Posted by Christi Ginger on 8 August 2008.
Based on your feedback, we pushed out some changes to the hotness formula this morning! We always get a lot of questions about hotness, so I'll do a little refresher on what hotness is and then explain what changed this morning.
Hotness is determined automatically by factors including number of votes, comments, views, and favorites. A photo's hotness is not permanent, but can change based on how the community is responding to other photos in the theme, and we recalculate hotness daily. That's why even if nothing changes on your individual photo, its hotness could change based on how popular other photos within the theme are.
When we first added hotness to the site, it awarded hotness to the top 250 photos from each theme, which worked really well since most of our themes had a ton of photos, and this would just highlight the ones the community really loved. Since then, we've added a ton of other types of themes, like one-week photo challenges, that don't have nearly as many photos. For these smaller themes, nearly every photo could be hot, and it led to quite a lot of confusion. People were wondering, why is my photo in Faith with 20 favorites and a ton of props not hot, but my photo in the Photo Challenge with 0 favorites and 0 comments is?
To account for the different sizes of themes, starting this morning, we are now awarding hotness to the top percentage of photos for smaller themes. This way, hotness within smaller themes like photo challenges will truly mean that the photo was most liked by the JPG community.
We hope this change will make hotness better and more meaningful, and we definitely want to hear your thoughts, so drop us a line!