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What is the name of a small unluxurious restaurant?

42 votes? Nearly 10k views? 20 answers? In only one week? I can't believe it. I even had thought about skipping this question with a thought: "Nah, restaurant is good enough. Not worth my time to research about it".

I really have no idea why it is so attractive. Can you explain why? In the scale in which the maximum is the hottest question you have ever seen, how do you score the heat of this question?

  • 3
    In addition to what Andrew said, it's one of those questions which allows many possible answers. A question which can only have one or two correct answers doesn't last long on the hot network. Anyone could answer because everyone has seen a cheap looking diner/snackbar/hole in the wall/restaurant at one point or another in their lives. And it's one of those questions where you don't have to be an "expert" in English to recognize the right or good answer. – Mari-Lou A Sep 29 '15 at 13:04
  • It’s probably just me, but I get mildly frustrated when I see early answers that ignore the question’s tags & yet still get tons of up-votes (& are sometimes even ultimately accepted). (please note, this is very mild frustration, ‘cause I really don’t care; but the following might help to explain the phenomenon that you describe): What I see with very mild frustration, perhaps others see as an invitation to jump into the fray with similarly off-topic (re the tags) answers w/little fear of getting down-voted &, who knows, maybe with the hope of getting a few up votes for their OT efforts. – Papa Poule Sep 29 '15 at 13:45
  • @Mari-LouA nice explain. I guess you should make your comment as an answer, because you are actually explaining why the question is attractive, while Andrew's answer only focuses on how the algorithm makes the question hot. – Ooker Sep 29 '15 at 16:39
  • Similar thing going on here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/277168/…. All it took was a few small debates regarding geographical differences and somehow it blew up... Perhaps also the fact that is was a very easy question to answer that people jumped on it. – Lamar Latrell Oct 2 '15 at 2:59
  • @Ooker, It's the "cross cultural" aspect that is attractive. – Pacerier Oct 3 '15 at 10:38
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    @PapaPoule: are you talking about the "single-word-requests" tag? unfortunately, that tag is the default for both single word requests and short phrase requests. Maybe the two tags should have been merged after all! If the accepted answer is a phrase, I think it's clear the original poster did not actually require a single word. – herisson Oct 7 '15 at 22:05
  • Yeah, of course it becomes clear once an answer is accepted. Like I said, it's probably (even obviously) just me. @sumelic – Papa Poule Oct 7 '15 at 23:08
  • Ironically, I bet a good number of the 358 current viewers of this question, who otherwise would not have, afterwards went on to read the offending question........like I did. :P – Wesley Smith Oct 12 '15 at 5:56
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On English and ELL.SE, questions like the following are popular:

  1. A simple question
  2. No single answer
  3. Many potential answers
  4. Colloquial answers, or regionally specific ones
  5. The many potential answers come easily to mind

These thesaurus questions, as I call them, tend to garner interest simply because they are very accessible: everyone knows an answer, often one which has not previously been posted, and their contribution is likely valid. As such they gain a lot of views ("Oh, I know this!") and answers, therefore votes etc.

  • ... and when a "good" answer is suggested, it's easily recognizable. The problem arises when there are three or four equally valid answers. The more "good" answers a question attracts, the more popular the question is. – Mari-Lou A Oct 10 '15 at 11:11
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    And once the cart is rolling, a high view count attracts even more viewers. – Bookeater Oct 10 '15 at 16:28
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It made the "Hot Network Questions" list which is shown on the right of many Stack Exchange pages. It's the successor to the "supercollider" which used to appear in the page header.

This will usually artificially inflate a question's popularity and voting. (But that question also includes pictures, which are always popular and will guarantee upvotes.)

And it's a bit of a pain, because we get all sorts of contributions on such questions from people who don't really know English, let alone what's being asked about. Most of the featured questions end up being protected to save them from low-rep users.

The algorithm which selects which Network questions are "hot" is explained on Meta.SE.

  • I mean, I have had some questions that made to the hot list, but this one is supper hot. Why? – Ooker Sep 28 '15 at 12:11
  • I think it gained a huge number of votes (on the question and all the answers) very quickly. In this case it was probably the large number of answers and their high vote count which was important. It would probably be better if the formula limited the number of questions whose votes counted. – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '15 at 12:27
  • So do you mean that the interestingness of the answers makes my question more interesting? – Ooker Sep 28 '15 at 12:30
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    The formula is in the Meta.SE question I linked to. Answer votes are important. – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '15 at 12:31
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Because single word requests are fun, and they're questions that beginners can understand. They also allow you to discuss concepts you know about but haven't talked about before because there isn't a word for it.

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    True, but this particular question has an added bonus: Everyone has a good memory of eating in a place like that! – J.R. Oct 2 '15 at 10:00

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