I am no longer actually requesting this feature, but I guess leaving rather than allows Jeff to eventually mark as , which might help when duplicates show up? Retagging or deletion allowed, of course!

One of the things the Community user does:

  • Randomly poke old unanswered questions every hour so they get some attention

Here, "unanswered" is defined as having no answers with upvotes (or accepted). Hence, a question with non-upvoted answers might be bumped as well, like today:


Of course, these sites are about Q&A, not about the user who asked the question. But often the authors of such questions have not responded to comments from other users, or have not even logged in to the site since asking the question, thus leaving the question in some dead state. This is even more true for migrated questions.

Hence: Could the bumping-mechanism be changed to only bump questions of users who have recently logged-in?

  • 2
    +1 - Sounds like a sensible idea to me. – Dominic Rodger Apr 30 '10 at 15:48
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    I think it would be helpful to better know all the factors that go into the decision for the Community User to bump a question. – Jon Seigel Apr 30 '10 at 15:50
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    +1 I'd like to see the bumping got rid of altogether - the reason these questions aren't answered is usually because they are bloody awful questions, and I for one don't want to see them again. But this seems like a sensible compromise. – nb69307 Apr 30 '10 at 15:54
  • I assume it takes all questions into account that show in the "unanswered" list? Hence: "questions with no upvoted answers". – Arjan Apr 30 '10 at 15:55
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    @Neil if the questions are awful, then when they get bumped they can be edited or downvoted, making them less awful or less likely to get bumped. – user27414 Apr 30 '10 at 16:03
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    @Jon B There is no shortage of questions - I don't see why we should put effort into "improving" bad ones, who's own authors can't be bothered to do so. – nb69307 Apr 30 '10 at 16:17
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    @Neil: If they're that bad, bumping them up gives us another shot at closing and purging them from the system (which is a good thing). – Jon Seigel Apr 30 '10 at 16:25
  • +1 (to Jon) for cruft removal – Pops Apr 30 '10 at 16:46
  • Does anyone have an instance where bumped question got improved or got a good answer? Are their any stats on this? – nb69307 Apr 30 '10 at 17:46

Or maybe better yet: bump other types of questions?

Like (unanswered) questions most-visited from search engines: even when those are bad questions, when they're bumped because they are searched for, we might want to improve (or downvote) those anyway?

Now wondering if downvoted questions are visible to search engines...

  • 1
    +1 - I don't know what the current bumping algorithm includes other than "unanswered" but adding "with high views" sounds like a good idea. – Bill the Lizard Apr 30 '10 at 17:04
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    @bill we had the same epiphany at different times, I recently realized we should have been at least favoring high view questions all along when bumping unanswered things. – Jeff Atwood Jul 30 '11 at 8:26

I disagree because I think a main part of SO's mission is to create a high quality repository of programming answers, not just to provide an answer to an individual. If a question is bumped and answered, it is still of value to a user who searches for it in the future, even if the OP never comes back to see the answer.

  • I agree, but I also think it's better to bump questions that are not in some dead-state. (The number of questions that are bumped is limited, but the pool of questions to select from seems huge?) – Arjan Apr 30 '10 at 16:08
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    @arjan we now favor questions with more views in community bumping, which I think makes a lot more sense than checking the question owner. Ah, and I see your answer below says this, pretty much? :) – Jeff Atwood Jul 25 '11 at 0:26

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