I really like the new sidebar. With the new top bar eliminating the "Hot Questions" area there, I think this is the perfect place for it. One-click access to time-wasting questions about topics I may or may not have an interest in. Seriously, it's a procrastinator's dream come true.

The only suggestion I can add is to extend it. I assume the "hot" algorithm can spit out more than 12 questions, and since we now have a huge amount of room for it(without being restricted to a weird drop-down scrollbox), why not show more?

If there's something else planned for that spot, disregard. At a minimum, the title could link to the full hot questions page, as ShaWizDowArd suggested in comments. I've been using SE for a couple years now, and I've never seen that page, so it would add visibility there.

sweet-ass sidebar


They added a link! Just noticed this, I'm pretty sure it wasn't there yesterday. When you click it, it loads 12 more. At the moment, the link disappears once clicked, so you can see a total of 24 here now. Not a link to the full list, but better:

extendomatic button

  • This could still easily be made into an actual question. It's got most of the 'bits' there. Flesh it out some, perhaps? Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 20:05
  • Honestly, I'm surprised I got away with no DVs on the original, much less closure. Edited to feature-request.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 20:14
  • 5
    It's the first I'm seeing of it. I never visit the main page. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:28
  • 4
    I would also ask to make the title link to the full hot question page, and show the hotness points in tooltip, same way it's showing there. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 14:54
  • 1
    @ShaWizDowArd +1 Never in my life have I seen that page, no idea how I missed it. There goes my day.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:02
  • 1
    Loved the SWDA - might adapt it! Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:49
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    I honestly can't imagine the point of the hot questions, much less giving them prime real estate (& taking it away from useful features). What % of SE system users follow all the sites listed & care what is going on in them? Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 23:47
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    @gung The way I see it, they serve at least two purposes: 1) New user discoverability of other SE sites, 2) Taking advantage of people bored at work, keeping them in-network and accumulating page/ad views. On a personal note, I find interesting questions there often that I wouldn't otherwise see. As for "taking away from", I didn't find the old "recent badges" list useful at all, but to each his own.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 0:42
  • I like this question, but it needs more jQuery.
    – n00b
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 16:45
  • It also was previously better accessible; now I need to always jump to the main page and first scroll down… I'd really appreciate some quick jump to the hot questions like before.
    – bwoebi
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 17:34
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    @GenericHolidayName I don't know if you've noticed, but they added the link to the Hot Questions page. Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 16:17
  • @called2voyage Very nice! Thanks for the notice.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 16:31

3 Answers 3


Over the next month or two, we're going to be fiddling with the related questions and the hot question stuff.

We've got some algorithm changes to test, and we will also be testing how many items are in the list.

More isn't always better, as my goal is to make the sidebar feel useful again instead of a place that we are dumping everything we don't have a place for.

We may try putting them on the question listing page and maybe even the question show page, too.

  • 12
    Sounds good, but please don't gimp the "related" section. With it, 6/10 times I'm looking for a duplicate I can find one without searching.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:55
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    Understood. The goal is to give you enough "related", but no more. Currently, not sure how many that is.
    – Jeremy T
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 15:58
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    What about linking to the full hot questions list? You have any objection to such thing? Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 16:13
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    A link would be useful. The current 12 items are not enough for a successful procrastination, and I'm also too lazy to bookmark the SE hot questions site. Now I have to click to meta, find this post and go to SE hot questions after the first 12 links are used up :(
    – SztupY
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 20:45
  • @GenericHolidayName what does "gimp" mean? Never heard that before.
    – n00b
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 16:48
  • 1
    @n00b Maybe a better term would be "render ineffective". "Gimp" is slang meaning something along that line, but with a derogatory connotation.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 16:51
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    I think that with the new extendomatic link and title link to the full page, this can effectively be marked as completed.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 16:32

While I appreciate that the developers were trying to still give access to the "Hot Questions" across the Stack Exchange network, I find that this solution is inadequate. The point of the list being accessible from the top navigation bar was that it was accessible from anywhere. Now, in order to view these questions, we have to navigate back to the home page. This sounds like a trivial thing to do, but the fact is that (for me, at least) it's quite out of the way.

For example, I have Stack Overflow bookmarked (like all the cool kids do). But I never, ever, ever actually visit the home page of Stack Overflow. My bookmark points only to the questions (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/java?sort=newest&pagesize=15). Why? Because that's where my expertise lies. Looking at the home page of Stack Overflow is useless to me, because the vast majority of questions that are presented are things which I know nothing about, can't contribute meaningfully to, and likely can't even read just for entertainment value. So I spend my time on the Java side, where I can be of some value. And if ever some question was asked of some amazing worth, guess what? It would show up in my "Hot Questions" drop down at the top. Absolutely no need to ever view the master list of questions on the home page. And, frankly, I liked it that way.

Now I have no way to casually glance at these "Hot Questions", which I think is a fundamental flaw in the design of the navigation bar and will severely hurt not only the integration of the Stack Exchange but also its growth. I know that I, for one, have created profiles and become interested in other Stack Exchange sites because of the appearance of an interesting question on the "Hot Questions" list. Being able to glance at it and see what interesting things people are talking about is one of the core ways users from one site get visibility into all of the depth in the Stack Exchange network -- and in my opinion, Stack Overflow, as the largest member of the network and the parent of the whole organization, has a parental duty to do what it can to ensure this continued growth and development. I would have never heard about RPG.SE, Gaming.SE, CodeReview.SE, English.SE, or any of the other awesome sites that exist here except with the casual exposure to the "Hot Questions". And to be honest, if they had been just another ad-looking list on some trivial side bar, I probably would have never taken them seriously, anyway. We (Internet users) quickly associate information in sidebars as "irrelevant", "unimportant", and likely "uninteresting", because so often they are filled with ads or tertiary information.

Long story short: I really do love most of the new navigation bar, but your solution to the "Hot Questions" list is inadequate. Please bring it back onto the navigation menu, both for the ease of your users (customers) and for the future growth and health of the Stack Exchange network. To be perfectly honest, the "Hot Questions" list is what's kept me coming back to this website day after day. I love being able to glance at it once every half hour or so at work, just to see if someone is saying anything interesting, while I look through the Java questions for anything I might be able to help out with. By making it less accessible, it damages the experience of the site and reduces the feeling of community (and, of course, the addictive "keep coming back to see what's new" psychological feature of the site, which I'm sure the higher-ups insist doesn't exist and isn't part of their benevolent business model!).

I miss it.

Just one man's opinion, of course.

  • I partly agree. The top bar was a good place for it, but that one's gone, and from the general tone I've seen from staff, it isn't making a return there any time soon. This was a suggestion based on the new UI, which I do like. Hopefully the last line in Jeremy's answer will come to pass, and it will make an appearance on the question listing page as well.
    – Geobits
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 17:23
  • @Geobits You should see a full list in the right sidebar now
    – Jeremy T
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 22:47
  • I find the "Hot Questions" distracting. Is there any way to disable it?
    – xpereta
    Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 10:24
  • 1
    @xpereta no, not yet. SE wants to pull you in!
    – nelomad
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 0:03

A small thing that could be done to give you more new Hot Network Questions, without changing the current user interface:

  • When F5 is pressed show other hot questions,
  • Never show again questions that the user has actually visited.

Right now the proportion of dark blue (visited) links serves as a reminder of how much the user procrastinated the previous day :-)

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