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I just had an idea I wanted to share with the community ...

I have often been in the situation that I asked a question but because of bad luck or the difficulty of the question I did not get a satisfying answer or an answer at all.

And we all know the more time passes without people responding to your question it sinks more and more into the huge pool of question which makes the question disappear inevitably.

If that happens you have less chance to get an response / answer to your question again except someone digs into the past question pool and resuscitates your question by doing some action again which makes the question again appear at the top of the incoming questions stream.

So what about of a kind of boost-button which does exactly this - brings your question again to the top of the incoming questions stream ?

This function could be available to use 3 times or cost some reputation. The first push maybe cost -50 reputation, the second -200 reputation, the third -500 reputation and so on ?

What do you think ?

share|improve this question
nice, getting -1 anonymously for sharing ideas .. – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 15:24
See the faq; votes on Meta are not like votes on a regular SE site. – Martijn Pieters Jun 29 '12 at 15:25
@MartijnPieters ok I was also not aware of that :) thank you again :) – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 15:29
-1: duplicate of the bounty feature – John Saunders Jun 29 '12 at 15:39
@JohnSaunders it's definitely not a duplicate of the bounty feature. Bounties are offered as a reward for providing an answer. What I suggested was simply to have control of pushing one's answer back to the the top. – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 15:45
Bounties now can be put in place along with a reason for the bounty. One of the reasons is to draw more attention to the question. – John Saunders Jun 29 '12 at 16:51
@Marc: "Bounties are offered as a reward for providing an answer." Bounties can be used for that, but they initial impetus for them is to be able to draw attention to a question. – Nicol Bolas Jun 29 '12 at 17:32
up vote 6 down vote accepted

When you edit a question, it'll automatically be bumped to the top of the active questions list. You can also offer a bounty on your question to attract attention, in exchange for reputation.

The Community User already randomly bumps old unanswered posts by 'touching' them.

See Who is the Community user?

share|improve this answer
ah I was not aware of that - thank you. But anyway wouldn't it a great feature to let the users to this on their own (for the cost of some reputation) ? – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 15:14
@Marc arguably, that exists as well in the form of bounties – Pëkka Jun 29 '12 at 15:15
well it was just an idea ;) – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 15:19
"it'll automatically be bumped to the top of the active questions list": admittedly, that has very little impact on a site as active as Stack Overflow because that bump will last 3 minutes at most! – assylias Jun 29 '12 at 16:44
@assylias: that's why people watch tag-specific pages instead, where such a question would last a lot longer. But that's not a problem specific to bumped questions only; the OP's suggestion would not solve that either. – Martijn Pieters Jun 29 '12 at 16:47
@MartijnPieters on c# or java, instead of 3 minutes it might be 15 ;-) I agree with your second point but was just pointing out that the "active question" argument, which is often used, is not necessarily that applicable to SO. – assylias Jun 29 '12 at 16:50

As has been pointed out, what you're asking for already exists: it's called bounties.

The main differences between bounties and your proposal are that:

  1. the question is not only bumped, it gets a nice red tag to catch extra attention and gets listed on the "featured questions" tab for the entire bounty period, and

  2. the reputation points spent on the bounty are not necessarily lost; they may be awarded to a user who provides a good answer to the question.

The latter feature also gives users an extra incentive to spend effort on such questions, since they may stand to gain a substantial chunk of rep in addition to what they'd normally get from upvotes. In particular, the reputation gained from bounties is not subject to the daily cap of +200 rep, meaning that answering those questions is particularly attractive for highly active and knowledgeable users who frequently hit the rep cap. Thus, by placing a bounty on your question, you ensure that it'll get extra attention from some of the best experts on the site.

share|improve this answer
Ok I agree with you :) Especially your point with the loss of reputation compared to a transfer of reputation from one user to another is a reasonable one. Nevertheless semantics of a bounty and a push-back-to-top button remains different since in the first case I am publicly announcing reward which most often initiates a competition on answering the question whereas in the latter I am only showing my question again to the community which then has no more reason to answer it as the first time it has shown up. Do you know what I mean ? :) – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 16:13
Well, if you really want to just bump your post, you can always just edit it. It doesn't even cost you any rep! – Ilmari Karonen Jun 29 '12 at 16:15
Ok now you have convinced me. For some reason I thought that wouldn't be possible as it would be prohibited by the system but obviously it doesn't. And to admit, editing a post to pump it up is exactly what I had in mind. Thank you for this nice discussion ;) – marc wellman Jun 29 '12 at 16:20

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