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Are the hottest questions necessarily the right ones to feature? I've seen the following three questions, and one or two more like them, in sidebar ads:

Why can you turn clothing right-side out? (Math)
Is it possible to cook a whole fish in a dishwasher? (Cooking)
How can I tell if a corpse is safe to eat? (Gaming)

They're not bad questions, but I suspect that their titles won't attract experts to the sites, especially if they pop up out of context. I could be in the minority, but I'm much more likely to ignore the ad and think "what the heck is wrong with this 'Stack Exchange' thing" than click on the link to investigate.

Not all the featured questions are problematic, I liked What is bokeh, really? on Photography. I don't know if it's a good question, but it says "bokeh" so it must be a legit site (see #2 in the advice list). Perhaps the featured questions should be hand-picked from among the hottest questions?

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I can only speak for the corpse question, but I find it's actually pretty successful. Does it necessarily attract experts, I couldn't tell you. But it gets people's attention to investigate. And moreso, its high rating is in part due to the success of the community to provide excellent answers as well. I'm not naive to think no votes came due to the title, but the number of votes on the answers indicate what level of expertise we can provide. And in seeing the depth we provide, people get interested in what other content we provide. –  Grace Note Nov 11 '10 at 22:37
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In short, I much prefer having a question with a humorous title as our #1 voted and hottest question than "Hidden Features of C#" or "Hidden Features of Google". We actually have a question on top. ♪ –  Grace Note Nov 11 '10 at 22:38
    
@Grace, the way I see it, you've described "good" (those SO examples) and "better" (the Gaming example)... now how about "best"? –  Pops Nov 11 '10 at 23:10
    
What would you define as "best"? Because I'm finding it difficult to see what more you need over a valid, valuable-to-the-subject-matter question that is very clear to what it needs which received a comprehensive, authoritative answer. –  Grace Note Nov 12 '10 at 13:35

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I like the last part, about hand-picking featured questions. At the very least it should be possible to override the featured list, like how the metas have the tag that makes those posts show up at the top of the meta house ad on the parent site. A system that lets the site's mods feature a particular question on the cross-site ads would definitely be useful

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I have a cunning plan.: we combine this thread with the 20k rep beenie one and...step 3 profit! –  dmckee Nov 12 '10 at 2:26

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