I've asked a several questions (for example, one about gravity waves (3k views) in the two last days With more than 2k views. So not too long ago. There is another question (I don't want with say who asked it because I think this isn't fair) with almost 100 views, that is marked as hot.

Why then are these questions I've made not marked as hot?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Why does one mostly fall backward after slipping (or forward after tripping)? became a hot network question ~8 hours after it was asked (though was removed when closed). What is meant by "gravity waves we see at sea surface"? also became a hot network question ~8 hours after it was asked. It is still on the hot network questions. For that reason this question seems a but unclear. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Dec 17 '19 at 23:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Has it been your goal to make a HNQ question? $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ o you think yourself. Obviously yes. NO! I just was interested. Do you really think that it's everyone's goal. It's nice, nevertheless, if it becomes hot. I kinda like heat! Bout not TOO hot. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac But why then hasn't never been shown on the right side of the page? Not that I consider it as that important, but I just wanted to know which criterium there is to put a question on that sidepart. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ The full HNQ list at any given time is listed on stackexchange.com. The selection shown on the right-hand sidebar is random, with some caching. If a given question is on the list and you don't see it on a particular page, that's just down to a fair card shuffle. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 8:02

The formula used to determine 'hotness' (at least, to give the comparative ranking within each SE site) is publicly documented and does not take any account of view counts - it is based exclusively on post scores and ages. (There were some additional modifications to the mechanism in March 2019, documented here, but they don't affect this aspect.) Arguments based on page view counts to argue whether it's 'fair' for any question to be on the HNQ list are just based on a complete misunderstanding of how the list is compiled.

But also: you are not owed a spot on the HNQ list, no matter how good you think your question is. The list is a deeply problematic construct, and if your question makes the list then, as likely as not, it is basically a junk-food question (or it will be turned into one by the voting patterns of the off-site audience the advertising will bring). The mechanism was finally, after years of complaints, turned into something that can be controlled by the site's community, back in March, and it's there to serve as advertising of the site, not of you and your questions.

If you try to chase the HNQ on purpose by writing questions designed to be 'hot', then in all likelihood you're just littering the site with the low-quality fodder that should be kicked out of HNQ by a moderator the second it gets there. Focus on writing high-quality questions. If they get HNQ'd, and that helps increase the quality of the response (big if), then great. If they don't, then they're still questions on the site, which is the only thing we (all) have a right to expect.

  • $\begingroup$ So my question was considered junk (though it was up-voted 14 times)? Off course I understand that a closed question (one of the two of mine is indeed) can't never at all been put on it. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ Since you asked... I think your question about gravity waves was very low-quality because it demonstrated zero prior research. Wikipedia has articles entitled “Gravity wave” and “Gravitational wave”. Did you read them? (BTW, I think the HNQ list is a detriment and we should opt out of it.) $\endgroup$
    – G. Smith
    Dec 18 '19 at 1:43
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ As for your question about tripping, I don’t consider it a physics question at all. To be blunt, I think both questions are good examples of what is wrong with the HNQ. $\endgroup$
    – G. Smith
    Dec 18 '19 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ You're right about that. The next time I ask a question, I'll do more research and think before if it's a real physical question! $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 2:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @descheleschilder There is a difference between a junk question and a junk-food question. I never used the former term, and high scores are perfectly compatible with the latter. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Junk food can be delicious. Also, @G.Smith while the HNQ list can be detrimental towards incentivizing good questions vs popular question, it does have the plus of attracting outsiders to physics and broadening the communities understanding of the physical universe. Gotta love it for spreading physics to the masses even if it isn't necessarily the best of physics $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 18 '19 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim Is there any evidence that the list actually attracts outsiders to the site? I.e., that the people who start seeing the site via HNQ then go on to visit independently? Or do they just remain at HNQ visitors, seeing the junk-food stuff and nothing else? Junk food is delicious, yes, but it's definitely bad for you. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty I don't think I could really count anything I know of as evidence that these people do anything more than look at the HNQ questions. And yeah, HNQ physics is usually junk food physics. But I say if all the physics they eat is junk food, that's better than them not eating physics at all (unless the junk food is misleadingly wrong, but that's not just junk food, that's poison). HNQ is like donating chips to charity. Those kids in impoverished countries really should be eating something healthier, but at least they don't starve now. That's a plus $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 18 '19 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim I don't really agree but that's a valid enough viewpoint to have, I guess. $\endgroup$ Dec 18 '19 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it's not the most ideal plus. It's not even much of a plus (it's like the smallest non-zero amount). It's just a plus. Obviously I'll take anything that's better, but I might as well find the good in something if I can't improve on it $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 18 '19 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Jim The world has plenty of physics click-bait sites to “attract outsiders”. We don’t need to be one of those. $\endgroup$
    – G. Smith
    Dec 18 '19 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @G.Smith Yeah, well let me remind you about this: I have no further arguments in my favour. Checkmate $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Dec 18 '19 at 18:59

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