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If you recieve no answer within a few hours your question easily drowns as new questions float into the never ending stream.

Hence, your question is outdated really fast - and keeping it alive by editing seems like a hack rather than a solution to the real problem: unless the question is found by the right user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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2 Answers 2

The oldest unanswered questions are shown at the top as long as no answers are entered

Then the front page would be dominated by questions that might never get an answer. New questions that are answerable would not get any attention, and they too would not get answered.

Note that viewing only unanswered questions is already an option, and edit bumping and placing a bounty are also options that you can use to get attention to older questions that have fallen off the front page. With these options in place, I don't think drastically reordering a system that works 80% of the time is called for.

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Good point. It could be that it should end up in the 'old' category after 24 hours and no longer be left at the top. Basically, I just want to give the questions a better chance if they are a bit more tricky than the average question. –  Morten Repsdorph Husfeldt Feb 18 '13 at 13:50
    
@MortenRepsdorphHusfeldt This might work on a Beta site, but with the rate that we get questions on Stack Overflow (and several of the other large SE sites), I don't think it's feasible. –  Bill the Lizard Feb 18 '13 at 13:52

unless the question is found by the right user within a couple of hours it dies.

Not really, I regularly answer questions that are a few days old and I see other people doing the same. The more difficult a question is the longer you may have to wait for an answer but you don't want everyone jumping in and trying to answer it if they can't anyway.

You don't just have to use editing to bump it (and shouldn't do this needlessly) you can add a bounty which will advertise your question to a wider audience.

The oldest unanswered questions are shown at the top as long as no answers are entered

You're never going to get an answer then are you? All the questions at the top would be static and over 3 years old. People would get bored looking.

After 24 hours, unanswered questions are paused until the user confirms that they are still active

I have no idea what you mean by "pausing" but people are likely to still want answers to their questions. Why would you stop them (yourself included) from obtaining one?

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The idea of pausing: remove the question from the top until the user confirms that the question is still of interest and that no answer is found yet... –  Morten Repsdorph Husfeldt Feb 18 '13 at 13:52

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