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I just received the Popular Question badge for a question with zero activity. This represents a question that is commonly asked yet nobody seems to know (or at least has contributed) the answer for. I have moved past the issue and am not interested in putting up a bounty. Nevertheless many people are interested in a solution to the problem (as reflected in the number of times it has been viewed.)

In the spirit of the Trilogy sites being a breeding ground for solid answers to interesting questions, what can be done to promote questions of this category? Perhaps some kind of auto-bounty system? What about 50 rep - something small yet enough to kindle some kind of interest in an answer?

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That's kind of weird -- 1500 views and no voting activity? Maybe people were just curious but not actively interested. – Jon Seigel Jan 14 '11 at 18:13
A lot of people apparently have the problem, but nobody knows how to solve it. Try Googling [make][model] won't start. You'll get an endless parade of sites with questions, but no answers. – Robert Harvey Jan 14 '11 at 18:20
@Jon: The question in its specificity doesn't strike me as the kind one might simply stumble upon; rather those who find themselves there have the same problem and are looking for a solution. </2c> – fbrereto Jan 14 '11 at 18:43

I don't think an auto-bounty is needed. If you or one of the many other viewers thought it was important enough you/they could give it a bounty. This would give it more attention. Also having users apply bounties means there is a good chance that a human will be able to assign the reward, which is better than auto-assigning it.

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A fair argument; then what can be done to promote questions like this? – fbrereto Jan 14 '11 at 22:16
Well the problem wasn't great enough to use a bounty for you. If one of the other people feel it is big enough for a bounty they can do it, but it might not be as important to them either. There is always the change that someone will find and post a solution in the future without a bounty. – jzd Jan 14 '11 at 23:15
What about viewers looking to solve the problem who are nonmembers of the site? Specifically those who are interested in a solution but don't have the time or means to post the bounty required to find the answer? The question I'm most interested in is a solution for helping questions like these (high viewership, no activity) get higher priority in the hopes they get answered, as they are seemingly important but nobody has stepped up with a solution yet. – fbrereto Jan 14 '11 at 23:22
The main problem is that you can't assume that since a question has a lot of views that a lot of people are interested in the answer. If a majority of them are not from StackOverflow you can mostly assume they read the first sentence at most from google, and may or may not actually have the same issue. Therefore auto-assigning bounties would help in some cases but in other cases would be putting bounties on questions that don't really matter. This would clog up the bounty system. (Like putting urgent on every other UPS box, after a while it doesn't mean anything). – jzd Jan 14 '11 at 23:43

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