This question is inspired by @Glen_b's worry yesterday that we [are] seeing a dramatic drop in answers per question and is also related to my own question from almost a year ago about How not to miss interesting answers?
I have the feeling that many (most?) active users on Cross Validated are more or less monitoring the whole forum. They look at the front page several times per day, which makes them see pretty much all the appearing and updated questions. They definitely can monitor all the bounty questions that rarely exceed 10 at any given time. Questions and answers mostly get views and upvotes while on the front page (and some further views/upvotes if they get into the weekly/monthly top, but enough initial views/upvotes is necessary for that).
So overall I get the feeling of a reasonably small and attentive community, like a big permanent seminar in a busy room where anybody could come in and ask a question (sort of a coffee lounge in a stat department, like it should be).
My question (linked above) from a year ago was motivated by the fact that it seemed to me that this model almost breaks down now, because the number of questions gradually becomes too high. As @Glen_b now points out, this trend is likely to increase in the near future. Which makes me wonder: how does our bigger (much bigger!) brother Stack Overflow manages to function at all, given that they are much, much beyond our activity level?
For comparison. We have ~50k questions, they have ~8000k. We have ~10 bounty questions at any given time, they have ~500. Our front page covers the last ~5 hours, their front page barely covers 1h.
Maybe some people here frequent both forums and can comment on how this HUGE activity influences how the forum functions and in particular how active contributors deal with it? How can each individual question or answer possibly get enough attention, views and upvotes? Are people only following specific tags, and so the forum is basically split in some barely overlapping ones? But there isn't even a way to see all the questions with one's "favourite" tags on one page! Do people rely on email notifications? Etc.