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I've noticed quite a few questions cropping up on MetaSO (here, here, and here, for example) concerning the desire to increase visibility for old questions that may not have any answers, or just not enough quality ones. If you want to bump a question that isn't your own, editing and answering it are two options. These options won't work if you don't have the Rep to edit posts from other users or if there is nothing to really add to the answers. Too much editing also summons the "auto-wiki".

Do you think there would be any benefit to having a quick and easy-to-use bump feature added to questions?

Some implementation ideas:

  • I was thinking of there being a link, maybe next to the edit/close/flag links, that each user could only use once per question. It would bump the question just as if it had been answered or edited. Once you use it, the link disappears for that question. It would also probably make sense to put a Rep limit on using the bump feature, so only more trusted SO users could bump things they felt were in need of more visibility.

  • Based on Jon's answer, there could be a limit like "a question can only be bumped X times per month." The number of bumps left could be displayed next to the link. When they reach 0, the link disappears. After a month, it resets. This would allow a user to bump more than once, but avoid "mass bumping" from many users.

  • As suggested by TheTXI, the bumping mechanism could have a small Rep cost (1-5 points).

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I was just reviewing an old question and thought of this suggestion. Funny. –  Jeff Martin Jul 13 '09 at 23:37
    
erm.. use the bounty feature so your question goes on the "Featured" tab? –  Jeff Atwood Jul 23 '09 at 1:40
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@Jeff: I was thinking more of something that could be used to bump someone else's question, not one of your own. –  gnostradamus Jul 23 '09 at 14:33
    
Yes, it should cost a few rep. –  Mk12 Nov 20 '09 at 23:53
    
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@Jeff Bounty is a no-go either because it's still a one-off system. It can only be used once and it will auto select a right answer even if no answers satisfy the question. That basically leaves any question with a 'failed' bounty left to sit in obscurity. –  Evan Plaice Jun 16 '10 at 15:10
    
I think this is a good system period. There is a waiting period before I can open a bounty on one of my questions. I don't feel it has gotten the 'face time' needed because I asked on Sunday, and I estimate only 5 views throughout Monday. I need to be able to pay some rep to get at least one day of good viewing. –  IAbstract Jul 11 '11 at 19:42
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8 Answers

up vote 42 down vote accepted

Here's a different idea: Allow for bumping by users, but they come with a cost of reputation to perform the action. I imagine this cost could be anywhere from 1-5 reputation points. This would ensure that bumping is done more for actually getting an answer than it is for potentially cheap rep-whoring.


FYI for folks reading this years later who don't understand why it's : when this feature was requested (and this answer posted answered) bounties were limited to question authors; this was changed thereby fulfilling the request.

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I think if you charge rep for this that users will use the currently working hacks of editing the question, or changing a tag to get the same effect. –  fretje Jul 1 '09 at 14:37
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+1 for a cost . –  ChrisF Jul 1 '09 at 14:37
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fretje: That is a possibility, but I think it would also be a possibility to close that hole by preventing any edit from pushing a post to the top of the page UNLESS the editor marks a checkbox saying "bump to top of list (-X rep)". That would make it so that those who are editing just to edit who don't care about bumping it don't have anything to worry about, and those who just wanted to bump will still get charged. –  TheTXI Jul 1 '09 at 14:42
    
I think an extension to the bounty system would work better. Allow anyone to put a bounty on any (unclosed) question, and have an accept for purposes of the bounty. The accepted answer would have a little note by it, but would not sit at the top in green. –  Tom Hawtin - tackline Jul 1 '09 at 14:49
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+1 Yes! If there was a pay-to-bump option, there should be NO auto bump-after-edit. I like it. –  Robert Cartaino Jul 1 '09 at 16:33
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You still need some way of auto-bump-after-edit, so that if we edit some newbie's post so that it might now get an answer, it's given a fresh start to attract the answerers. –  Lance Roberts Jul 22 '09 at 21:58
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+1, great idea ! –  Gab Royer Jul 23 '09 at 1:48
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If there was no auto-bump after editing there would be less of a reason for auto-CW. I like it –  Brad Gilbert Jul 23 '09 at 14:57
    
Or add a seperate tag for "recently bumped". –  Paul Biggar Aug 7 '09 at 16:18
    
+1 for no bump edit & cost for bump option –  user146037 Apr 13 '10 at 3:39
    
I need to bump a question I asked Sunday: stackoverflow.com/questions/6642249/… for which only 5 views were accumulated Monday...I don't feel it is getting the views and attention it should be getting. –  IAbstract Jul 11 '11 at 19:37
    
One concern: if a question has 4/5+ upvotes and the OP bumps it at the cost of 5 rep, you can almost guarantee that they will get at least 3 upvotes, getting a net gain of 10 rep, and it would be to get rep, not answers. –  Annonomus Person Jul 29 '13 at 19:33
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Sorry but I'm a low rep user so I'm bumping this question the ugly way. It has an accepted answer but in fact there is no real solution for low rep users who can't edit, often leading them to create a duplicate question.

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It also leads them to post "I have this problem too" answers. –  ChrisF Jun 16 '10 at 14:17
    
Unfortunately, the powers that be don't appear to feel that this feature is that important or necessary. Maybe they'll get around to implementing one of the suggestions here eventually. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. –  gnostradamus Jun 16 '10 at 14:20
    
@ChrisF It was implicit ;) –  DrDro Jun 16 '10 at 14:32
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[I was going to post a question about this but, since it's already been asked here...]

Can we find a way to encourage a good behavior (constantly improving posts) without the bad side effects ("owning" the front page).

I'm a tinkering editor. I write, post, come back, update, clarify, reformat, rework, reword... sometimes days later or even weeks. I thought it was a good thing (to improve the quality of posts over time).

I had no idea that this activity pushed my posts-- some say "evily"-- to the front page. That certainly wasn't my intention. I don't often use the "active" tab.

So we need some sort of "acceptable way" to allow an encouraged behavior (refining posts) such as:

  • Edit causes bump only every -n- number of days
  • Limit the number of times a message is bumped from editing
  • Don't bump message unless "significant" content has been added (sounds difficult)
  • In my opinion, retagging should never bump a message (no content has been added)
  • ADDED - I like the "no auto-bump on edit" idea from @TheTXI. There would be a "bump this message to the top" button in the message but it would cost reputation. That solves the problem for both editors and users who just want the message to be re-addressed for whatever reason.
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Retagging should bump it up for any new tags. –  Brad Gilbert Jul 23 '09 at 15:00
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  1. This is already possible through editing and we encourage people to revisit and edit their old posts to include better and more up-to-date info

  2. The bounty feature also exists for this reason. Just open a bounty on your question and it'll stay on the "featured" tab for a week.

Not seeing the problem here..

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I was thinking more of something that could be used to bump someone else's question, not one of your own. While editing would work (if you have the Rep to edit another person's question), editing for no reason other than a bump seems like abuse, not to mention too much of it can auto-wiki a post. –  gnostradamus Jul 23 '09 at 14:37
    
Can I open a bounty on someone else's old question, when that question asked pretty much exactly what I want to ask, but the answers weren't satisfactory? –  Craig McQueen Jan 25 '10 at 2:12
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Ah, I see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1409/… –  Craig McQueen Jan 25 '10 at 2:14
    
Problem is, I have to wait, what? 7 days to open a bounty on my question? Not good enough, IMHO :) I would gladly pay 1-5, or even 10 rep to bump my question to the active page. –  IAbstract Jul 11 '11 at 19:36
    
@iabstract only two days, see faq –  Jeff Atwood Jul 11 '11 at 19:53
    
@Jeff, thanks, has it changed? I don't know why I thought it had to be longer. I would still like to be able to bump before I open a bounty esp. when I asked the question over a weekend. –  IAbstract Jul 11 '11 at 19:59
    
Also, in regards to #1, I edited my question and added tags in hopes of moving to the front/active page. It didn't work. –  IAbstract Jul 12 '11 at 13:13
    
@iabstract please read blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/stack-overflow-homepage-changes –  Jeff Atwood Jul 12 '11 at 17:03
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I prefer just adding html comments in my answers to bump them.

<!--Unicorns have gotten out, need help with this soon!!-->

My point being, I don't feel that this is an urgent feature. Forcing a user to edit their question for a bump seems like a nice built-in penalty.

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Never thought about HTML comments! Great idea haha! –  Gab Royer Jul 23 '09 at 1:45
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My proposal, which I came up with separately before Shog9 graciously pointed me to this question, runs like:

Allocate each user with 2000+ rep (same as the threshold to edit others' posts) three daily bumps, used via a "Bump Question" button (which might display the number of bumps left). Bumping a question refreshes it for purposes of the home page display, same as an edit or new answer.

This establishes a sanctioned, non-sneaky mechanism for bumping questions, discourages the edit mechanism from being used for bumping purposes, and defines an appropriate bump rate; three per day per user shouldn't hurt anything.

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The Community user already bumps questions - Jeff would be able to give you the exact mechanism.

Perhaps rather than bumping the post directly the link should send a request to the Community user.

Not sure on the limits though either.

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Sounds workable. –  Brad Gilbert Jul 23 '09 at 14:58
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Once per question per user? If a different user sees the same question 6 months later, they ought to be able to bump it too, potentially.

Perhaps there ought to be a hard limit for the number of times a question can be bumped though...

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You raise some very good points. I was thinking once per question per user (I just clarified that in the question). Granted, that would make it possible for a question to be bumped many times, so maybe some other limit would be in order, like a question can only be bumped X times per month. –  gnostradamus Jul 1 '09 at 14:29
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