Right now there are multiple questions that have been on the Hot Network Questions list for a large number of days:
There are also seven that have been there for four days.
I do not see what value a question sitting on the HNQ has when it is there over a week. They clog the HNQ and make it harder for other questions to get there, lowering overall exposure to other sites. They also disproportionately give reputation to users on those sites who have answers there, which results in a dilution of the meaning of reputation.
It is also not uncommon for questions to stay there this long.
My recommendation is a simple change to add a hard cutoff that when a question is more than 72 hours (3 days) old, it no longer is present in the HNQ list.
This would be as simple as adding a date filter into the query generating the list - the hotness formula itself doesn't need to change in order to effect this result.
The goal of this suggestion is not any of the following:
- Comprehensively fixing HNQ (there are other problems with it)
- Revamping the calculation
- Imposing site limits/etc
It is purely to add a basic and simple filter to the query in order to more quickly cycle questions through the list.