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Due to the activity on this meta question and this question it is evident that the users want a more active site, and to boost the reputation of available users, both of which I think are excellent ideas.

Here are two meta questions from a graduated site, movies.se, one is a challenge for solving old unanswered questions (scifi.se also does this), and another is for a topical challenge, where the users themselves are challenged to generate content on a specific topic.

https://movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1795/monthly-answer-challenge-solve-old-unanswered-questions

https://movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1464/weekly-topic-challenge-ideas

I think both of these ideas have a lot of merit, so I would like to propose making the first week of every month one where the current users go through the unanswered questions, and either flag/vote to close if they are off topic, or answer/encourage experts they know to come and weigh in. The second we can do on an interim basis, with topics to be suggested.

I'd like to see how the community feels about implementing these here, so please leave answers with your perceptions and suggestions.

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...it is evident that the users want... to boost the reputation of available users, (...which) I think are excellent ideas.

That we need more higher-rep users is clear. But they need to be higher-rep users because they give good answers, not because they give a lot of answers. Implied but necessary in this scenario is that they will have enough knowledge to then do some good moderating on the site as well. So, it's a question of a cultivating a committed base of knowledgeable users.

There are a fair number of erroneous answers here with a positive score. Some are from the early days, but not all.

As an example of why I can imagine this won't work - I think the comparison is fair - is the bounty system. I offered a bounty (one was, if I recall correctly, for 250 points) on three questions. The 250 point question was a good one, and one that could be answered relatively easily. Only one of the questions got a bounty awarded. If rep was a reward for answering, I imagine the response would have been better.

In my opinion, what we need here is not necessarily more answers, but better questions. And for that, I can't think of a good solution.

  • Would your point not then lead to the second idea that JohnP put up? The topical question idea? – Atl LED Sep 27 '15 at 19:21
  • @AtlLED - In that link, the thrust is still votes. The issue that concerns me most is who votes/on what the votes are based. Many users will upvote something that sounds good to them, regardless of whether it's good medicine/science/etc., and has good references or not. I've tried asking questions here, and it does end up like some weird performance art, as Fomite said. (Note the top voted answer is basically incorrect, though it seems to resonate with common sense - and is even contradicted by the cited source.) It's just plain awkward. – anongoodnurse Sep 27 '15 at 19:33
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    now the correct and incorrect answers are tied ;p This campaign should probably be paired with extra awareness of down voting from those with enough rep to spare. I suspect the people that will actually be reading the meta are less likely to vote on bad answers, and might be more likely to join a down voting campaign as well. – Atl LED Sep 27 '15 at 19:45
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Perhaps another aspect would be to have an "Vox Populi" weekend to see if we can get users to go through questions/answers and reach the 40 vote max. I'm imagining this in conjunction with the other ideas.

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