I was browsing through Stack Exchange the other day and more often than not I found myself in a situation which led me to make this post. I hope you find it useful.

So we all know there is the Hot Network Questions section on the right side of every question page and for me it's so great because it gives me a nice overview of the interesting questions asked right now in the network and what I personally love about it is that it is often guaranteed the you'll see a real question with real useful informative answers following it because it caught the attention of many users. For reference this is what I'm talking about:

Hot Network Questions section

So we all know this section is great.

Now sometimes when I check this section, I don't see some of my more favorite categories so I have to refresh the whole page to get the new set of hot network questions. I'd love to have a button there to allow me refresh only the Hot Network Questions section without refreshing the whole page.

By the way, I know you can go here to see the hot questions in a list but then again the section in the question page is still my favorite way of checking the best questions in the network at the present time because as you are browsing the questions and answers you are seeing them as well.

I know some people may consider this as a very small and insignificant change, but for me at least it made sense to have this feature.

  • 3
    I don't see the real utility here. If you're staying on a question page long enough to fiddle with refreshing the Hot Questions sidebar, one of two things is probably true: (1) You're just distracting yourself from the real reason you came to the question to begin with - this doesn't really help you or the community. (2) You're doing a disservice to yourself by trying to use a feature here that's implemented better elsewhere. Move on to the main list. – Iszi Apr 7 '16 at 23:01
  • @Iszi As much as I agree with your viewpoint, in case (1) It might happen that you are on the home page idling/waiting to answer questions and not on any 'question' page. In case (2), the main list has more details of the questions(tags, time asked, OP etc.) Hence the I can see less number of questions in one view(glance?) than I see under the "Hot Network Questions" tab(Better UX perhaps?). Moreover since I am not familiar with most of the questions, I probably wont understand and don't need to see those additional question details. Hence I strongly feel that this feature would be helpful :) – Mandeep Jain Dec 14 '16 at 8:50

As a workaround, you can just paste this code into your browser console to get a HNQ reload icon:

var hnqId = "hot-network-questions";
var hnqPanel = $("#" + hnqId);
hnqPanel.css("position", "relative");
function ApplyReloadIcon() {
    var reloadImg = $("<img />").attr("id", "btnReloadHNQ").
        attr("src", "http://i.stack.imgur.com/8FzqD.png").
            "position": "absolute", 
            "top": "0px", 
            "right": "0px", 
            "width": "20px", 
            "height": "20px", 
            "cursor": "pointer"
    reloadImg.bind("click", function() {
        $.get(".", function(response) {
            hnqPanel.html($(response).find("#" + hnqId).html());

This will append such an icon:

And when clicked, it will invoke AJAX request that will refresh the Hot Network Questions panel contents only.

  • 1
    It only shows 5 because the lis have classes dno and js-hidden which hide them (for some reason). var $newQuestions = $(response).find("#" + hnqId); $newQuestions.find("li.js-hidden").removeClass("dno js-hidden"); $("#" + hnqId).html($newQuestions.html()); ApplyReloadIcon(); (which removes the classes) fixes it – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Apr 8 '16 at 8:51
  • 1
    @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ wow, awesome! actually single line hnqPanel.find(".js-hidden").show(); is enough, thanks for finding this! :-) – Shadow9 Apr 8 '16 at 9:00
  • lol, that's a much easier way :P – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Apr 8 '16 at 9:08
  • @ᔕᖺᘎᕊ well, both ways work... all ways leading to Rome... ;) – Shadow9 Apr 8 '16 at 9:31

I think such a feature would be distracting, as we would definitely not want a lot of divs moving/updating around, when we are doing what we want to do on SE, which is read and write posts which are helpful to the community.

I understand that HNQ sidebar is an important component of SE. However, animating it to be refreshed regularly would just distract the user, thus being counter-productive.

However, you can install @ShadowWizard's script for now, if you really want a HNQ refresh button. But, an automated refresh animation is a NO, please.

  • 2
    I don't think the OP ever meant for this to be automatic. If so, then I'm also against it. – Shadow9 Apr 8 '16 at 8:42
  • 1
    As @ShadowWizard mentioned, I meant it to be by the user's request. (e.g. a button), not automatic. – Sobhan Apr 8 '16 at 8:54
  • Having a button makes sense. However, I would agree with the comment from @Iszi – Dawny33 Apr 8 '16 at 9:01

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