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Regularly half or more of the questions on the ServerFault front-page seem to be there only because they were bumped by the Community bot.

It's self claimed configuration is among others:

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

IMHO it currently achieves more or less the opposite though.
It draws away attention from new questions.
Those new questions need answering much more than old ones (from users that are not contributing anymore, if they ever did at all, and/or problems/topics/technology that have expired).

Can that bump frequency be reduced?

For some time now there appears precedence and support for that in the back-end according to meta.stackexchange.com:

Which sites impose limits on Community bumps, and what are those limits?

Stop the front page from looking like this:

screenshot of the front page

It's been asked before but maybe then the back-end functionality wasn't there yet.

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  • 1
    Bumping a question "every hour" seems far too frequent for this site. On a massive site like StackOverflow, no one would even notice that many, but here, 24 is a significant fraction of the new postings. Even worse, the given log shows 2 bumps each hour. ¶ Bumps should be based on each site's frequency of new posts. Sep 23 at 12:32
  • 1
    I removed the [bug] tag, since this doesn't seem to be buggy behavior; it's working as it's supposed to (even if some folks may find it annoying)... That said, there are site settings that CMs/devs can change to reduce this behavior (i.e. reducing the number of questions bumped per hour, and/or not bumping any posts if another post within the <N> most recently active posts has been bumped). If/when there's consensus from the community to do so, the site mods can add the [status-review] tag to this post to escalate it for staff attention.
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Sep 24 at 1:45
  • 1
    @V2Blast The [status-review] tag has been set.
    – diya
    Oct 18 at 12:38

3 Answers 3

2

So, I can't change the timing. But I can change the volume.

The component of the site that does this runs hourly, and the logic is currently set to bump 2 posts. Here's how I'm changing it:

  • It'll only bump 1 post at a time, as opposed to the current value of 2.

    Actually, the default value network-wide is 1, but it was set to 2 here way back in 2015. Why that is, I'm not sure - can't find documentation about it. But I don't mind changing it here.

  • It won't bump posts again until the last-bumped post moves out of the top 5 recently active posts.

Might be too aggressive or too mild by a hair, but I think this is a good starting point. Feel free to poke again if it needs further tweaking.

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    I've done some research and based on early revisions of the bumping FAQ on Meta.SE and this post from then-lead Jeff Atwood, it seems that the limit of 2 at a time instead of 1 dates back to when the feature was introduced in 2009, not 2015. Best I can tell, the default was 2 on all sites (which at the time consisted only of the Trilogy - Stack Overflow, Super User, and Server Fault). Then it was increased to 4 on SO due to its large size.
    – gparyani
    Nov 9 at 3:48
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    (continuing) Then, when the company began creating new sites outside of the Trilogy through Area 51, the limit was set to 1 since those new sites were quite a bit smaller than the Trilogy, and so it effectively became the default since the thresholds were never changed. As to why you found that the change was made in 2015, my guess is that someone was experimenting with changing it at the time but ultimately reverted their experiments.
    – gparyani
    Nov 9 at 3:51
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    @gparyani Ya know, that's some fine investigatory work. What you've described matches very well with what I see in the site settings history log.
    – Slate StaffMod
    Nov 9 at 4:08
  • Many thanks Slate ! - And an interesting read on the history of that feature @gparyani
    – diya
    Nov 10 at 5:22
2

The numbers on the graph mentioned in the question suggests there are an average of approximately 1.5 questions asked per hour.

As community bumps 2 questions per hour there will on average always be more community bumped posts than new questions.

I think the numbers support changing the bump activity of community.

Perhaps try one bump every 2 hours ?

It will be interesting to see if it has any effect in the number of questions that have no answers.

1
  • There have been no arguments against, (but also only this response) so I have flagged my question and asked one of the moderators please set the [status-review] tag to get this ball moving.
    – diya
    Oct 9 at 13:35
-1

If there weren't so many "unanswered" questions, there wouldn't be so many to bump.

I happen to have just looked at this recently bumped item a couple of minutes ago: performing a remote shutdown and login from linux to windows, which has a reasonable question (even if not asked well) and three relevant answers.

Yet after more than a decade neither the question nor any of its answers have received a single vote.

It's been bumped 12 times in the last 3½ years, and apparently ignored every time.

If an answer is good, up-vote it; if an answer is bad, down-vote it; but don't just leave everything sitting at zero.

If no one is going to look at bumped questions, what's the point of having them bumped?

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    And yet you chose not to upvote any of the apparently relevant answers. Also meta.serverfault.com/questions/6418/on-the-paucity-of-voting
    – user9517
    Oct 15 at 13:06
  • @user9517, Right; I had already noticed that myself. I have occasionally used ssh and scp to Windows, but I have very little experience with net or other possible ways of doing this, so am hardly qualified to say how good or bad any of those answers were. Oct 15 at 14:18
  • Registered-user "Last seen more than 2 years ago". I don't think the question will ever be answered, and my understanding is the definition of an unanswered question is one that the OP did not select one of the answers as the answer.
    – Paul
    Nov 8 at 15:59
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    @Paul, According to What can cause a question to be bumped? - Meta.SE: "… will bump non-negatively scored, open questions every hour that have at least one answer scoring 0 and none scoring more than that.". ¶ They get bumped because the best answer is scored 0. If any of them are good-enough answers, up-vote the best of them and the question will no longer get bumped. If none of the 0 rated answers are adequate, then down-vote them and the question will no longer get bumped. But do it! Nov 8 at 16:39
  • Why was this downvoted without comment? It identifies the real problem and how to solve it, as opposed to attempting to hide the symptoms of the underlying problem. Nov 9 at 2:47

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