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While I do agree in principle that anything meta should not have anything to do with reputation changes, there might still be cases when one would like to stimulate more activity with some difficult meta situation.

Specific example I actually have in mind is Is there left any way to highlight part of text after all? which, I think, is something that definitely needs attention: current situation, according to answers to that question (the way I understand them), is that there is presently no way at all to highlight part of text in a post. I really want this to be addressed somehow.

So I thought: would it be acceptable if users could spend their (non-meta) reputation to declare a bounty on a meta question, so some meta-answerers would increase their (non-meta) reputation?

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The question here is - who are you trying to get the attention of?

In your example, you're talking about something that the community seems to have weighed-in on at least to some degree. If you think that's insufficient, that's probably a good time to use one of the suggestions below.

Needs more community participation

If you think the community should look at it more closely and want additional people to vote or answer the question, there's a way to do that that's far better than a bounty - the caveat is that you need a moderator to do it. That's to get the question tagged with the special red tag. This will cause the post to appear in the right sidebar on the main page.

A screenshot of the top of MO, showing the Featured On Meta box with a featured MO meta post visible

You might wonder why this is better - that's because featuring will appear on the main site whereas a bounty - if we just plopped bounties onto meta - would still require that people are using the meta site from the beginning. Many people don't come by here regularly.

Mods can only feature two items at a time and, by default, they'll stay featured for 30 days, though mods can manually remove the tag which will remove them from the sidebar (this is heavily cached so it may take up to 12 hours to drop from the sidebar).

So, if you think this is the way to go, flag the post with an "in need of moderator attention" flag and explain that you'd like the post to be featured - feel free to point them at this answer if you wish. In the end, it's up to the mods to determine whether to feature something.

Needs the attention of staff

Sometimes a community will make a decision on their meta site that needs staff interaction to complete. That can be any number of things from blocking a tag from being recreated again, adjusting the wording in some of the UI or customizing some of the site settings. While I don't have a full list of all of these things, much can be customized, so if y'all would like to do so, figure out whether the thing you'd like to customize can be changed (a mod can reach out to the CMs to ask) and have a discussion about it here so that people can weigh-in on the issue.

Here's a good example of such a discussion - Customize the modal window for the first-time askers

Once the discussion is at a place where you need staff to actually come and review the changes and get them changed, you can ask the moderators to add the tag, which will be added to the CMs' backlog and we'll review it and get it triaged.

It's worth stating here that, while we will respond to the request and give you an answer about whether we can do it or not - this process doesn't guarantee that we will do it, particularly in the case of feature requests for new tools or features on the site. We have some guidance about this process on the main Meta - What posts should be escalated to staff using [status-review], and how do I escalate them?

In conclusion

There are already ways to to bring meta posts to more attention, though they are limited to moderator interaction and, while I can understand the reasoning for such a request, we feel that there are sufficient ways for users to get attention to questions on meta sites without needing to add the bounty system to meta sites at this time.

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