I really love the "Hot Network Questions" (HNQ) as I love to look at what other communities do; in german I would say "Ich liebe es, über den Tellerrand zu schauen" (Love looking beyond my own's backyard?)
However: Most of the time, I discover hot questions while loading another site (i.e. when I am forced to look around), and this imposes problems and makes the feature almost unusable for me. This is my typical workflow for HNQ-usage:
- Grasp topic "How to foo the bar"
- Done or Clicking some link leading me to further details about Frob
- This is the moment I have a quick glance on the HNQ
- I see some interesting "What's a John?" from a foreign field Doe D'Oh
- Whoosh, the page load completes and I think "Oh noes, but I was interested in "What's a John?"
- "Oh no, it's gone."
- "Ah I know, search for the topic using the search-box"
- Argh, this ain't work. I don't find it. Let's hope it pops up again
My proposal now is (sorry if I miss the proper terminology):
Make the HNQ permament w.r.t. the history, i.e. when you click
go-back/forward, it should show the same questions from when you initially loaded this entry in the history
edit: A dupe was proposed. However, it talks about page-reload. I think randomization is okay upon reload and loading a new instance; changing contents is what we reload for. I really look for staticness w.r.t. to a single "page-instance", when navigating forward and backward again.