Editor's note: This is not a duplicate of Now you can know if a question really hit the HNQ. This asks for a notification when a question hits HNQ; the revision history item mentioned in the other post does not satisfy this request.

On smaller sites, questions that make the network-wide "hot questions" list receive disproportionate amounts of traffic and, sadly, comments and answers we'd like to monitor rather closely. Also, these questions should be cleaned up to be as presentable as possible (choice of title, formatting, spelling, obsolete or spurious comments, ...).

Currently, there is no way to know that a question is "hot" besides noticing the effects and checking the list on stackexchange.com. This is rather unsatisfying.

Please let moderators (and maybe 10k?) know when a question goes "hot" instantly, via inbox notification. We already have the small diamond which notifies us of (more or less) important things; one message more every few days would fit in nicely there.

  • 7
    This would help soooo much! Good shout,
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 15:24
  • 1
    It might fit inside the "Moderator tools" (the ones available when you have the privilege), but I'm not sure if people check that one often enough. Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 16:28
  • @SimonAndréForsberg I don't think so. My first thought was the "Links" page of the moderator tools with a simple list, but a live notification is more reliable.
    – Raphael
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 16:31
  • 2
    Worldbuilding frequently has multiple questions in the HNQ list, this wouldn't really be very helpful to us at all.
    – Tim B
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 16:50
  • @TimB How so? Because you don't usually want/have to act on the event, or because you would not want too frequent notifications?
    – Raphael
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 16:51
  • Both to be honest. We already get "more than 10 answers" auto flags popping up nearly every day to ignore. (Our community is good about flagging posts that actually need action and we get a lot of high answer-count questions). Wouldn't really want to add more.
    – Tim B
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 19:21
  • 5
    @TimB Fair enough. For us, 10 answers is way past the point of "somebody gotta do something!!". User flags are rare, but even if they come they only tell me "here's a crappy answer", not "be aware that this question may get lots of traffic of people who don't know our customs".
    – Raphael
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 22:28
  • Normally the view count is a good guide as to HNQ. When I scan the list of new posts if one suddenly starts racking up way more views then usually that's HNQ.
    – Tim B
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 7:23
  • 1
    SE team seems to be reluctant about exposing stuff like that: "It would amount to little more than a tool to feed speculation and paranoia..."
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 16:04
  • 3
    Maybe let the OP know, as well? ....I'd like to know when my questions go hot.
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 15:42
  • 1
    Closely related: (My answer to) the question Encourage active users to edit Hot Questions, especially titles. In the answer I propose putting hot questions in a review queue and/or issuing notifications about them. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 4:30
  • FWIW, https://stackexchange.com/ has an RSS feed for hot questions. It should be easy to monkey some tool together that monitors that feed and sends notifications in some way.
    – Raphael
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 11:20
  • Does “when” mean “before”?
    – neverMind9
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 14:58
  • 1
    @neverMind9 At the time, I didn't care about preventing a question from showing up. I wanted to know once it did show up so I could be quick to respond to the inevitable low-quality comment and answer storm. Now, I think that both would be nice: one before so we can clean up the candidate, and then after so we can monitor the incoming traffic.
    – Raphael
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 6:35

4 Answers 4


I would like to see this in the question page itself. Since the data already exists, it's not like the hotness points would have to be calculated every page view.

I imagine something like this:

With a tooltip showing hotness points, same as the title tooltip in the existing list.

  • 21
    You want to disqualify your self as an UX expert? ;)
    – rene
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 11:54
  • @rene right on spot! :P Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 12:11
  • 33
    I assume "HOT!" was meant to be blinking.
    – user259867
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 12:53
  • 1
    @Fundamental that could have been interesting test to see how many downvotes I can get... :D Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 13:30
  • 3
    @Fundamental Probably cursive or comic sans too!
    – bjb568
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 15:36
  • 11
    @bjb568 maybe glitter? i.sstatic.net/HPQZS.gif :D Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 15:42
  • 1
    this feature may need to be configurable per site, as there may be sites where moderators will find it useless and annoying
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 16:13
  • @gnat Since it's mostly to explain possible sudden raise in traffic on the question, the information, shown below "asked, viewed, active" in the right panel, would be in the right place and still not disturbing anybody. As well, a 10k tool could be there to list all recent hot questions, like it lists deletions for instance, and it could appear in the question's history, like tweets do.
    – yo'
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 0:13
  • 1
    @yo' I think that at most sites, particularly smaller ones, this would be convenient, useful and welcome. My concern was mostly about how it would be at Stack Overflow - per my observations, it is much different from the rest of the SE network in the way how their hot questions are handled by system and perceived by site community. I primarily would like some sort of a "safety switch" to keep this feature on sites where it is wanted and needed if it turns out that SO folks don't like it on their site
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 6:31
  • 2
    I've used this idea for my answer - hope you don't mind :) Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 16:59
  • 2
    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ lol, not at all! :) Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 17:30
  • 1
    A very similar suggestion has been made in Encourage active users to edit Hot Questions, especially titles. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 4:27
  • Which software have you used to create the image? (The “hot” text).
    – neverMind9
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 14:59
  • 2
    @neverMind Paint.NET Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 16:06

I've made a userscript using @ShadowWizard's idea of how this could be implemented.

enter image description here

// ==UserScript==
// @name         SE - is question hot?
// @namespace    http://stackexchange.com/users/4337810/%E1%94%95%E1%96%BA%E1%98%8E%E1%95%8A
// @version      1.0
// @description  Adds a message if the current question is in the top 30 most recent questions
// @author       ᔕᖺᘎᕊ (http://stackexchange.com/users/4337810/%E1%94%95%E1%96%BA%E1%98%8E%E1%95%8A)
// @match        *://*.stackexchange.com/*
// @match        *://*.stackoverflow.com/*
// @match        *://*.superuser.com/*
// @match        *://*.serverfault.com/*
// @match        *://*.askubuntu.com/*
// @match        *://*.stackapps.com/*
// @match        *://*.mathoverflow.net/*
// @require      https://cdn.rawgit.com/camagu/jquery-feeds/master/jquery.feeds.min.js
// @grant        none
// ==/UserScript==
$('#qinfo').after('<div id="feed"></div>');

    feeds: {
        se: 'http://stackexchange.com/feeds/questions'
    xml: true,
    entryTemplate: '<p></p>',
    loadingTemplate: '<div></div>',
    preprocess: function(feed) {
        if (document.URL == this.xml.find('link').attr('href')) {

function addStuff() {
    $('#feed').html('<p>In the top 30 most recent hot network questions!</p>');
    $('#question-header').prepend("<div title='this question is in the top 30 most recent hot network questions!' style='float:right; -ms-transform: rotate(30deg); -webkit-transform: rotate(30deg); transform: rotate(30deg); font-size: xx-large; color: red;'>HOT<div>");

You can use this script by installing my SE Optional Features userscript.

As SE does not provide hotness scores or hot network questions via the API, I've used their feed to get the information; but there's a catch - the feed only lists the top 30 most recent hot-network questions! So it might not work for older questions :(

  • 3
    It would probably make sense to remove the "%E1%94%95%E1%96%BA%E1%98%8E%E1%95%8A" slug from your @namespace and @author URIs, for in case you ever to decide your username on Stack Exchange. (Not that the URIs will stop working if you do change your username, but it seems better to use a name-agnostic URI.)
    – senshin
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 19:42
  • 3
    This does not really resolve my request (for that, we'd need at least an indicator in the question list), but thanks anyway. :)
    – Raphael
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 7:25

As per Now you can know if a question really hit the HNQ, this is now possible and implemented by Stack Exchange. There are now events in a post's revision history, slightly modified from the post above:

And also in the timeline, as a history event:

While it's not so obvious as mentioned in the accepted answer, perhaps not to annoy other people, it is at least shown somewhere and that's something!

  • 5
    That's good for diagnosis, but unfortunately not as an alarm system.
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 19:19

There is a related question How to add HNQ to chat room feed? where user @rene describes an RSS feed containing Hot Network Questions. It has options to filter by site, e.g. https://lackadaisical-appeal.glitch.me/hnq/chess.stackexchange.com would contain all HNQs from Chess Stack Exchange.

There it's discussed as a way of posting HNQs in a chatroom, but of course you can use the RSS feed in your own reader to get notified of new Hot Network Questions on a specific site.

  • Nice workaround, thanks!
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 21:07

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