Firstly I must make it clear that I think the fortnightly challenge is a great idea and I wholeheartedly support it. It is the idea of voting for the next topic that I am questioning.

  1. If we are exhaustively working our way through the tags as seems to be the case, we could choose the next in any order. For example alphabetically.

  2. If we choose them by popularity then as we proceed, the remaining topics will become less and less popular until we are left with the 'dregs'.

  3. If we really want to choose tags in popularity order, there is a very simple way. The popular tags page already arranges them in order of popularity - as chosen by the whole community.

  4. Repeated voting means that people whose vote fails once simply have to keep voting until it succeeds. It would be simpler to have a one-off vote and proceed in order of votes. Then do the same again when the first list has been exhausted.

My suggestion

So that all tags get a turn, we could simply choose them in alphabetical order.

If popularity is the method, then do away with the vote and choose them from the sorted list that is already available.

If we want to encourage use of little-used tags then start at the end of the current sorted list.


What is the actual intended purpose of repeated voting?

Is it the most efficient means of achieving that purpose?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ One of the goals of the topic challenge originally was to draw attention to interesting but so far under-used tags or tags that can hit a useful threshold with a bit more use. It's been very successful in that. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Aug 22, 2015 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


I understand the concern. We will run out of topics eventually but it will take a lot of time. We have maybe a year of challenges just by using the proposed list, and some tags have not been proposed yet.

  1. Choosing by alphabetical order might be worst than by popularity because we will need to go over each tags even the strange/too specific and unpopular ones. Unless we have a way to filter the tags (example: the tags must have at least 10 questions).
  2. Maybe, but the challenges are still popular as of now.
  3. It's not just about popularity. Some of the most popular tags are meta tags like and would not make for a great challenge. We vote for tags that we like and that we want to see promoted. Remember, we doubled the question during the contest.
  4. I don't understand. We can only vote once for each answer, we cannot vote repeatedly.
  • $\begingroup$ wrt No. 4 - I mean voting again for the same topic every fortnight until it gets accepted. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2015 at 15:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK that's not possible. If you just voted for my answer, you cannot vote a second time no matter how much time there is in-between the attempts. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Aug 22, 2015 at 16:21

A few points to supplement Vincent's answer:

The topic challenges so far have revolved around tags, but they needn't. (And there was one that was based on a pair of tags, which could happen again.)

Voting on a proposal means "I think this has merit". It's reasonable to assume that the tags/topics that people have voted on correspond to the ones our community finds most interesting, regardless of how many questions have been asked already on those themes. Topic challenges are driven by users being interested in those topics.

We're still a young site with some less-than-useful tags. Our tag set isn't static and could probably do with some cleanup. Walking the list when the list is in flux seems challenging.


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