Is there a way to know which SE sites have contributed the most to the Hot Questions list in a given time or so?

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    You know what would be nice? If the SEDE table for Posts included date fields WentHotFrom and WentHotTo (or just a WentHot bit field), so we could tell questions that went HNQ and correlate with other data. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 16:10
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    @Mat'sMug yes, a very good idea! Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 16:13
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    Potential candidates are PPCG, ELU, Sci-fi, and maybe a bunch of others. I almost never see a HNQ bar without a Sci-fi question, but sometimes ELU bikeshedding drops like flies.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:36
  • @IͶΔ You skipped Travel.SE... Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:44
  • I didn't @Heidel. I don't think it appears as often as Sci-fi or ELU. Also BTW sometimes puzzling.SE floods the page too.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:45
  • @IͶΔ maybe not as often, but there isn't a moment in any given day without one or two questions from TSE.. Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:46
  • I'm just gonna keep saying no. :P
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:46
  • @IͶΔ until this feature is available ;) then you will change your mind ;) Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 18:47
  • @IͶΔ Have you never, ever in your life heard of Worldbuilding? Never clicked on a title like How can Facebook sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu? You've got to be kidding me. If you've actually never heard of WB... I feel bad.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:17
  • 2
    WB doesn't even lift. Pfft. @Ziz
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Currently you would need to use your own means to track hot questions in order to obtain such an information. This seems to be doable, for example using script referred to in How can I get a HOT network questions week digest?

Script that automatically will send you the amount of hot questions that you want as often as you like...

As for Stack Exchange, they don't do such a tracking and don't seem to intend to, not even for internal purposes. If you are interested in their reasons, these were discussed in details here: Add an audit log to record when particular question enters and leaves hot list

Worth noting that if your goal is to estimate which site provided most questions to the list (and not, say, which site questions spent most time exposed to sidebar audience) this can be easier.

For that, you need to take into account that system treats some sites in a special way. The winner in amount of hot questions is probably Stack Overflow, because of a particular adjustment that impacts the way how their "older" questions compete with other sites questions in the hot list (discussed eg here if you're interested).

Smaller sites questions stick in the list for several days due to so called "snowball effect". It's when anomalous amount of upvotes and answers from hot list audience keeps their hotness score high, thus making it harder for other questions from these sites to enter the list (there is special adjustment intended to prevent too many questions from single site to be in the list).

As opposed to that, Stack Overflow questions tend to leave the list much faster - typically after several hours - making room for other questions from that site to enter the list.

Compared to smaller sites, snowball effect in Stack Overflow questions is much weaker and because of that their older questions stick in the hot list very rarely, so that newer questions have much better chances to enter the list.

This difference most likely results in SO having largest amount of questions that ever entered hot list (although their questions spend less time each in the list compared to questions from smaller sites).

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    If the number of posts for each site that can enter the HNQ list is controlled, then there's no way to have accurate information anyway. Thank you for the great answer. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:18
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    @HeidelBerGensis yeah 100% accurate information seems to be impossible to obtain. As for the number of posts, worth noting that it seems to be controlled indirectly, by lowering "score" of the questions on predefined algorithm. Like, if top scored question at the site is rated at 100% of their score, second is rated at 98% of its score, third at 96% and so on
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:41
  • unless we come up with some sort of an index that takes the predefined "hotness score" into account.. Or, simply makes a query to get what actual questions would have been into the hot list without considering any trimming algorithms the see what sites really have the biggest effects, or more accurately "would have".. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:47
  • @HeidelBerGensis I think that trying to account for every tweak of the algorithm gets complicated and difficult to understand very quickly. My preferred approach is "black box", that is to to simply observe what gets in and out of the list, that's why I mentioned script "that automatically will send you the amount of hot questions that you want as often as you like..."
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:58
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    true, that's a good approach, I am more like curious about to know what would be the biggest sites in case of no algorithms are in place to limit the questions from big sites, I do not care if the result was like "98% SO, 1% Superuser, 0.02% ELU, etc.".. just pure curiosity. but for real life stats, your approach is much better for sure. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 21:01

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