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I think that added HNQs to the chat feed will be useful information to have now that there is an official way to determine and indicate this with the recent HNQ update.

This will raise awareness of questions as they hit HNQ and alert members of the community that are in the chat to help watch out for any signs that issues are arising and potentially help to mitigate (vote, flag, etc.) any issues that arise.

I think the most helpful way to implement it would be the same way that Oracle is in that the HNQs are posted One-box style in the chat feed as they hit HNQ status (as opposed to putting them in the upper left hand corner feeds).

Some clever people on Big Meta have already come up with HNQ feeds for every stack and I think using that is probably a good option. That post links to a page listing all of the feeds and ours is:

HNQ rpg.stackexchange.com posted by RPG

Does this sound useful to anyone else?


This suggestion has been posted to the feed suggestion thread.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: RPG General Chat: vote for your feeds! \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 15 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do we know the maximum number of times this could occur in a day? I know that we can only have 5 at once and they last 72 hours, so there's a functional limit. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Mar 15 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ HNQ gets updated every 15 minutes. Questions can rotate off and be replaced by a new different HNQ 15 minutes later. We would remove the feed if it gets too noisy in chat. (That means 72 hours is the maximum possible time spent in HNQ, 15 minutes is the minimum.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 15 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not only related, but I'd suggest we should not add the HNQ to the feed unless it gets posted as an answer to the usual "vote for feeds" meta and receives the net +6 (IIRC) we've used for the other feeds. So this might be a good place to hash out unforeseen consequences beforehand, but I think the "usual" course is still the way to go. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 16 at 1:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I looked there and wasn't quite sure if posting there was the best or correct option. Do you think that is a bit unweildy to keep posting there? There are 27 answers there, do you think any new proposals would get enough attention even to get a fair shot? Also I got the impression that one was for the ticker box only and not for posting in the chat itself (like Oracle). Not sure what the difference is between them, if any from a technical standpoint. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 16 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, main feed vs. ticker. I hadn't grokked that. Then I'll leave it to wider heads. Or, at least, heads that read things with more care =) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Mar 16 at 2:11
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It'd be good to test out.

It seems simple enough to implement, based on your description. The only potential problem I foresee is that it might get too "noisy", if too many questions hit HNQ within a short period of time and thus clog up the chat with repeated messages about it, but there are some limits already implemented for Hot Network Questions, as goodguy5 and doppelgreener point out in comments on your question itself:

Do we know the maximum number of times this could occur in a day? I know that we can only have 5 at once and they last 72 hours, so there's a functional limit. – goodguy5

HNQ gets updated every 15 minutes. Questions can rotate off and be replaced by a new different HNQ 15 minutes later. We would remove the feed if it gets too noisy in chat. (That means 72 hours is the maximum possible time spent in HNQ, 15 minutes is the minimum.) – doppelgreener

Given those caveats, I think it's fine to test this out and see how it is. At worst, it'll be disabled if it bothers people or causes problems.

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This feed just showed me my own question

In my opinion this feed has already proven useful. I didn't know my question was on HNQ until it showed up in the feed. Super useful and nice to know. I don't know of another way to be notified as quickly about the question hitting the HNQ.

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Having had this feature turned on for a few hours, I have some feedback on how I've experienced the feature so far.

It might be better to populate these in the feed in the top-left corner instead.

Posted directly in chat, it reminds me a little too much of the way that Twitter, Facebook, etc. will inline advertisements into their feeds, and while this is obviously not the same thing, I think it makes the chat messages a little too noisy.

These posts should have a clear prefix

: HNQ entries are now posted by a dedicated feed bot named Hot RPG Questions.

Regardless of how we feel about the previous suggestion, there's a few other changes I would make as well just to improve the quality of these posts:

  • If it stays in the actual chat, the User-Bot should have a different icon (maybe a different Bot-account?) that clearly signals that it's tracking Hot Network Questions.
  • It should have a prefix, like "HNQ: Why does my DM keep adding pounds of dead fish to my character's inventory?"
  • If it stays in the actual chat, it should probably prefer a message somewhat similar to what the SmokeDetector bot does, where it populates with a short message. Something like:

    "Why does my DM keep adding pounds of dead fish to my character's inventory?" has been added to the Hot Network Questions list!

I like knowing when questions show up in the list; I just think some aspects of its presentation should be tweaked.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I completely agree with your second point. The first time the post popped up I immediately thought that we needed at least some sort of indication of what the feed actually is. I'm not sure what can be tweaked but I think the examples you gave are good indicators that we likely have at least some ability to do so. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 18 at 18:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ We can update the user name and icon for sure. I would prefer not to put it in the ticker since that defeats the point — I can't drop into the chat room to see what's hit HNQ, I have to already be in chat as it happens and so must anyone else. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 18 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener That's a good point. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Mar 19 at 0:08
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More spam in chat? Please don't

I'll say "thank, but no thanks." We have had enough spam in chat already before this new addition. I realize that tastes vary on this matter, in terms of 'how many feeds / auto posts are the right amount?'

To me, chat is where we talk to each other. Spam is not needed, and I block the Oracle since I find it to be spam.

As it is, the feed notation in the upper left corner suffices. We need no further spam in chat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It might also be worth noting that this has already been acted on and implemented (the way you worded this makes it unclear if you noticed). Have you found the increase in posts to be against your liking? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 20 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose In a word, yes. To me, chat is where we talk to each other. spam and is not needed, and I block the Oracle since I find it to be spam. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 20 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ cool just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. It might be worth tweaking your answer to show that your are not pleased with the new increase in answers rather than a hypothetical increase. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 20 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Not sure you are grokking what I am trying to get across. Maybe my phrasing is less that adequate. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 20 at 2:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I made a tweak to your wording which conveys what I meant. I think it more effectively communicates that you are unhappy with the change as it is rather than unhappy with the idea of a hypothetical change. I just think actual observed issues are a bit more compelling than hypothetical issues. Feel free to revert it of course if I've strayed from your intended meaning. (I at least am pretty sure I understand what you are saying) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 20 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Tweak was close enough for the time being. been a long day, I'll revisit in the morning when caffeine offers more brain. Thanks, my friend. :) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 20 at 2:58

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