There seem to be two types of questions:

1) A quickie (the OP just needs an answer to a specific query, often a homework solution)

2) A truly interesting question with lasting impact.

Many good questions of the second variety, I believe, are lost in the din. They don't even get much chance to be up-voted because of the sheer volume of new ones coming in (of, mostly, the first variety). Most people (myself included) look either for freshly posted questions or an occasional "hot" topic.

Are there good mechanisms, in your opinion, to promote the truly interesting questions?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Some might say that it is subjective whether or not a question is "truly interesting". $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    May 1 '14 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I would like to see promoted the questions that are subjectively interesting to people around here. $\endgroup$
    – PA6OTA
    May 1 '14 at 15:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related (relatively recent) question: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/13472/… $\endgroup$ May 1 '14 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ If you think they're good, bounty them. If they're already answered, you can still do so to reward the existing answers and promote visibility. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    May 1 '14 at 17:19

I think your two categories are neither mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive.

To actually answer your question, the standard way of promoting good questions is with upvotes and bounties, but in practice these aren't extremely effective, for some of the reasons you mention. Maybe the mechanism in this feature request would be more effective. For now, if you want to filter questions for you only, you can always make a data.SE query to take into account the features you care about, like views, tags, asker's reputation, etc. This query contains one such algorithm.

  • $\begingroup$ My original intention was to promote a discussion of this. The "Endorsement" proposal you mentioned should be an improvement on the existing system; I'm only wary of any additions to the system that will make it more cumbersome. $\endgroup$
    – PA6OTA
    May 2 '14 at 17:38

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