I like the way past questions pop up from time to time on the home page list of questions of the SE sites (modified by Community). But recently I've found myself wishing that supergood questions, or questions with supergood answers, popped up from time to time. I think it would be so good for all of us to discover or re-read such gems. Not to mention the good effect it would have on new comers, who often treat this site too lightly. As new users, we don't know even where to start looking...

Is there any possibility that we can be exposed more to such gems?

Here are a few examples of such questions (on English SE):

  • 10
    Votes don't necessarily indicate a great answer. For a lot of sites, they just indicate which questions hit the HNQ lottery or not. – bobble Jul 21 at 17:58
  • Fair enough. So the system wouldn't have an objective or automatic way of identifying such gems? – fev Jul 21 at 17:59
  • In some instances... such questions poping up on SO will result in more of such questions being asked, and being downvoted/closed because they're off topic and don't have the upvotes to be "saved" by mods. – Kevin B Jul 21 at 18:00
  • 1
    I wonder if there is a way to mark such questions differently than those that simply have many votes... like if we can vote to mark a question or an answer as gems with a star or something... – fev Jul 21 at 18:02
  • 3
    Each site has a “greatest hits” page that might be half of what you are looking for: ell.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5003/9161 The algorithm is based on a lot of views/feedback, so whether they’re “gems” or not is debatable, but it’s a place to start. – ColleenV Jul 21 at 18:08
  • ... and this kind of vote could be reserved to those who have at least 1 year membership and 10 000 rep and know what they are talking about. – fev Jul 21 at 18:08
  • @ColleenV Yes but you need to go there and find it... I think it would be helpful if they could just pop up in the list. – fev Jul 21 at 18:10
  • Yep, it’s not what you’re asking for, but it is something that could serve as a starting point. I think some sites have tried to maintain “galleries” of great questions on their meta sites, but I don’t know if any were successful. – ColleenV Jul 21 at 18:14
  • This does happen for logged-out users: the homepage is calculated differently for them. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 21 at 18:23
  • I hope that you’re not discouraged by the downvotes. You never know what other ideas this idea might inspire even if no-one seems excited about it. At least that’s what I tell myself when my suggestions are unloved :) – ColleenV Jul 21 at 19:41

Not to mention the good effect it would have on new comers, who often treat this site too lightly. As new users, we don't know even where to start looking...

Usually, the help center is the best bet: It has pages for what is/isn't on-topic, and on how to write a good question. A site's meta is also a great place, as it often holds discussions on what is wrong with certain types of questions, and guides on how to write the best possible questions in the best possible ways.

While a high scoring question or answer should technically mean it's a good question/answer, just looking at one doesn't teach you what makes it a good question or answer. Was it the topic? The way it's written, making it extraordinarily entertaining, or so that everyone that Googles for this information can find it? The attention it got on HNQ?

There are far better places out there to learn about how to start your participation than just looking at highly upvoted questions or answers. If you do want to look at them though, they're not that hard to find. The most upvoted questions can be found under /questions?tab=Votes on every site. And you can do a search for nothing but is:a and sort the results by votes on any site too, and you'll get a very good overview of the most upvoted answers.

So, I don't really see bumping old questions/answers with a lot of votes as a good way to educate new users on a site. All it is likely to do is provide some entertainment value, or pollute the active tab with posts that don't need any more attention.

  • We are basically saying that the number of votes does not equal quality and that the user is the only person that can identify quality by searching as you've indicated. Right? – fev Jul 21 at 18:37
  • 1
    @fev There’s a difference between something being “of good quality”, “popular”, and “of educational value”. Scores across different questions of different ages are difficult to compare. Is a question with 10 views and one upvote poorer quality than one with 10K views and double the number of upvotes? – ColleenV Jul 21 at 18:47
  • Yes, good point. Identifying quality is practically impossible though machines, far too many circumstances involved. But I still wish there was a way to revive real good questions. I guess it will remain a wish. – fev Jul 21 at 18:54
  • 1
    @fev 'real good questions' don't need "reviving", because they never die. The questions the community user bumps now are old, unanswered, but not closed or scoring negative: They need some kind of attention to avoid people with the same question finding those questions and not answers. – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 21 at 19:05
  • @Tinkeringbell Well, a question can be good because its answers are useful, or it can be good because its answers are interesting, and the real gems are questions with both utility and interesting…uh…ness. – ColleenV Jul 21 at 19:08
  • 1
    @ColleenV sure! But as long as they have both (or one?) I think people will keep finding them, they won't die, and they won't need reviving :) As soon as neither of them is present (anymore) though, for my part it may die a quiet death without being resurrected as a ghost of its former self. – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 21 at 19:21
  • 1
    I think though that there may be some benefit for making a better “browse” experience when someone isn’t asking a specific question or looking for a question to answer and just wants to read something interesting. What’s the search syntax for “Bring me something entertaining computer”? :) – ColleenV Jul 21 at 19:24
  • @ColleenV for just entertaining? stackexchange.com/questions?tab=hot :P or any of those meme sites, I guess. As for browsing, 'is:a' sorted by newest is my go to, because a question without answers isn't that interesting to me (while browsing) – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 21 at 19:27
  • Maybe I need a user script that randomly grabs questions from my favorite sites that at one time were HNQs but not currently. I think a full blown Netflix style “Questions you might like” is unlikely to happen unfortunately:) – ColleenV Jul 21 at 19:33
  • 1
    @ColleenV "We see you watched 'Lost in Space'. Here's a question on Space Exploration that you won't understand a single thing from" :D – Tinkeringbell Mod Jul 22 at 9:54

On select meta sites, you can submit a question you like, which will be voted on by the rest of the community. With enough votes (+6 net score), the question will be shown as a “Community Ad” on that Stack Exchange site (and others, if you want).

For example, see ELU’s Community Ads for 2021.

  • Have to find them first. Wished the system could find a way to find them. Anyway, the idea seems to be a bad one. I saw these Community Adds but I did not understand very well how they work. I will have a look. Thank you. – fev Jul 23 at 20:43

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