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As you might be aware, Stack Overflow has a unique home page which tries to display questions which are relevant to the user. This works very well for SO and helps its users sift through the thousands of questions posted there daily.

While we usually only have hundreds of active questions per day, I think it's about time we adopted this algorithm at Server Fault, for a few reasons:

First, much like SO, our questions are split across a wide variety of subject matter; not just Linux vs. Windows, but further down, nginx vs. Apache, AD, System Center, Intune, private datacenter vs. EC2, I could go on and on. Many users have an interest only in specific subject matter, and showing them a home page more focused to their interests would help to keep them more interested in their site.

Second, for topics of interest, this makes it easier to spot obviously low quality questions which are in need of improvement (or a pass with the flamethrower). More light being shone on such questions should make it easier for the community to improve or close them, increase the overall quality of questions, and help to discourage future low quality questions.

The most likely down side of this would be that a much smaller number of questions per hour would appear on the home page for most people. In practice I don't expect this to be a big deal. It may even help! Our typical user doesn't have very much time in the day to spend here, seemingly unlike SO, and so I would expect a more careful focus allowing them to spend less time finding questions of interest, even if there appears to be less content, to be beneficial.

And at the moment, with all questions shown, our home page's oldest question is usually 2 to 3 hours old. Having this go up, even to one day old or more, should not be an issue when many of our users have such a limited time per day to visit. (Perhaps in the future when we have every sysadmin in the world reading SF, as every programmer now reads SO, it will become more normal to spend more time here, but we aren't anywhere near there yet.)

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I, For One, Welcome Our New Insect Interesting Overlords

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Would this replace the active view, like it seems to on SO?

Having the interesting questions as the default view sounds good. It would probably work better if I updated which tags I have hidden and favorited, but checking it out just now at least hides the questions on tags I've hidden.

Showing people questions on topics they are interested in is a good thing for making sure the experts on a topic see the question, and can answer or close it as appropriate.

But I think I would really miss the active tab - I like seeing all the questions because I regularly see either simple questions that I'm perhaps not an expert in, but can answer, or questions that lead to a new found interest in a subject. Half of the reason I come here every day is to learn from the mistakes of other people in subjects I'm not an expert in, but may use in the near future, or learn about things that I didn't even know I needed until I read about it.

So:

  • Interesting tab in addition to active -> Yay!
  • Interesting tab instead of active -> :(
  • I don't think reducing things are necessarily good. I would definitely appreciate a way to browse questions that I'd be able to contribute answers to more easily - I have nothing to offer for e.g. nginx or apache questions. – Sobrique Jun 12 '14 at 10:18
  • FWIW SO has many tabs including Interesting, Active, Newest, as well as others. You just have to know where to click. – chue x Jun 16 '14 at 22:33

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