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A little-known fact about Stack Exchange is that, on the Hot Network Questions list at SE.com, in the top right corner of the page, there's a little box for "Today's Featured Site": each day, a different site on the network gets "featured" in that spot.

Yeah, it's a little-known fact. I've met people who've been prominent users and moderators for years and never knew (or maybe forgot) that that existed. But choosing (even randomly) a network site each day to promote is actually a really nice thing to do: it helps to spread visibility of the network, and while writing this answer I came to the conclusion that promotion at the site level - not the question level (like HNQ, where people see individual question titles) and not the broad topic level (like the new footer, where people see very broad topics of interest like "Science" or "Culture & recreation") - is the best way to cross-promote within the network.

Especially for sites where the existing posts are skewed towards a particular subset of the scope: the HNQ will naturally be even more skewed the same way, and it becomes a vicious circle wherein new users joining over time will have a stronger and stronger tendency to have interests in that same subset. Promoting the site as a whole might be a good way to bring in people who're interested in other parts of that topic, not necessarily the same subset that the existing community is weighted towards. And diversity of interests and topics is a good way to make pretty much any site thrive.

So, how about doing something else with the "Today's Featured Site" thing? Like sticking it somewhere more visible than a corner of a page that almost nobody ever visits, for a start. I'm leaving this post very open, as I don't have a clear notion myself of how it could/should be used. Ideas, anyone?

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  • 8
    I am one of those people. I've literally never seen this before. I will accept interview and autograph requests, but only on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    – Cody Gray
    Nov 18 at 22:13
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    Like move the "Today's Featured Site" near the HNQ list on every page? (or almost every)
    – Peilonrayz
    Nov 18 at 22:21
  • As moderator on one of the smaller sites, I'm not sure I'd be in favour of this. It would mean an extra influx of poor questions every time we'd be featured. We get enough improper redirects already.
    – Mast
    Nov 19 at 12:06
  • @Mast I think the idea is that people attracted by this banner would be better candidates for the site than those that come through other, current means (eg. migrations, hot network questions, etc.). Folks attracted by the site's actual title and description should be way more likely to ask better, more on-topic questions, right?
    – zcoop98
    Nov 19 at 16:15
  • @zcoop98 I have my doubts about that. IMO it will attract more attention, incl. a lot of people saying "I've heard about this Code Review place. You should move your question there." without taking a look at scope at all.
    – Mast
    Nov 19 at 16:48
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I'd stick it right below the "Hot Network Questions" but only in homepage view of a site, not inside questions, so it won't be too much noise:

mockup of featured site in homepage

This way while browsing a site's questions list, users will see this and can decide to go and check the featured site.

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  • How about search result pages?
    – bobble
    Nov 19 at 14:51
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    Wouldn't at all mind this below HNQ, I think that's a really fitting spot for it. I'd probably make it reactive to the "Hide HNQ" setting so users can hide it like they can with HNQs too.
    – zcoop98
    Nov 19 at 16:17
  • @bobble not sure, main motive is to show it only when there's lots of content in the page already. Nov 20 at 8:01

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