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How are “Hot” Questions Selected?

We on travel SE are in beta and we're always watching the hot questions list to see if one of our questions has made it into the hot questions list. Now we observed that it seems that only new questions are listed there.

So is it possible at all for old questions if they earn enough attention (votes and views) to get to the hot questions list? I'm talking about the hot list of all SE sites and not just the hot questions list of a particular SE site.

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marked as duplicate by kiamlaluno, John, Chris Frederick, ChrisF, Pops Dec 17 '11 at 14:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Hmm that other question is about getting attention, we're not asking about that, we're just asking about the functionality of the hotlist feature. –  hippietrail Dec 8 '11 at 15:43
@huMptyduMpty: Not really. Getting a question on the hot list increases the number of views to the site, which can't be done by adding a bounty to the question. –  mindcorrosive Dec 8 '11 at 15:44
@mindcorrosive checkout the answer for that question –  huMpty duMpty Dec 8 '11 at 15:46
The whole point of the "hot" section is to display questions that are new and booming... I suggest you put a bounty on your question to receive more attention. –  Gabe Dec 8 '11 at 15:49
@Gabe: He's not looking for more attention, he's wondering how the hot question feature is implemented. –  hippietrail Dec 8 '11 at 15:58
@hippietrail you are great... you know what he expecting, what he is looking.. very interesting –  huMpty duMpty Dec 8 '11 at 16:18
The first sentance of my firstcomment kind of states what the Hot section does... I'm pretty sure it shows new popular questions. He wants to know if it can show old questions, I don't think it shows old questions. But I'm not sure. –  Gabe Dec 8 '11 at 16:18
@huMptyduMpty: Well we're in a chat room together so we've talked about it more there than is suitable for question comments and it doesn't even require very much greatness at all (-: –  hippietrail Dec 8 '11 at 16:24
Just to clarify, I'm talking about the hot list of all SE sites and not just the hot list of a particular SE site –  RoflcoptrException Dec 8 '11 at 21:03

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It would be possible for an older question to become "hot," but it becomes increasingly difficult and unlikely the older the question gets. The formula to determine "hotness" has the question age in the denominator:

           QuestionViews, Answers, QuestionScores, AnswerScore
hotness =  ---------------------------------------------------

… so you would need the questions to become proportionally "hotter" as time goes by to make that list. At some point, it becomes most improbable.

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