Sometimes I see a question popping up on the Questions page (10 seconds ago it wasn't there) and when looking at that question it's already answered. Actually this question is one or two minutes old, but it didn't appear to the public until now.

How can it be that this question is already answered? Is there a faster way to see new questions other than looking at the feed or the Questions page?


The tabs for sorting questions differ in what they include in their listing. Here are the criteria:

  • "hot": A question must have at least 11 views to be included in the list.
  • "newest": This appears to show only questions that were asked over 1 minute ago.
  • "active": This appears to show questions immediately after they have any activity on them (i.e. when they are asked, when an answer is posted, etc.).

So, when I want to catch new questions ASAP, I use the "active" tag.

  • 1
    I'm always looking at the "newest" tab. And I don't see new question immediately. – tangens Jan 29 '10 at 19:06
  • @tangens: Hmmm, you may be right. I thought the "newest" tab behaved as fast as the "active" tab, but it might only show things that are at least 1 minute old. I use the "active" tab a lot and I often see questions that were asked seconds before. – gnostradamus Jan 29 '10 at 19:17

The Home page (recent questions > 'active' tab) seem to be marginally faster (i.e. less cached) than the Question page ('questions' page > 'newest' tab).

I would think the feed would be even slower.

So, for speed, check out the Home page, 'active' tab for the fastest response time.

But I have found that the minute or two you gain rarely makes a difference in the scheme of things. Every once in awhile a super-short-tailed post comes along (asked-answered-accepted within 2-3 minutes) but those are way in the minority, don't generate much reputation, and are hardly worth worrying about.

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