"Bumping" is the term for responding to a thread (particularly one started by the poster in question) with the word "bump" or other non-content, for the sole purpose of "bumping up" the thread to the top of the active thread list in a forum.
Responding to a thread for the same purpose, but while actually posting new content such as a reminder or new information, is also a form of bumping. However, this method is acceptable; simply bumping with non-content is not.
Why is this?
There are several reasons not to bump. First and foremost is that non-content posts (i.e., not relating to the thread topic, not adding to discussion, not containing information or opinions) are the very definition of "spam".
"Spam" is the term for unsolicited electronic messages with no value to the reader. There are several types of spam:
1. Senseless posts. Examples of this would include bumping, "first/second/etc. comment", memes without any relevance to the conversation, etc. If it doesn't concern the topic of the thread or a related discussion, it's safe to say that it is probably spam!
2. Misplaced content. Examples of this would include posting a one-on-one roleplay request in the middle of an In-Character RP thread, or roleplaying in the General forum. This also includes bumping or out-of-character posting in In-Character roleplay threads.
3. Unsolicited advertisement. This can include posting an advertisement for a commercial product, advertising another roleplaying site outside of the Off-Site Advertisements forum, or advertising your on-site roleplays outside of Group Roleplay Advertising.
4. Flooding. "Flooding" is the term for repeated posting within a short time frame with the intent to raise post count or get attention, particularly when posting the same message multiple times. Bumping is also a form of flooding.
As stated in our Site Policies, spamming is not allowed on Iwaku, except for in the Asylum. No one wants to read spam! It clutters the forum and entertains no one, and often makes navigating through threads difficult. Don't do it.
Another reason not to bump is that it really isn't necessary. With the posting rate on Iwaku and the size of the site, it will take quite some time for a thread to fall off of the first page within a given forum, even in the most active areas. We understand that some of you come from larger, faster-paced sites where this is not the case, and that you may be used to having to post repeatedly to even hope that you'll catch someone's eye. But that is not the case here. If you are a Donator (or Staff), you also have the ability to use the Bump tool, which will instantly update the post date on the most recent post on a thread (making it look like it was posted at the current date and time).
And the final reason not to bump is that there are better ways to get attention to your roleplays.