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How are “Hot” Questions Selected?
What is the list of interesting questions on stack overflow?

Please do not shoot and kill me if this is answered already at some obvious place (I looked around, believe me) but really the different queries available in Stack Exchange (I am mostly in Stack Overflow) are a bit a mystery to me. I searched around and could not find a guide that tells me how questions are selected. Of course it is obvious what comes on "unanswered" and "newest" but I am most puzzled what makes a question being listed under "Top Questions" and "Interesting". Does someone know?

Edit: I am talking about this

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Interesting questions are questions using one of the tags you marked as favorite, or (in the case you don't have any favorite tags) one of the tags where you are most active.

Hot questions are questions ordered basing a value that is calculated considering some parameters, such as:

  • The number of views for the question
  • The number of answers for the question
  • The score of the question
  • The sum of the score for each given answer
  • The age of the question

So, in one case, the questions are selected basing on criteria that involve only you; in the other case, the questions are selected basing on criteria that involve the question, and its answers.

  • Interesting questions: It really does not select only my favorite tags. In the screenshot above: Neither C# nor Javascript are favorites of mine and I am not active in them. But the next entry with objective-c and ios matches my favorite tags partially and I am active on those but not as active as in other tags... I am okay with the answer on the Hot Questions. Thanks for that but on the interesting questions it remains a mystery though it might be a mix of hot and matching my activities. Don't know.
    – hol
    Aug 30, 2012 at 21:02
  • But actually I just observed something. It is a mixture. If the background is white it is not related to my tags but if it is the yellowish background it is.
    – hol
    Aug 30, 2012 at 21:06
  • @hol maybe because c# and obj-c are related? :)
    – Jack
    Aug 30, 2012 at 23:56
  • @Jack nope. And I also see very unrelated stuff like "facebook" or "html" It seems it is is mixing random selection of "interesting" questions with questions of my tags. The random selection of "interesting" seems an algorithm similar to "hot" but not the same.
    – hol
    Aug 31, 2012 at 5:39

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