There are a few questions on meta about what makes a question active, but I did not see any questions about the utility of making questions randomly active.

There is actually a mechanism at work on the site that most people disdain; spam postings on questions, which then have to be downvoted, flagged, and deleted. However, these spam posts frequently serve a useful function, to my mind---they make an "oldie but goodie" question active, so that it pops up the queue for those looking for recent site activity. That is how I recently came across, for example, this fascinating post: How to practice LaTeX?

Now don't get me wrong; I am as opposed to spam as anyone. But it would seem to me that a nice feature would be for SX to randomly make old questions active (without the accompanying spam). One can think of it as the featured question of the hour, or something like that, although "featured" implies a certain level of screening and thus human intervention. What I have in mind is, for example, one question per hour that is randomly chosen and made active. That would require no human intervention, but would allow a lot of older site wisdom to be reinvigorated over time, I think.

Am I crazy?

  • Doesn't the "Community" user (i.e., bot) do this already? Jul 30, 2015 at 17:46
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    @AndrewCashner Bot does it when there is no upvoted answer (accepted but not upvoted answers are also counted as unanswered). I think Steven wants also the highly voted questions as given in his question.
    – percusse
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:39
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    I think the goal of surfacing good content is a valuable one (and I'm working on some ideas around this, though they're about curation by actual humans). However, I'm not sure that bumping random content is the right way to approach this. I'm also concerned it wouldn't work too well on bigger sites. Now, please feel free to suggest this on the main meta if you feel strongly about it, maybe it'll get good reception or maybe alternative ideas. Jul 31, 2015 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


Not really. I think this is nice aquarium pump action.

However, I don't think the powers-that-be implement such things for satellite networks in a standalone fashion. I've been hanging out there more often and in SO the whole idea is to bury down the questions as quick as possible. It is literally raining questions and the quicker they disappear the better.

There are really a lot of dedicated moderators trying to hold things in a manageable threshold which is incredibly complicated. And given their user-profile, everybody is trying to be the correctest. Hence, almost every question has a sour comment ping-pong.

In the case of someone accidentally reviving a question, I'm pretty sure some people track down the IP address of the poster and beat him up with o'Reilly books.

But for us, being the stop-and-smell-the-flowers-speed question and answer intake, this would be a nice addition. Besides everything, to recycle the old advices and replace them with new things that emerged in the meantime.

But, if it doesn't make sense to SO people they think it won't make sense anywhere else thus I think this proposal will be rejected.

  • Will editing the tags will bump the question to the front page? If so we might have a tag [needs-update-2015] or something like that. Jul 30, 2015 at 23:30
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    @AndrewCashner I can't speak for others but that seems like a pretty involved solution for a niche. What are we going to do in 2016? And when are we satisfied (also how?) who will remove the tag afterwards?
    – percusse
    Jul 30, 2015 at 23:34
  • Now that I think of it, if you're going through old questions already, to add an update tag to them because you think they need an update, you might as well just update them and forget about the tag. Never mind. :> Jul 30, 2015 at 23:35
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    @AndrewCashner Indeed. I think Steven wants to randomly stumble upon them once twice a week maybe.
    – percusse
    Jul 30, 2015 at 23:37
  • I think this might be a good idea for all questions. Some answers need updates, some unanswered questions could be answered. Some alternative answers could be provided. Of course, this won't work on the real big sites.
    – Johannes_B
    Aug 4, 2015 at 11:34
  • +1 for all of the sass in this answer.
    – Adam Liter
    Aug 7, 2015 at 3:59

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