While browsing math.meta, I noticed that the HNQ section was on the side:
But that isn't what I come to a meta site for. Perhaps, could we have an HNQ chosen from meta posts replacing this?
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That's not what the per-site metas are for.
The purpose (or at least, a purpose) of HNQ is to draw the attention of people who do not frequent a given site to a question which they might find interesting. In this way, we hope to facilitate cross-pollination of sites, show people content from outside their usual milieu, and promote the growth of the sites which are lucky enough to get featured. In short: we explicitly want people who have never visited a given site before to click through to it via HNQ.
The purpose of a per-site meta is to serve as a discussion forum and informal steering committee for its associated community. People who have never visited the site before are not really members of the community (yet). So if we advertise a question on a per-site meta, then we are encouraging people to participate who may have very little context on the discussion. This is unlikely to improve the quality of the meta, and may worsen it by adding noise.
Perhaps we could temper this by only showing questions from the communities of which you are a member. However, I immediately see a number of issues:
I believe that nothing good can come of this, and do not think this feature should be adopted.
Are you really interested in questions from other sites' metas if you don't participate on those sites? I don't think anybody wants to see a (meta) HNQ list full of:
Per-site metas are advertised on their corresponding main sites. Those are the people who should care.
Besides, the last thing any per-site meta needs is to have people who don't know anything about the site, and who can upvote but not downvote, show up in droves to weigh in because somebody made a clickbait title about rude comments or something.