Findings & Observations  - 
What's hot and recommended based on +6 and 7 shares. What the...?
Arthur Radulescu's profile photoMartino Mosna's profile photoDan Petrovic's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photo
It's not uncommon, at least for the local italian hot topics. In fact, some posts go hot even with 5 shares.
Do you reckon that's a manual ping or something algorithmic at play?
Algorithmic, I guess. If the first 5-7 shares / +1 are very close in time, then the post triggers the local hot topics very easily.

It's really really exploitable.
(in fact, there's a very well organized group of people here in Italy that makes some topics go hot only for one reason: TROLLING. It's quite fun...)
That's scarry. You should block this post from spreading +Dan Petrovic as It might give ideas to "some people" :)
Another thing that I noticed: there's some kind of evalutation period between the time YOU see the post going hot and the time it's massively delivered in the stream of other people.

So the post really goes hot only if it's shared + plussed by some other people in that "slowed-down" evalutation period.
You seem to be the "hotness" expert! Write an article.
And there is personalization of what's hot beyond just localization. 
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