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Currently, when I browse the newest questions by clicking the next button or the page number, the questions on the page are determined by how far away they are from the newest question. What I mean is that page 1 is the 15 (or 30 or 50) newest questions. Page 2 consists of questions 16 - 30, and so on.

On a site like Meta Stack Overflow, questions are added at a slow rate. When I go to the next page, there might be a question or two at the top of the page that I saw on the previous page.

On a site like Stack Overflow, the next page is the same as the previous page. What I mean is that in the time it takes me to read 15 questions, people have already asked another 15 questions. At this volume, the newest questions browse is nearly useless.

What I'm proposing is that the newest questions browse show me the questions as they were when I started browsing. In other words, when I click on the next button, show me the next 15 questions no matter how many newer questions have been asked.

If there's a preference for calling this browse something else besides newest questions, that works for me. I'd like to be able to browse questions that are 1 - 12 hours old just as easily on a high volume site as a low volume site.

Edited to add the comment that got me thinking about this question.

Are certain tags scaring off viewers?

When I first started on Stack Overflow, I spent a lot of time browsing the newest questions. I learned a lot about other topics besides the ones I knew, and surprisingly, was able to answer questions in many topics I didn't know I had expertise in.

Now, so many questions are posted so fast, that when I go to the next page of newest questions, it's the same page. 15 questions are added as fast as I can read 15 questions, which I suppose is a topic for another meta question.

Now, all I do is look at the newest "tagged" questions. I don't think I'm the only one in this situation.

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Once you get to the point where you want to browse older questions, most users tend to spend a bit of time setting up their favorite and ignored tags so the system narrows the field of questions to those that they will more likely choose. The system also personalizes the main page view based on your own previously answered and asked questions. If you are interested in viewing each question title once, the main page is not the best page anyway - old questions are bumped onto it frequently. –  Adam Davis May 25 '11 at 12:57
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I don't mean to sound flippant, but can't you just then go to the 3rd page? –  Matt Ellen May 25 '11 at 13:08

1 Answer 1

I understand your suggestion, but StackOverflow is one of the few SE sites that has this problem. But if you are browsing by a tag on the newest page then typically this is not even much of an issue for StackOverflow.

If you are reading questions at the same rate they are getting asked, instead of clicking on the second page, just refresh the first page.

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