Instead of commenting on an answer to an unrelated question, I'm creating a new question.

Q: How many entries out of all from the contest went into HNQ?

A: Sadly the new event that shows when a question hit the HNQ is not yet implemented in the StackExchange Data Explorer as far as can tell, judging by this comment from an SE employee. Even if it was this data was only made available during the contest. So you could possibly find out about a lot of them by manually checking every question that was submitted.

And the relevant comment stream is about checking the timeline of a post, which isn't something we can actually do, as far as I can tell. The alternative is to check the edit history of a post. But it's not always there and not all posts have an edit history.

Case in point: My question Writing in a Christian voice

This was a HNQ for a day or two. I know because I checked the sidebar and looked for what was on Writing and saw my post.

I've never edited that post and neither has anyone else, so there is no edit history. I have no clue how to get to a timeline. And there appears to be no other method.

How can you find out if a question was a HNQ at some point in its history?

2 Answers 2


We can use a chatbot

Over on rpg we are using a chatbot to monitor the HNQ feed for our site. See this meta where we discussed it.

The folks on the main meta site created feeds for each sites HNQs. The ones for writing are below:

HNQ writing.stackexchange.com posted by Writing

It is possible for mods or chatroom owners to add this feed to a chatbot. You can then read that bots history to when questions hit the HNQ. It also gets experience eyes on hot questions to preempt any potential issues.

So far this has been working pretty well and I suggest we implement something similar here.

  • There are only 3 posts on that list for Writing. All within the last 24 hours. Presumably they're all currently on the HNQ list. Is there a way to see historical data? Or is the idea to have a permanent chat room that always lists the posts and therefore keeps old ones around as old discussion? Thanks.
    – Cyn
    Mar 27, 2019 at 0:00
  • @Cyn That is a feed. The chatbot would post new links as they enter the HNQ. To view a history you go to the chat and look at the bot's message history.
    – linksassin Mod
    Mar 27, 2019 at 0:01
  • Okay, so as I thought in my last sentence.
    – Cyn
    Mar 27, 2019 at 0:03

You can see a posts revision history even if it has never been edited. This is the revision history for the unedited question you mentioned. There is just no navigable link to follow when a question has no edits. You need to manually change the address from (in your example)




The nice thing is you will assumedly be on the page with the question you want to look at. So simply edit the URL from /questions/ -> /posts/ and the title -> revisions

  • Cool, thanks. It's not real intuitive but it's helpful.
    – Cyn
    Mar 27, 2019 at 0:48

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