturbing trend on Stack Overflow lately, questions on Stack Overflow get bumped from the front page in usually less than an hour after submitting them. Two questions of mine, and plenty of others on the front page are likely to go unanswered as well resulting from the traffic on Stack Overflow. My thoughts on how to resolve:

  1. Featured questions are great, but I don't have enough reputation yet and I'd like to think my questions are as good as anyone else's. Maybe allow us to buy reputation JUST for the purpose of putting up as a featured question? Bought reputation wouldn't affect moderator/privilege status however, and cap the amount of buyable reputation per purchaser over time to ensure that it can't be overused.

  2. Maybe randomize the front page questions amongst the unanswered ones instead of first in, first out of the front page?

  3. Continue to spin off from Stack Overflow and open up more Stack Exchange boards.

Don't know what else can be done but it's not fun watching my questions just go flying by before they've really had a chance to be seen...

EDIT FOR ANOTHER THOUGHT: How about allowing some of the bounty reputation to be taken from other Stack Exchange sites? So if I have a better reputation on SuperUser.com, I can slice off some (up to a fixed point) for a question on StackOverflow...thoughts?

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Just to add, they might still appear for people following relevant tags. There are already automatic bumps happening for unanswered questions getting little attention. A bump also happens when you update your question to improve it. And as you say, you could add a bounty to your question once you have enough rep. –  Bart Jun 5 '12 at 16:11
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buy reputation? Meaning buy the community trust? –  Zuul Jun 5 '12 at 16:12
    
All good and well, but with all the traffic a bump would still be good for < 1 hour before it's gone. Following tags is definitely doable, but it's no substitute for front page traffic. –  tekiegreg Jun 5 '12 at 16:13
    
Zuul: It's just a suggestion, maybe we can compromise on getting a question more face time that is felt to be really important by the person asking that he's willing to put some skin in the game vs. having too many people who would have been awarded purchased reputation. But hey if it's thought to be a bad idea, I'll concede it. –  tekiegreg Jun 5 '12 at 16:15
    
While I'm against the idea (you could answer some of the other unanswered questions to gain the reputation needed to post a bounty on your own question), I think you should change this to directly purchasing the bounty itself, which would bypass any side-effects of purchasing the reputation for a bounty. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 5 '12 at 16:18
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@BilltheLizard I know that SE inc. is for profit, but do you really think that they would consider a payment system even if for the bounty itself? (Not implying that they won't, I simply have no idea and am curious). –  Bart Jun 5 '12 at 16:20
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@Bart I doubt it. They've said on the podcast that they're strongly against any kind of payment for answers or reputation. Bounties are one further step removed, but it would still be a user paying for a privilege that everyone else earns through content contributions. –  Bill the Lizard Jun 5 '12 at 16:31
    
Well of course there's no substitute for front page traffic. But of all the topics that are discussed on SO, why should we be able to "buy" reputation to bid for a spot to stay longer? Just because you can buy rep that somehow means your question deserves more time on the front page than all the other questions? If your question is in a particular topic area, don't you want to focus on the people who are following the tag(s) and therefore more likely to be capable of answering your question anyway? FWIW I don't look at the front page - the content there scrolls too fast to be useful to me. –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 6 '12 at 15:53
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As has been said in the comments, followers of the tags you used in the OP will see the question on the front-page.

Maybe allow us to buy reputation JUST for the purpose of putting up as a featured question?

I think this is a path that should never be gone down as it would defeat the purpose of the community environment here.

  1. There are a lot of new users who feel their question is of the utmost importance and if they buy reputation to be repaid in the future. They have zero investment in the community to continue on SO or any of the SE sites.
  2. The reputation is about the community trust in you, if a new user has the ability to buy reputation where does the trust go...right out the door.
  3. If you want to make your question a featured question and offer a bounty, then take part in the community - answer other questions, suggest edits to increase your rep. Then you can offer up your own rep to get your questions answered.
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Good ideas, the trick there is having the time and knowledge to really participate well. I guess this will remain as the answer. –  tekiegreg Jun 5 '12 at 16:25
    
@tekiegreg participating the the community is key, then you will increase your rep without having to worry about buying it, etc. You will gain what you need to take part in all aspects. It just takes time –  bluefeet Jun 5 '12 at 16:28
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This already happens, and has for quite a while now. See

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/stack-overflow-homepage-changes/

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The time that a question stays on the front page is in inverse proportion to the number of people who see it. In theory, this means that

  1. All questions get similar attention, and
  2. You get an answer faster.

In theory, it's possible that unrelated activity in other tags could bump your question off the front page, but in practice, the amount of time that a question stays on the front page decreases as the number of views per unit of time increases.

In short, your question gets the same amount of attention it always did; only the velocity has increased.

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you're aware of the blog post I linked in my answer, yes? The front page of SO works differently than every other Stack Exchange site.. that's why it's called "interesting" and not "active" –  Jeff Atwood Jun 11 '12 at 20:25
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