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I never noticed, until recently, how often I refresh a question page. Now that the order of answers with the same vote total changes randomly, it's become apparent to me how often I refresh a page after I answer to check up on how my baby (answer) is doing.

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Not until you just pointed t out. Thanks for that. – squillman Aug 28 '09 at 21:23

Yes. It turns out that I hit refresh click the question title frequently to see whether any new answers or comments have been posted, and now that the order of the answers is random it's a lot harder to do that.

Another reason to object to that change. 8-(

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2's a pain in the but to refresh the page and look to see if new comments have been added and then the item I am looking at jumps down or up to another area of the page. – TheTXI Aug 28 '09 at 17:54
Double Agree. Takes more time now to find new answers if it is a popular question. – Troggy Aug 28 '09 at 18:01
Do you actually hit refresh or do you click the question subject? As web developer I have an aversion to the refresh button because I know how much damage it does to the preformance of the web site. I wonder if this increase in refresh activity is impacting SO servers? – AnthonyWJones Aug 28 '09 at 18:26
Probably click the question title. Now, I'm going to be thinking about that, too. :-( – tvanfosson Aug 28 '09 at 20:09
@AnthonyWJones: By "I hit refresh" I actually meant "I click the question title". 8-) – RichieHindle Aug 28 '09 at 21:15
If you want to see answers based on time, why not sort by Oldest or Newest? – random Aug 29 '09 at 1:01
alternately, you can log out. We serve a stable order to anonymous users since they can't vote anyway. And because we don't want Google to think every single page has changed every time they visit it. – Jeff Atwood Aug 29 '09 at 8:48
@Jeff Atwood: Couldn't you give a stable order to someone after the first view/vote? Someone engaged in a question is going to refresh several times... – perbert Aug 29 '09 at 12:00
@random: I want to see the answers sorted by votes and then time. – RichieHindle Aug 29 '09 at 18:18

We need more ajax!

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What this site really more cow bell. – Bill the Lizard Aug 28 '09 at 18:08
I've got a fever, and the only cure is more cow bell – Rob Allen Aug 28 '09 at 18:23
We need to explore the studio space with that cow bell. I like what I'm hearing. – Chris W. Rea Aug 29 '09 at 1:34

How about something like when you're going to answer a question the way it notifies you of new answers...put that same functionality on the page while you're just viewing it? There could rules built around it so it only happens for logged in users etc. to help reduce the amount of requests, but I think something like this would be nice.

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Facebook recently added a cool little feature to show you the number of # stories that are available to look at. That could be implemented with some AJAX and timers and not force us to refresh hoping to find something...

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