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Are there any guidelines for how long you should wait before re-posting a question? It seems to me like editing/fine-tuning the original question doesn't generate any new interest, but re-posting a very similarly worded question (perhaps at a more optimal time) does attract notice...

The reason I'm asking is because I was recently chided for doing this exact thing (I had waited 20 hours and edited two times). But the same question received attention and resolved my issue whereas my original question is basically dead.

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9  
No, you don't repost. You edit the old one. –  Mysticial Feb 18 '13 at 4:49
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Check out bounties, a feature near and dear to my heart! –  Jarrod Dixon Feb 18 '13 at 4:50
    
Well, +1 for asking here in a nice and calm manner. :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 18 '13 at 8:04
    
Ha ha. Thanks @Sha Wiz. Stackoverflow should give me a badge for "most hated question". –  lynvie Feb 18 '13 at 8:45
    
You're in good stand, we often have here questions getting -10 or -20 easily. ;) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 18 '13 at 8:49
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3 Answers 3

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Sorry, but the correct interval is forever. You should not repost on Stack Overflow/Exchange.

Editing bumps your question to the top of the "active" lists for its tags, and to the front page of the site; both of these are high-visibility areas where many people eager to answer your question are hovering. You can also (when you have enough reputation) tack a bounty onto your question, which will put it into a "featured" section for a week, with a bigger carrot held out for those answerers. More details can be found at How do I get attention for old, unanswered questions?.

You should certainly do your best originally to post an interesting and descriptive question, but the edit feature is there for a reason. Don't hestitate to update your question with more details or even a partial solution (though please refrain from pointless minor "BUMP"s).

You're right that the time of day does have an effect on the answers you'll get. There's absolutely nothing wrong with holding off on editing or posting until a time when you know site activity is high, or perhaps even when you've seen a particular user who you think would provide a good answer hanging around (although of course you can't guarantee that person will answer).

As an aside, if you have actually solved your first problem and have a follow-up question to ask, that's perfectly fine. Just make it clear that you are asking about another aspect of the same issue.

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I see... I didn't realize that editing actually brought it to the top again. Thanks for the info! –  lynvie Feb 18 '13 at 5:02
    
Sure thing. Good luck! –  Josh Caswell Feb 18 '13 at 5:06
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Do not re-post a question. Just improve the old question. It will be bumped in Active tab. If your question still don't get enough attention, start a bounty!

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The other guy just answered it, no need for re-wording. –  Vlad Bondarenko Feb 18 '13 at 5:45
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@Vlad1k - This is not a rewording. Did you see the time? –  hims056 Feb 18 '13 at 5:46
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Your question is outdated really fast - and keeping it alive by editing seems like a hack rather than a solution to the real problem: unless the question is found by the right user within a couple of hours it dies.

Therefore, I suggest two things:

  • The oldest unanswered questions are shown at the top as long as no answers are entered
  • After 24 hours, unanswered questions are paused until the user confirms that they are still active

This would lead to greater chance of getting an answer - and the pause / delete function would clean up the list and remove 'noice' from the list

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1  
If the question gets outdated fast, it should be closed as too localized. –  Manishearth Feb 18 '13 at 13:51
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