If there is activity on a question does it move it up the default sort order....or will it only show up on the first page for a few minutes?
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Answering a question will bump your question to the top of the Active sort.
For Stack Overflow, the front page is only partially affected by the active sort, so it isn't guaranteed to shoot up to the top from that alone. But for other sites and for all users who browse under Active, it will be bumped to the top.