Promoting a thread to the home page greatly increases the response, as one would expect.
It is not possible to promote a thread if its first post
So e.g. most trip writeups cannot be promoted. The obvious workaround is to make the first post a brief one.
The 600px figure is worth bearing in mind. I have often edited the first post of a particularly valuable thread (of which we have many on EuroGA) to resize a graphic. In most cases it is not noticeable.
Solutions have been looked at but all seem to be very expensive, and mod time consuming to operate.
Bumping this thread
When I get out of bed each day, I go to promote new threads to the home page (in most cases) which greatly increases participation. But this is not possible if the 1st post is “huge” or contains a graphic wider than 600 pixels. I often reduce images to 600px. This morning I did 2. It’s OK but it would help me if people structured the 1st post a bit differently, or just reduced the graphic in that post.
On subsequent posts it doesn’t matter; the system downsizes automatically to the 925px forum width.