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Quoting from the Privileges page:

Vote Down

When you vote down, you are moving that content "down" so it will be seen by fewer people.

Vote Up

When you vote up, you are moving that content "up" so it will be seen by more people.

I assume this relates to SO's front page, and as far as I can see there are several variables at play:

  • Post date/Edit time (sort on newest)
  • Amount of votes
  • A random component?
  • Amount of answers? With upvotes?

So, how does the algorithm to show content in the front page work? Is there a random component? Do amount of answer and or amount of votes (up/down) on those answer count? How does the amount of votes of a question come into play?


EDIT

Based on Hendrik's comment, I did a search on Meta for "hot" questions and came up with this question: How are "Hot" Questions Selected?. I do not feel however, that my question is a duplicate of that one as I am not interested in the hot tab but in the interesting tab (the default front page tab).

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Not an answer to your question, but still related; from the same Privileges pages: "By default, answers are sorted by number of votes." And the further "down" an answer is, the fewer people will see it. –  Hendrik Vogt Apr 5 '11 at 15:48
    
@Hendrik - Thanks. I'd still like to see how the different variables I mention play together (in case that all play a part, of course). –  Sergi Papaseit Apr 5 '11 at 15:51
    
There's a meta question about this already; try and search for rules about sorting order for "hot" questions. –  Hendrik Vogt Apr 5 '11 at 15:52
    
@Hendrik - Thanks again, I'll give it a go right away! –  Sergi Papaseit Apr 5 '11 at 15:53
    
+1, good point you make in your edit. –  Hendrik Vogt Apr 5 '11 at 16:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Vote Down - When you vote down, you are moving that content "down" so it will be seen by fewer people.

Vote Up - When you vote up, you are moving that content "up" so it will be seen by more people.

I assume this relates to SO's front page, and as far as I can see there are several variables at play:

This means for answers and comments. In a question, the default view is by votes, so the more votes something has positive (er, the higher the aggregate score between up and downvotes) the more likely the casual user is to see the answer/comment immediately.

What gets shown on the front page, however, is completely different. I don't think you saw this question What formula should be used to determine "hot" questions? which is pretty much what people are talking about when they say "hot questions". Hot questions are actually used in many places, such as the default page on http://stackexchange.com

But then there's this post Help us redesign the Stack Overflow homepage which I think is really what you wanted in the first place.

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The "Help us redesign..." post does look promising. +1. Thanks! –  Sergi Papaseit Apr 5 '11 at 16:45

The interesting tab is unique to StackOverflow. Jeff posted an entry to the blog when this tab was introduced detailing the reasons for the change and the criteria for the questions that are shown.

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/stack-overflow-homepage-changes/

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+1 - Very interesting post, thanks! –  Sergi Papaseit Apr 5 '11 at 16:44

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