Shamelessly ripping off Monica Cellio's post on The Workplace Meta.
The HNQ list consists of hot questions from around the network of Stack Exchange sites. It's visible on the Stack Exchange front page and on the right column of other sites.
If a question makes the list, it generates quite a lot of traffic. One might expect that especially smaller stacks could profit from it and gain new users.
It has often been met with criticism, though:
- Hot questions are not the best and most useful ones, but the most controversial ones.
- It's not clear how or if stacks profit from the additional traffic. It may be short-lived and restricted to the hot question.
HNQ may even have adverse effects by making stacks appear not so serious. In this case, HNQ would be detrimental.
Parenting.SE, although not the most active site, has had its fair share of HNQ questions and they certainly create more work for moderators. Comments from drive-by users leading to discussions, too many answers etc. Actually, SE is considering to change it some time in the future (see that link's answers for more critique).
Quoting the post that inspired this:
Do we, as a community, want to opt out of having our questions shown in the Hot Network Questions list for 90 days?
What are you thoughts? Do you think it's worth investigating whether HNQ does us more good than bad (or vice versa)? What do you think about HNQ?