AutoBump Decay Over Time

Forgive me if this function is available. I may not have searched using the correct word set. Users are asking if there is a way to force the auto bump function to decay over time if a topic gets no activity when it is bumped. Bumping is great, because it often simulates new conversations. Often, though, the bump is met with silence and, over time, the silence continues. Suggestions?


What exactly are you proposing? I am not following. How would it behave?


I’ve never seen a topic bumped twice if it received no further interaction after the first bump. What is it you’re asking for?

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I presume that you mean an auto un-bump if the topic receives no activity. But do you mean by no activity: no reads, no edits or no replies)?

I think that the answer is to do something about such topics! I was going to stop here but I thought it was worth explaining in more detail for anyone else who is interested. Also, if I’ve misunderstood the auto bump feature then others can clarify.

The forum admins/moderators should make a decision about such topics rather than creating an auto-bump decay feature to suppress them. Without a change in the topic status, these topics will keep rising from the grave again and again.

AFAIK, auto-bumped topics are selected from topics last updated in the past year with the following attributes. Completing any of the following actions will prevent the topic being bumped again and give it some activity:

  • non-closed
    • :closed_book: Close
  • non-solved
    • :white_check_mark: Solve
  • non-archived
    • :file_cabinet: Archive
  • non-pinned
    • :pushpin: Pin
  • non-hidden e.g. in a closed category
    • :luggage: Move to open category
  • non-deleted
    • :wastebasket: Delete
  • non category description
    • no action required

This is consistent with the auto bump feature being an opportunity to promote forgotten topics so forum users have another can decide what to do with them. The main advantage of an auto bump is that it is noiseless cf. a manual bump that requires noise such as a pointless edit or reply in the topic.

If you don’t do anything with an auto-bumped topic then it might be auto bumped again but not if it was bumped in the previous 24 hours or if it is older than a year.

Auto bump is usually superfluous if you enable auto-close {x} days after the last reply. But both features can work together if the auto-close interval is large enough, e.g. one year, so that the oldest open posts can be auto bumped.

So if there silence on a topic then what does that tell you about it?

  • Complete?
    In other words, It is good to read but doesn’t require any other interaction.
    i.e. the question was answered, the issue was resolved, the time has now passed, etc.
    • :arrow_right: Close :closed_book:
  • Incomplete? With no likelihood of ever being complete.
    e.g. if the original poster never replies to let us know
    • :arrow_right: Close :closed_book:
    • :arrow_right: Archive :file_cabinet: or
    • :arrow_right: Delete :wastebasket: if there’s no useful info
  • Out of date or obsolete?
    e.g. pertaining to a deprecated feature
    • :arrow_right: Archive :file_cabinet: or
    • :arrow_right: Delete :wastebasket:
  • Not of interest to the community?
    i.e. nobody reads it
    • :arrow_right: Delete :wastebasket:
  • Clearly irrelevant?
    i.e. about a different product, organization, forum or community
    • :arrow_right: Delete :wastebasket:
  • Clearly of no value?
    e.g. spam
    • :arrow_right: Delete :wastebasket:

Finally, if you prefer to keep all posts open then maybe you don’t want auto bump, e.g.


FYI, a related issue is how to prevent topics receiving no replies i.e. the silence mentioned here:

There is also a plugin to tag all new topics so the tag can be changed when there is action:

The source of those links is a sort discussion about idle topics


Thanks for all of the comments / questions. What I was proposing (and I don’t know if it makes good sense or if there are unintended consequences) is if the software could operate in such a way that, if topics were auto-bumped and received no further response, that the time to the next auto-bump could increase automatically. As @Remah says, we could do something about it (manually) and I agree. Was just curious if there were a programmatic solution. Most topics get plenty of action, but some stall and then go on an auto-bump cycle that results in the screen shot below. If it (for instance) doubled the time to auto-bump assuming no further activity, then it might be a nice function. Maybe?

Are you saying that you’ve never seen a topic bump multiple times, automatically, if it received no further interaction?

That is an impressive number of bumps, 10 in one year. But to me it looks wrong to have so many bump records.

If the auto bump period doubled then it would appear three times in year 1 and once each in years 2 and 3. That would still look bad from my point of view.

What is the Number of open topics to automatically bump daily?
With 10 bumps per year for one topic, i.e. one every 36 days, and 3 topics bumped per day that would be only 108 topics available to auto bump. I wouldn’t enable auto bump for that few.


This point is kinda hard to grok for me, but I learned it from experience. We had a backlog in a support forum, but auto-bumping one a day and a handful of attentive helpers got through it in a couple of months, until we had two threads leap-frogging each other but no one had anything to add. So we turned it off.

Now we just turn it on and off as needed, per category. :slight_smile:

That said, for practical use I don’t think autobump needs stepped decay, I personally think about it all time, since I also use Discourse as a personal wiki, and such a feature (say as part of the auto-timer…) would help knowledge scaffolding by providing a mechanism for Spaced repetition - Wikipedia. :nerd:

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