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I see a fair bit of editing of old questions, and closed questions.

I'm wondering why? Most of it is meaningless minor grammar/spelling/typo changes. What's the point?

It seems like a waste to me, but I wonder if it's really just a handy way to "bump" questions to the top of the list?

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It looks like there is currently an effort to remove from a bunch of questions. If this is part of a drive to kill that tag, please don't hand-remove it from the remaining 118 questions; the moderators can ask the community team to kill the tag outright.

Retagging bumps questions, so these should be done in small batches. I don't know if we have a rule here; on other sites I've seen limits of 5-10 per day so the front page remains useful for other questions.

As for grammar edits and the like, I imagine that people are coming across them and fixing things they see that are broken. That's fine, even for old questions, as general housekeeping. Edits should be significant -- not just one typo, but several problems or larger problems are ok to fix.

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I want to expand on what Monica mentions about edits being fine for old questions. As contributors to the site, we mostly see and are exposed to the newest questions and answers, not necessarily the old ones. As a result, it's easy to forget or overlook their importance in growing our site.

Most of the traffic a healthy site receives is from search engines. That means the majority of people who read our posts are not our fellow users but instead are strangers who have never interacted with us. Most of these folks don't post but instead consume the information that has helped others solve their problems in hopes that it solves their own.

Thus, some of the older questions with the highest views may in fact be the most important ones for our site, and putting forth efforts to polish them helps us stand out as something more than just the forums, more than just random snapshots of the Internet at a specific moment in time.

As for how to retag posts and edit them, Monica said it well: Edits should be significant so as to avoid turning posts into community wiki or bumping them needlessly.

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  • Makes sense. I do see lots of insignificant editng and retagging going on, though - with the unfortunate side-effect of bumping the post to the top. I think you end up with a bandwagon effect where folks want to get into the "editing act" even when not warranted. – Joe Strazzere Jun 23 '13 at 10:42
  • Hmm. I haven't noticed this recently, but I have seen unnecessary edits bump posts in the past. From what I can tell, many of the most recently bumped older questions were the result of a new answer -- which then led to further editing since the question was put back on our collective radar. – jmort253 Jun 24 '13 at 0:31
  • I suspect it's the other way around - bumped older questions then receive new answers. – Joe Strazzere Jun 24 '13 at 11:57
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    FWIW I use the retag not edit feature. which is for retagging. IMO those should not show up as edits since they are meta changes not changes to the question or answers. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jun 24 '13 at 12:50

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