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Whenever I refresh Stack Exchange sites or go to a question, the Hot Network Question list items are re-listed or re-ordered, quite dramatically it seems. This seems like a new thing.

It's actually a bit maddening to me to see the list change so frequently (or clearly I am refreshing too often or looking at it too much :-).

I understand the need to keep the list updated, but can the items in the list hold their positions a little more consistently? The hot items can't be changing that fast.

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While the randomness is nice; over and over again I click on something in the hot questions list and at the last second see something even more interesting; click back but it's gone! It would be nice if at least on clicking back it didn't choose a new selection –  Richard Tingle Feb 25 at 21:01
    
if you want it less random, simply click on the header of the list - it will bring you to more stable list of 100 questions that feeds to sidebar: stackexchange.com/questions?tab=hot –  gnat Feb 26 at 8:08

1 Answer 1

This is a recent change which resulted in a 30% increase in engagement. All of this engagement came from repeated clicks.

We are not likely to go back to the static list, but we do have improved algorithm changes coming in the next couple of months.

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"couple of months" = "6 to 8 weeks" –  Mysticial Feb 25 at 18:49
    
We'll be testing several different options at indeterminate times in the future :) –  Jeremy T Feb 25 at 18:51
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30% increase in engagement now, but if the list isn't honest, then it might feel like a banner ad in the future, and the user is being gamed in a system of "click here now". I'm just suggesting a bit of caution with the list being so chaotic. –  LarsTech Feb 25 at 18:53
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@LarsTech I'm not sure what you mean by honest, but the hot questions list is basically a list of 100 or so questions on the server. All we are doing is randomizing the list of 100 before we pull some off the top instead of pulling the top X every time. –  Jeremy T Feb 25 at 18:57

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