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I'm wondering what can or should be done about questions that go cold without receiving an answer. It seems like a lot of them get forgotten in the pagination of the site as most people tend to pay attention to favorite tags and new questions only.

But is there a way to "bump" an old question to try and get fresh eyes on it in attempt to find a good answer? I've personally been searching through old unanswered questions to try and earn rep, but I don't think I can expect that others would do the same with a question I asked months ago.

I know there is the option to offer a bounty on a question, but for those without a lot of rep points this isn't an option or can be somewhat expensive. Would it be worth having the META community nominate a questions for bounty or something like that? What other alternatives to setting a bounty are there?

Or do we do nothing with them? Let them sit and hopefully someone eventually finds the question and answers it?

Sorry I'm rambling a little but TL;DR

  • What can we do as a community about cold questions?
  • What can individual users do about their own cold questions?
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There are four main ways to get more attention for an old question

  • You can "bump" a question back onto the front page by simply editing it. I've yet to see a question that can't stand some improvement but don't do it too often with a single question or you'll get a rap on the knuckles.

  • You can advertise the question in chat. I'm sure you'll get more than a few extra eyeballs including some of the site's most prolific users (but not me, because I'm banned too cool for chat).

  • You can post a bounty with the reason "This question has not received enough attention."

  • You can put some effort into developing a 'partial answer' and post it. This is explicitly allowed and will often open up a new line of enquiry to other users. If nothing else, you can show what you've already ruled out.


The community has also been running a "cold questions" competition in recent months. You could certainly stand to advertise your question under the comments but don't expect them to hang around for long.

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