Every now and then, some old-ish question gets my attention, either from showing up in the related/linked questions bar, or by the community bot bumping it. Every so often, it's a quite interesting question with interesting answers (at least to me).

When I see an accepted answer, particularly one with high upvotes, I find it rather a little demotivating toward developing and posting a "better" answer: my feeling is most readers don't even bother scrolling past these.

Might there be some means of adding (perhaps via "curation" by high-rep users) some kind of "hey, might want to look at this..." feature?

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    Good question. Especially in MMA world when you can do things in so many ways and where each new release adds even more.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 7:48
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    One walk-around, if you have an answer that is e.g. exceptionally fast but OP wasn't mentioning speed as an issue then you can create new Q with performance-tuning+speed, mention closely related Q&A you want to improve, self answer, ask if anyone can beat you or provide fast enough solution with much shorter code for example.
    – Kuba Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 7:51
  • @kuba Your second comment is a good idea!
    – ciao
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 3:01
  • I shall try to answer this tomorrow. I personally disagree with @Kuba 's proposal and I shall attempt to argue my position as part of that answer.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 9:17
  • Related: (348)
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 20:38
  • Personally I favorite a lot of questions, even if I haven't upvoted them. This allows me to go to the favorites tab on my user page and see any edits and comments made in these Q&A's. I pretty much see every edit, as this will result in about 1 new item in my favorites tab every day, if not less. For me this is more convenient than checking out the active tab, that has a lot of overlap with the new questions tab, though I suppose a good query could remedy that. Of course now my "real favorites" are drowned by poor questions, so that is a downside. I personally like seeing edits/answers to ... Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 11:08
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    old questions, even if I don't end up figuring out all the details, because it gives me a sense that people really care about the site. Maybe if more people have strategies like this, answers to old questions can also receive some more upvotes. By the way I still want to get my rep down to the pretty number 6667, so maybe I can place some more bounties on old questions :). Suggestions w.r.t bounties are appreciated. Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 11:08
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    What is your motivation for answering any question, regardless of its age? If you are here for the reputation only (which is totally fine), I agree it's easier to gain with e.g. new questions that more people see. But questions are intended to stand on their own through time. The OP might still care even if you answer very late. Your answer might be very helpful for someone coming to the question through a search engine later on. You also improve your own skills by solving problems. I'd say that if your answer is good, it will get you reputation as well, but the process takes much more time.
    – Juho
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


...most readers don't even bother scrolling past these [highly voted and accepted answers]

I think this is true, but it's part of what makes the Stack Exchange format successful - you don't have to scroll through a dozen answers because a community of experts have already picked the best one and moved it to the top of the list.

An unfortunate consequence is that you get this votes -> more visibility -> more votes positive feedback loop which makes it hard for excellent but late answers to get the same attention as earlier ones. It's frustrating when a really good answer gets neglected like that, but it would seem to be an inevitable result of the way the SE model works.

One possibility would be for the site to use "sort by votes" answer ordering for visitors, but change the default to "sort by active" for logged in members. That way new answers would be more visible to the people who cast votes, but folk coming from Google just looking for an answer still benefit from the best-answers-first format. There may of course be reasons I haven't thought of why this would be undesirable.

The best approach is probably to accept that it happens, and recognise that a late answer will get fewer views and fewer votes, and may not even benefit the OP who got a good enough solution at the time and has now moved on to something else. If you still feel motivated to answer then do so, otherwise spend the time on something else. This is meant to be fun after all!

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    I like the "sort by votes/active" concept...
    – ciao
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 7:08
  • Another option is "random sort each page load". I'm not sure but I think it's implemented on some SE sites.
    – shrx
    Commented Jul 29, 2015 at 19:54

Having had more than a few lacunas in my time being a member here, it is more than likely that there are old questions on the site that I haven't yet seen. Sometimes, after looking through the answers to such questions, I see that people have done what I would've done, but in the case where nobody has considered an approach that I know to be useful, I go ahead and write up an answer. That I have not a few Revival and Necromancer badges tells me that my efforts at answering old questions are to an extent appreciated.

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