I'm actually gathering information for this year's Datapalooza. It's going to be epic. There is so much data!

Anyways, I've been working on ways to track what is on the hot network bar and what is not. The hot questions tab is a good guideline for starters, but not all the questions on the hot tab make the network sidebar. Specifically, questions seem to need to be a few hours old to make it. There doesn't seem to be a view minimum, since questions with under 100 views have made it on the weekend. But generally, questions with more views tend to make the network bar more than questions with fewer views.

Questions

  • Is there any post talking about how a question gets selected for the hot network bar?
  • Does anyone have leads on information that would allow me to calculate what is on the hot network bar?
  • Is there any record of which questions make the hot network bar, and for how long they were there?
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    "Is there any post talking about how a question gets selected for the hot network bar?" meta.stackexchange.com/q/60756/157730 – a CVn Sep 10 at 12:45
  • Interesting, a question with high score, but lots of low scoring answers is ranked higher! – kingledion Sep 10 at 12:49
  • @kingledion makes sense when you think about it. After all it's "Hot Questions", not "hotly answered questions" (It's a word. At least dictionaries say it is, even if it sounds wrong.) And when a question does not already have a perfect answer it is more incentive to draw people in. – ArtificialSoul Sep 11 at 11:49
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    One thing I thought could be included in this year's Datapalooza (if possible) might be bounties. Like who was the biggest bounty-giver or bounty-hunter. :D I really look forward to it. I love random data stuff. – ArtificialSoul Sep 11 at 12:04
  • @ArtificialSoul, I'm 99.999% sure that both will be HDE. – Gryphon Sep 12 at 13:38
  • @Gryphon Spoilers! – ArtificialSoul Sep 12 at 13:55

Is there any post talking about how a question gets selected for the hot network bar?

As Michael Kjörling notes, see How do the “arbitrary hotness points” work on the new Stack Exchange home page and in the sidebar on questions? on the main Meta.

Does anyone have leads on information that would allow me to calculate what is on the hot network bar?

See the above. If you want to fetch what's on the list, there's an RSS feed but it only shows the top 30. The Stack Exchange mobile app has all 100 but it appears just to scrape https://stackexchange.com/?page=1 and https://stackexchange.com/?page=2.

Is there any record of which questions make the hot network bar, and for how long they were there?

There is not an official record. I've started scraping the HNQ since August 4th this year; this post is about the results from the first month. Surprise, surprise: Worldbuilding dominates the Hot Network Questions list; at a given moment, on average one in twelve questions on the list comes from Worldbuilding. Impressive!

By the way, the scraping continues (one month is enough to see some trends, but not all of them); I'll probably post an updated version later this year. Maybe in time for the Datapalooza; in any case, just ping me a few days before.

  • That is great that you are scraping. I will probably hit you up at the beginning of December to see what is available. How frequently are you scraping the hot posts? – kingledion Sep 11 at 16:17
  • Once every 10 minutes. – Glorfindel Sep 11 at 16:17
  • @Glorfindel - I feel like I check it manually at about the same rate on quiet days at work... – RyanfaeScotland Sep 17 at 13:19
  • You might be interested that the SE mobile app uses JSON data instead, which hopefully could make this easier... – Andrew T. Sep 20 at 18:15
  • Yeah, that's probably a better feed to use, though it doesn't include the user ID. – Glorfindel Sep 21 at 6:55

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