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I'm by far not very acquainted with all the structure of Stack Overflow, but one of these days I've asked a question about an issue I really wanted to find out what the answer would be, and it seems to me like nobody's seen it. The question was this: Even/odd parity in hamming code

Some days before I've posted an answer I found really useful, but not only the person who asked did not seem to see my answer, nobody else did, and I would like to have some feedback on whether the solution I presented was right. This is the post I'm referring to: A data structure definition in lambda calculus using a combinator.

For the second case, as I was really willing to have feedback, I've started a bounty; later, I've received some confirmation on my answer -- even though they were not comments, just votes. For the first one, though, I did not start a bounty, as I'm not sure if this is the right way to receive some attention to my question.

When this situation happens, is there any other way to get attention to a question than by starting a bounty? I know the reputation is just a participation acknowledgement, but I don't really feel like losing 100 points every time I want to know something.

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Votes mean that people saw it and thought you had a good answer--it looks like you got plenty of attention on that answer – simchona Dec 23 '12 at 2:00
You have it tagged with hamming and hamming-code which have 21 and 14 questions under them, respectively. That's a very low amount. It's likely there aren't very many users who could answer your question, and you're certainly not drawing them in using only two very rare tags on your question along with a vague title. – animuson Dec 23 '12 at 2:01
@simchona Yes, I agree with you, but I've got plenty of attention on that answer after starting a bounty, which was the only way I found to draw the attention I was willing for. – Rubens Dec 23 '12 at 2:03
@Rubens You can also try editing the question itself to see if you can make valid improvement. One thing about comments vs. votes--comments like "worked for me!" or "great!" aren't constructive, so people here don't really tend to make them. The positive attention is from votes, so it looks like your bounty worked :] – simchona Dec 23 '12 at 2:05
@simchona yes, it worked, I wanted some confirmation on a step I've got through in the answer, but the votes seems to be the confirmation the way I did answer was right (: – Rubens Dec 23 '12 at 2:07
@Rubens If you want someone to verbally approve, you can see if the chatroom is willing to take a look. – simchona Dec 23 '12 at 2:07
@animuson Ok, I'll try editing my post, but I really can't see no better tags and not better title for what I wanted to ask \= – Rubens Dec 23 '12 at 2:08
@simchona Ah, that's it, I guess I found what I was looking for here (: I'll try using the chatroom next time! – Rubens Dec 23 '12 at 2:11
Posting on meta is a nice way to get attention. You have an answer, hopefully I did understood the question right. – Toon Krijthe Dec 23 '12 at 22:42
@GamecatisToonKrijthe lol! I've noticed it; just hope people don't get mad at me for being an attention seeker (: – Rubens Dec 23 '12 at 22:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unfortunately no, there isn't a good way to ensure that your question gets high visibility, in part because the SE team has gone to several lengths to attempt to give better visibility to users on the front-page of questions and answers they are more likely to answer, or to participate in. So you've already lost some portion of your potential reviewers, but the flip-side to that is that the people who are most active in those tags are most likely to see it. That's one consideration.

Another consideration, in the same vein, is that when you work in the less popular tags (for instance, those aren't C# or C++ or Java tagged) you tend to get less views overall.

Third: Sometimes people can't critique other posters, because they don't know enough of the subject matter to really be effective. What do you do when you read a Skeet answer that's highly esoteric, do you 1) commence to ask him highly informative questions that show nuances that weren't in the answer, or 2) read it and go on about your day, digesting the answer and working it into your worldview? Most everyone is a 2 on this, and it's rare that you even want to ask questions of a Skeet answer to begin with (he's usually thorough).

So that leads me to ask if you're really asking how to get more people to interact with your posts, as the most common interaction is upvoting. Again, working in the "lesser visited" tags means less eyeballs overall. This is one weakness of the rep system, is that easy answers get easy votes. I personally favor a weighted-rep based on tag-Qs answered vs non-tag-Qs answered, so that you can see that a person has a high tag-local rep, or that they're a tag-newbie, and then see what their overall rep is in addition (so someone like Skeet may not answer questions about hamming-code often, so that score is low, but you can see from a half million rep that he knows a thing or two about programming, so maybe his answer carries some weight after all).

So, in the future, when you just don't feel you're getting enough traction, and you want to make sure you're participating in the community the right way, the only two answers I can give are to work with (foster a love for) the chat system for your tag, encouraging the high-rep users in those tags to work towards using the chat more for just this purpose, and/or to post on Meta StackOverflow as you did, and ask for review. Your question was indeed a meta-question about the operation of the site, so you were correct in asking here about your actions.

Last nugget before I shut up: Before you wonder why you haven't heard from an OP, ensure that they've visited recently by checking their profile. If they haven't logged in since May, and it's December, you may not ever get a response from them, so you're really at that point answering for the sake of internet-completeness. That is also a worthy goal, so rest assured you're doing The Right Thing.

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haha! Thanks for you reply. I totally agree with you about the balanced/weighted rep system; this should be discussed ^^ I'm happy I did the right thing about this matter I've been through, and the reason why I was looking for feedback is simply because I really like the topic (lambda calculus). About the hamming code question, posting on meta worked like a charm, as somebody very capable of answering me saw the question, and promptly posted an answer. Thank you guys all for the support. I'm quite addicted to stack overflow already (: – Rubens Dec 24 '12 at 17:00

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