What's this? The Hot Network Questions (HNQ) list is that list of random questions from random sites you'll see in the bottom of the sidebar on most site pages. It displays questions that have attracted significant attention measured by an abstract “hotness” score based on how rapidly the question's vote count is accelerating. Since HNQ brings more attention and more votes, it frequently creates a self-perpetuating cycle where hot questions either fall off quickly or stay for days at a time.
Recent discussions on the network have been re-evaluating the Hot Network Questions feature, including what it does well and all the ways it doesn't work very well. Stack Overflow, Inc., the company that runs the Stack Exchange network, is evaluating ways to modify the feature or retire it to replace it with something else. There are positive things the HNQ theoretically accomplishes but also major problems.
In light of these discussions many communities including our own have been re-assessing their relationship to the feature.
I've reached out to find out if us opting out of the HNQ feature is among our options. It looks like it is an option if the community is on board.
Do we as a community want RPG Stack Exchange to opt out of the Hot Network Questions feature?
Here is what opting out of the HNQ would look like:
RPG Stack Exchange questions will no longer show up in the Hot Network Questions list.
The Hot Network Questions list will continue to show up on our site, presenting questions from other sites that are opted in.
At some point in the future, after the HNQ feature is revised or replaced, we will have the opportunity to assess whether we want to opt back in to the new system or remain opted out. (Honestly I can't promise it will unfold exactly like that—it might wind up that whenever the new thing is released, everyone automatically gets opted in again—but the point is we can probably evaluate whether we want to be in or out of that thing as well.)
If for some reason being opted out of the HNQ is really not working for us, we can opt back in. This wouldn't happen without community buy-in, just like this change.
According to site analytics, HNQ accounts for ≤5% of overall site visits, so we do not anticipate an overall significant drop in site visits.
HNQ is largely responsible for those questions that get answers scoring 100+ in less than a week, so that will probably stop happening. This is a minority of our questions.
There have been requests for feature changes to the HNQ system such as letting diamond moderators remove questions from HNQ, waiting periods and alerts before questions hit HNQ, etc. If these are implemented they'll be part of the new redesigned system we can opt back in to.
Here is the process of what we'll do here in this thread:
We'll discuss here whether we want to opt out as a community.
After 2 weeks (December 5th), if there is strong community support for opting out and not strong objection, the diamond moderator team will ask the CMs to opt this site out as described above. They will action that request.
If there is not strong support, we will not opt out, and nothing will change from as they are now.
No action will be taken before 2 weeks have elapsed (i.e. before December 5th) so as to allow for enough time for discussion and voting.
Please show whether you are in support or against opting out with answering and/or voting like normal. I'm going to be posting my own answer representing my own position, and I'm going to leave it to others to provide their own positions.