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If you click the StackExchange menu on the top left of the screen you get to see all the 'hottest' question. Quite low down is Are there any adventures for younger children?

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How is that figure calculated? Here is how it is calculated, and how can we boost ours so more SE users see them?

(log(Qviews)*4) + ((Qanswers * Qscore)/5) + sum(Ascores)
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((Qage+1) - ((Qage - Qupdated)/2)) ^ 1.5

So it uses the Log of the Views a question has (Qviews), some measure of No. of answers and Upvotes for the question, and the Sum of the scores on the answers. These add to the 'Hotness'.

It also uses the Question age and time since it was updated. These factors lessen 'Hotness'.

If we want to increase the hotness we need to be less stingy with upvotes across the board, especially the answers. I'm not asking for them to be artificially increased, but people to consider if 2-3 answers give a good answer consider voting for all of them, as opposed to just one for the 'best'. Scroll down the page, and don't just upvote the most voted answer on it's own. Also, it looks like the more and *slower we are at updating the question, the lower the hotness will be.

What do people think?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Upvotes are cheap and, if I remember rightly, explicitly encouraged - it would seem that this is another reward for providing positive feedback for good answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Withers Jan 27 '12 at 0:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly, I never get why people are so stingy with them! \$\endgroup\$ – Pureferret Jan 27 '12 at 8:20
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I think the answers to your questions are no different than the answers to questions about improving the site in general.

Draw more traffic to the site.

Views contribute to a question's hotness score, and those views come from visitors. Continuing to spread the word about RPG will draw more people to view more questions.

In some respects, low views per question is simply a limitation of the current user pool. Gaming went through a similar situation during its beta period: before it reached critical mass, there were a lot of people who played only certain games and couldn't answer questions about others. If we attract more people to the site, then that improves our odds of having people who are subject matter experts available to answer a question on a given game.

Vote up good questions and answers.

One of the best ways to encourage quality contributions is by rewarding them when you find them. Again, we should be rewarding quality rather than just contribution - what we reward is what we'll get - but it's good to read through all answers to a question rather than just the top one, and to occasionally revisit questions to see if new and better answers have shown up. (That's one reason they show up on the home page.)

Provide quality answers for questions.

If you see a question that interests you, but you don't have resources with you to answer it, bookmark it and come back later, even if there's already a good answer for that question, and even if there's already an accepted answer. (Remember, one of the stats they look at for beta sites is answers per question.) Put together a good answer, especially for well-thought-out questions, and the person who asked will come back with another good question, hopefully drawing more visitors, more views, more upvotes ...

Don't give in to the temptation to reward low-quality work.

Just as rewarding effort leads to more effort, rewarding low-quality questions and answers will lead to more low-quality questions and answers, and even if that provides a temporary boost to the site, over time it will hurt us. The penalty for downvoting questions was removed for a reason - too many people were reluctant to downvote bad questions. At the same time, remember that we want to make those questions good if we can. If we can point out what's wrong with those questions, or even fix them ourselves while addressing the OP's concerns, we'll have more good questions, and that will feed back into the points above.

Of course there are other things we can do, like making questions more awesome (within reason; it's possible to make a question not-awesome by using the wrong words in the title), but I think continuing to focus on these areas will lead to more hot questions and more visibility across the SE network.

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