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At smaller sites (up to 50-100 questions a day average) closing a question takes hours or even days.

  • As an example, this SO question has got 5 close votes in 15 minutes, while its twin at Programmers has been struggling to get 3rd vote for over 10 hours. "Twin" here means, same question has been cross-posted at both sites, is equally inappropriate at both (tool recommendation), has comments explaining the issue for readers and is downvoted rather heavily, to -4 / -6.

Given above, suggest to take into account when there is a solid evidence that question may turn out inappropriate for the site and exercise more caution about promoting such questions in the hot list.

Penalize smaller sites questions having 3-4 close votes - say, cut their hotness score by half or drop them off the list completely. This will increase chances for less troublesome questions to enter hot list.

Indiscriminately advertising questions that are on their way to closure, with only 1-2 votes left to go hurts site community morale and dilutes the Stack Exchange brand:

watching the 'hot network questions' leads me to think that several of the recent sites are gigantic broken windows of self-absorbed subjectivity... The questions are whiney, the answers are opinion...

Consider also disappointment and frustration of new users coming to sites to ask questions similar to ones advertised in the hot list only to discover that these are voted down and closed as inappropriate.


Related:

  • Avoid tweeting bad questions

    we won't tweet questions with close votes

  • Reorder questions picked for hot list...

    Close votes on the question should reduce the total hotness of the question by 20% (so a closed question would have a 0 hotness score)

  • Better criteria for the hot questions list

    Weight Flags/Close Votes Against Questions... 30% of our hot questions over the past month all got closed, which is less than ideal, because we want the attention to go to good polished questions rather than works in progress... If close votes count against the hotness score, then we can vote to close while trying to improve the post, and not worry about it getting a dozen answers in 24 hours as the entire SE network flocks in.

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"while its twin at Programmers has been struggling to get 3rd vote for over 10 hours" Not anymore... ;) –  Yannis Jul 31 at 19:20
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@Yannis I hate you mods for breaking my nice experiments. :) If seriously, thank you! –  gnat Jul 31 at 19:22
    
for a recent example: question with 4 votes down and close at #7 in the hot list, gaining lemming upvotes from all around SE network, fully exploiting The Trouble With Popularity. How does it feel like for community regulars who voted down and close? –  gnat Aug 1 at 22:10
    
...another recent example: 3 votes to close, 2 down, #19 (of 100) in the hot list with "32.619 hotness points". "...watching the 'hot network questions' leads me to think that several of the recent sites are gigantic broken windows of self-absorbed subjectivity" -- sure why would it be different when system works like that –  gnat Aug 1 at 22:57
    
I like the idea, but the question might be asked: "Since we are talking about smaller sites, why isn't a pro-tem mod closing the question if the community already has 3-4 close votes on it?" In other words, the problem might not be so bad... assuming the pro-tem mods are reasonable judges of the question's worth –  Mike Pennington Aug 5 at 10:00
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@MikePennington this would essentially mean moderators have to carry a 24x7 watch on questions that may suddenly make it into hot list, along with getting enough close votes, this is not how system is expected to work. I am also uncomfortable with the idea of moderators intervening depending not on site community feedback (flags, chat, meta) but on not particularly relevant cross-network feature (hotness formula) –  gnat Aug 5 at 10:30
    
There is already moderation. I think community must learn and grow on it's mistakes, what here is suggested is authoritarian approach where few people knows what's best and can shape new community in diligent little SE, will certainly save purity of site, but as a result, even with growing popularity you will not see new people becoming active contributors. –  nes Aug 9 at 6:20
    
@nes observations show that hot questions don't really help site community grow, see: Can we track the positive effects of a popular question? It's more like "flash in the pan". Longer term observations at Programmers show pretty similar effect: "Tons and tons of people visited the site... but very few decided to stick around..." –  gnat Aug 9 at 7:35
    
...regarding community growth, it is also worth reminding that hot questions are simply not intended to help in that. Their only purpose officially stated so far is to show entertaining / interesting stuff, nothing else –  gnat Aug 9 at 12:40
    
Why does it matter if a site is small? Bad questions are bad questions! –  bjb568 Aug 26 at 13:37
    
@bjb568 per my observations it matters indeed (check the example with "SO-Programmers twin"). I definitely won't mind if larger sites questions are penalized that way, I only don't expect this to make much difference. Think of it, inappropriate SO question at sidebar attracts eyeballs of, say, 100-200 users with close privileges at SO - how long would you expect it to hang in there before getting closed and wiped out? –  gnat Aug 26 at 13:44
    
'I really, really want this to be the SE "black sheep"...' (How can we avoid Programmers.SE from becoming the SE black sheep?) Although this was written 4 years ago, it seems to match well the current attitude, '...Guess what: if your site is full of crappy questions, your site sucks' (What is the Goal of “Hot Network Questions”?) –  gnat 3 hours ago

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