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I asked a question on Stack Overflow a few days ago. I'm now offering a bounty of 300 points, so I would expect at least some interest, but I get almost no visits. Also, I don't see my question in the featured questions tab.

Why isn't my question featured? What can I do better to get more views?

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Your question is featured... I found it only on the 4th page though: stackoverflow.com/questions?page=4&sort=featured (not sure how exactly the ordering is done there) –  fretje Mar 17 '11 at 10:36
    
Will it go up the list as the bounty approaches expiration? –  user139018 Mar 17 '11 at 10:47
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@user: Good question. I wouldn't know... I did a quick search, but didn't found anything about it here on meta. That doesn't mean there is nothing here though ;-) –  fretje Mar 17 '11 at 10:53
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mmm, it seems that asking on meta was the right way to get more views :) –  user139018 Mar 17 '11 at 11:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think the main problem is your tags:

Except for "windows" (2.8k followers, most of them unlikely to be interested in desktop gadgets) and "testing" (435 followers, ditto), those aren't hugely popular on Stack Overflow. In my experience, people tend to subscribe to, and pay the most attention to, their preferred language and platform tags. That's where the majority of the activity is.

You had good intentions tagging it in a language and platform-agnostic way, but I would add some specific ones to gain attention.

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What!!! I was thinking to name myself "The", isn't those are in stop words list? –  YOU Mar 17 '11 at 11:50
    
@S.Mark I don't think so! Try it. –  Pëkka Mar 17 '11 at 11:50
    
+1 and for the record, I believe that that even ☺ (or maybe three like those) can be accepted as the display name, as I see Unicode characters used in some names. :) –  Shadow Wizard Mar 17 '11 at 11:54
    
How would you tag my question? –  user139018 Mar 17 '11 at 13:05
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@user I don't know, because I'm not familiar with the technologies used for Windows 7 widgets. What is the smallest common denominator - HTML? JavaScript? RSS? Is there anything server-side involved? –  Pëkka Mar 17 '11 at 13:37
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+1. I had a question with the same problem, and it improved dramatically when I retagged. In my case, what made the difference was dropping version-specific tags. If you hover over your tags, you'll see the problem - only windows has >1000 followers. No-one cares about the others, and since most people only click on questions that are highlighted for tags they've favourited, that's why you're not getting the clicks. I can't really suggest any better tags, but try searching for similar questions and see what they've used. –  Spudley Mar 17 '11 at 13:38

Presumably it's getting lost in the deluge of questions from users who pop up from nowhere, ask (using shockingly bad English full of what for polite reasons I'll simply called "text message speak") for a piece of code to satisfy some problem (could be a commercial app, might be homework). The FAQ will not have been read; no explanation of what has been attempted given; the error messages or logcat dump (in the case of Android questions; other environments/platforms have their own thing) won't be provided. Often exactly the same question is asked by multiple people at the same time, suggesting homework or some sort of plagiarism. You might just get "why isn't this working" or "why doesn't this do what I want" and a cut and paste of someone elses code from elsewhere on the internet.

Worst of all, these people get help, not told to go away and come back when they're familiar with the rules of the site.

Meanwhile, people who carefully construct sensible questions based on some problem they've wrestled with for a few hours, googled for (both here and elsewhere) and then post a succinct summary of their problem don't get much of a look in.

Perhaps an answer would be:

  • Filtering new users
  • Filtering on reputation
  • The ability to reduce reputation from people who help users who don't respect the rules.

I try to help out by flagging this rubbish, and my flag weight would appear to reflect that moderators agree with my complaints, but seriously - this 'clueless noob invasion' of people who don't understand or respect the ethos of this site is definitely damaging it and making it less useful than it could otherwise be.

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You make some good points, but this is not an answer to the OP's question IMO. –  Pëkka Mar 17 '11 at 11:51
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How can you tell? It might not be just me who reads this site for a few mins and can't click through 10 pages past the posts I describe. –  Poldie Mar 17 '11 at 12:01
    
plenty of good questions get enough attention on SO every day, so this can't be the whole truth. There is a lot of things you can do to get attention for a good question –  Pëkka Mar 17 '11 at 13:03
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Good rant, but I agree with @What that it's not really the answer to this question, especially since he still has the same problem after putting a bounty on his question. None of the above would apply on the 'featured' tab. –  Spudley Mar 17 '11 at 13:39
    
@Poldie So do you have any suggestions on how to get your question noticed in this deluge of garbage? I depend heavily on SO because I am a solo developer and I often need another pair of eyes. But it is becoming very hard to get people to view my questions. I sure would appreciate some pointers. –  Chris Barnhill Sep 13 '13 at 0:18

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