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I've noticed this a few times while browsing GIS SE where questions that are a few years old are edited by a moderator/user for minor clarification and then it appears top on the list of questions on the site. What's the point of this? I don't quite understand the functionality of this "feature" when most of these questions already have accepted answers.For example these were just on top and are 2-7 years old:

I understand bumping posts to the forefront when the Community mod does it for unanswered questions or those without an accepted answer - but I don't see the logic for it in the circumstances above.

Is this a bug or is there another reason for this?

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The answer to What can cause a question to be bumped? on the Meta site explains all the ways a question can be bumped.

In my opinion, there are circumstances where an accepted answer may not be the best answer. If a question is bumped years later, someone may have a better solution. The asker has the option of accepting that answer instead.

Is there a way to edit a question without bumping it to the front page? is another post in which the top answer outlines several reasons to do so.

I particularly like this reason:

Or the Q&A might just catch someone's eye, draw them in, and teach them something they didn't know but now appreciate.

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A key difference between a focussed Q&A site like GIS SE, and a discussion forum or other styles of Q&A sites is that old questions with answers are considered just as valuable as new ones. This is because our Q&As are more like wiki pages where the content can be constantly improved.

Improvement to Q&As can happen for many reasons like:

  • making the question and its answer more clear and concise so that it can be read and absorbed more quickly by its readers;
  • making the title more clear and concise so that when seen by a searcher it reflects more accurately its content so searchers don't waste their time opening irrelevant questions; and
  • making tags match their content better so that questions can be categorized and funneled to their potential answerers.

If a question or answer is modified, even a little, then that change, like a Wikipedia page needs some form of review. On a Wikipedia page including/excluding "dis" in front of a person being described as (dis)honest is a minor edit but makes a big difference. Suggesting someone delete rather than backup a map would likewise make a big difference.

If you wish only to see new questions use https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=newest or if you are more interested in new answers use https://gis.stackexchange.com/search?tab=newest&q=is%3aanswer. The former is easily reachable via the GUI while the latter is something that I have bookmarked in my browser.

I think the importance of ongoing curation of Q&A content is best expressed in a section headed You gotta get this to get us in Meta SE post We're working on a new stat to help convey the reach of your posts here.

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