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Ask HN: What are your favorite active tech-related subreddits comparable to HN?
151 points by qz_ on Nov 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 91 comments

http://reddit.com/r/programming Top Stories are almost same

The level of discussion is not as high as here though IMO.

My experiences with the subreddit have been negative. For some reason, most comments are very negative and bitter for no good reason.

Wait are we talking about r/programming or HN here???

Good point!

Ya you can say that, But IMO it all depends on the Topic.

Right now the only replies list reddit and lobste.rs. That's really depressing :/

Are there really no other decent online communities out there? I'm increasingly disenfranchised with reddit and lobste.rs is invite-only (not my cup of tea). I've been poking around the various *chans to see if I can brave the noise and chaos in the hope that I'll occasionally find a similar calibre of info as what I find on here.

Unless the title's been edited, it does say "tech-related subreddits", one would expect reddit to feature heavily in the replies :)

Unfortunately there's not much on the chans either. The ones I used to browse have generally been overtaken, even on tech/programming boards with threads complaining about diversity or they are thinly-veiled alt-right recruitment posts.

I haven't been there for a while, but Lainchan isn't all that bad. Quite slow, though.

Lainchan is pretty good but also glacially slow. Many threads stay open for years. The level of conversation is reasonably high as long as you stick to specific threads. The /g/ boards of the world are almost universally garbage.

> Lainchan is pretty good but also glacially slow. Many threads stay open for years.

No kidding. There are still threads from when I first found the site (2014).

Slowness is a feature, not a bug, right? It helps encourage thoughtful posting and civil discussion. :)

If you want more activity, post relevant and interesting projects and thoughts.

Right, which is why I like Lobsters. The pace of Lainchan though is a bit too slow, even when I try to post. It's not that the content is bad, it's just that there's so little of it I eventually forget to check the site.

lainchain has a fairly civil and decent programming board, slanting towards beginners but still friendly.

You shouldn't cut yourself out over "invite-only", especially when the site itself tells you where to get an invite. It's a small speed-bump to keep out folks without basic politeness and problem-solving skills, not some sort of elitist thing.

The cold fact of the matter is that any community that pitches a wide tent and allows for everyone to join and talk about whatever is going to be unable to maintain a good signal-to-noise ratio...communities that wish to avoid that need to remain focused and conscious of what content they want and do not want.

It's possible to say "this is content that doesn't belong here" while at the same time not painting the content or submitter as deplorable.

If you have any interest in firearms or warfare/military history, /k/ can be surprisingly good at times along with operatorchan. Those are obviously very niche though.

> I've been poking around the various *chans to see if I can brave the noise and chaos

Make Overchan one of your hops, there's a huge updated list of chans there:


> lobste.rs is invite-only (not my cup of tea).

I visited lobste.rs once, liked what I saw, realized it was invite only and then I never went back there.

> realized it was invite only

Send a PM to the creator Joshua Stein asking for a invite link then?


/r/ppc, /r/adops and /r/analytics

These three tend to have a pretty high signal-to-noise ratio, particularly when asking very advanced and technical questions.

From personal interactions I can vouch for there being many senior to exec level industry folks from a healthy mix of ad tech companies, networks, agencies, brands, etc. on both the buy and sell side.

Everyone is pretty friendly, so while asking basic questions might just get you a link to go RTFM (and really the official docs are often the best starting point...) everyone is pretty friendly and helpful.

Great for those trying to learn more about digital media and analytics all the way up to people with questions or who want to chat about stuff in the industry like header bidding, attribution, enterprise analytics troubleshooting, etc.

And the best part is since we all are living and breathing advertising for a living, we have a pretty low tolerance for blatant sales plugs and content marketing spam like on some other subs.

In my opinion there isn't anything about Reddit that is like HN. It's why I stopped reading Reddit and came here. Too many haters and trolls on Reddit.

There is https://lobste.rs which is great (not a subreddit but it's very similar)

I found Lobsters some time ago through my blog analytics when one of my posts got some traffic from there. Reached out to my (limited) personal network in the tech sphere to see if I could land an invite, but nobody had ever heard of it. Didn't feel comfortable messaging random users for one, so I gave up. If anyone is monitoring this thread and sending invites, I'd love to have one.

Email me, chris@gstaff.org and I'll shoot you an invite. (your profile doesn't list an email)

The top post has 43 points and the rest average around 10. Is it safe to say that not a lot of people use the site?

Signup by invitation only, and having retired before it started I don't know anyone in it who I would feel comfortable asking for one.

I can send you (or anyone else) an invite if you'd like one - send the email address you'd like inviting to blog@dantup.com.

I don't use it that much so I don't have any real opinion on how useful/good it is.

Thanks, I appreciate the offer, but 4 people beat you to it by private email, 3 within 30 minutes....

When I've peeked in on e.g. the lisp subforum, it looked to be quite good, although that was a while ago, too frustrating to contemplate engaging without being able to be part of the conversation (which, I again emphasize, is an entirely legitimate method to avoid a variety of problems).

The community is mostly technical people with a large focus on programming, operations, and hackery. Fewer people comment on articles but the comments are lower noise on average. In a discussion on community standards, one of the veterans explained what the site should and shouldn't be about. I think the post represents what I've seen on the page & in the comments pretty well. Also, we have invitation trees instead of throwaways to encourage people to play nice. Been a few cesspools but not many.


It also illustrates there's a huge difference in priorities and culture between Hacker News and Lobsters. Not to mention who is participating. So, I like to read and comment on both sites as they each give me something different. People also often repost HN articles on Lobsters, too, with the Lobsters comments sometimes raising points I didn't see over here or vice versa. These two are my favorite sites for technical discussion for now.

On business side, you might like the Lobsters spinoff called Barnacles. It's open invitation right now. They're like HN for bootstrappers instead of VC-funded startups. High signal to noise ratio with good stuff on marketing & case studies of interesting business. Clifford's series right now is a good reality check for people that think doing a SaaS startup will let them focus on being paid to write code. Great opening pic, too. ;)



The lobste.rs link is fantastic. The level of discourse it reflects is refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

I suspected they might; but figured I'd make the offer as others might also like to try it out (and it seemed they did, I had a bucket of emails and sent invites out!).

I've posted a couple of things on there and although there seems to be a lot less traffic than HN/Reddit (at least for the posts that were to my blog) there quality of discussion seemed to be much better :-)

Pop a PM to the creator Joshua Stein asking for a invite link then?


Two others in my office read the front page, but quite none of us have yet found invites (not that we've looked hard), but the idea of an invite only community sites feels counter productive

Is there anywhere that covers technology/scientific development well? (Non-software).

I'm always looking for those kinds of things (new sensor, scientific methods, medical advances). But have never found a good forum for this.

/r/futurology, also /r/science

From my experience /r/futurology contains way too much clickbait and sensationalist bullshit to be enjoyable.

Literally nothing. Reddit is a cesspool and especially when it comes to technical topics it is absolutely abysmal. Most of the people spouting off opinions about technical topics on Reddit are totally unqualified to do so. People who work as cashiers at Taco Bell writing diatribes about Ruby vs PHP, etc.

Quite contrary to what you've written I find the Haskell subredit very useful. The comments are usually well thought out and relevant. I daresay the people on the Haskell subredit are the smartest and most helpful of any subredit I've been on.

Is HN and the Twitter/Medium/blog spehere different? We get devs with 0-3 years experience and no desire to look into past art writing with an authoritative tone all the time.

Unfortunately the same thing could be said about this site as of late. There are still some knowledgeable people here, but it appears eternal September has hit.

What are the qualifications for having an opinion on a technical topic? Ever since Reddit introduced subreddits, it has become a very dynamic place. Many moderators cultivate behavior similar to how it's done here on HN. Lots of subreddits are gems of community and threads like this are a great way to index those valuable parts.

Not a sub, but I'm a big fan of Designer News. I've been a daily visitor for the last 3 years. While it's more design-focused, many Users are UI Designers, Product Designers and people working in tech.


Maybe a combination of various topics, add/remove to your interests:


Basically: Freethought+PhilosophyofScience+SomebodyMakeThis+browsers+cogsci+compsci+gamedev+longtext+math+programming+shamelessplug+somethingimade+startups

As a summary for those who are unaware: a (now former) mod of that subreddit, who is a major Go contributor, called for the deletion (or the discussion there of) of the subreddit due to the actions of the Reddit CEO. He did so believing that the subreddit was an official communication channel. Upon learning that it was community started, he changed his opinion. Many are very offended.

Yes, very offended. see my comments here

Just to see how friendly /r/golang is, check my experience as a newcomer on google group and on /r/golang


/r/truereddit Just interesting stories and essays,a lot like HN but slower(and no show my program threads)

r/TrueReddit is the audition for HN and vice versa. Folks wanting to eke out karma arbitrage can just copy and paste between them, they track each other with about 12-24 hours lag.

Unfortunately that sub is as politically left as it can get. Downvotes galore if you dare to disagree with the agenda of identity politics.

Best part: they upvoted and agreed with NPR that lefties are impervious to fake news and can quickly spot it because of their superior reasoning skills.

Entertainingly, I find that many of the "lefties" I know read widely on all areas of the spectrum, and those of a certain timbre only read their bubble.

You'd never know that by the posturing on the part of those gentle persons of the bubble, but you're definitely not one of those, are you?

I dislike it because it is almost all politics discussion with many toxic posters. And they upvote snarky one line responses while downvoting anything that is remotely on the right as the other poster wrote.

It is basically a slightly more civil /r/politics with news stories only.

I rarely read r/programming any more, its content rules seeming so arbitrary. My favorites are:

- r/python

- r/reverseengineering

- r/netsec

- r/shittykickstarters (to read debunkings of why a Kickstarter is scientifically/technically unfeasible)

/g/ and /prog/ can be useful. There's tons of noise and beginner/toy threads, but competent devs can be found.

Can't speak for the other chans but I recall a chan with a competent user base dedicated to programming/hacking/rigbuilding a few years back. 1337chan or something? Abused the green on black theme if anyone else remembers.

I wouldn't say these are comparable to HN but r/cableporn and r/welding might be interesting to HN posters.

I also have a soft spot for subs that reveal high craft in unexpected places. r/conduitporn is also on this list.

Thanks for the heads up, I just added it to my list of subs. There are some really great pics on there.

Meh, it's alright. I've found it to be completely dominated by people who are only interested in or talk about deep neural nets. That's fine I guess, it's certainly popular. But there are vast areas of applied machine learning that rightly use other techniques (deep learning isn't AGI!) and it's really frustrating to try to ask questions about RF Tree Pruning or SVM kernel functions only to get a bunch of vacuous "you should try deep learning" comments.

For deep learning quality is high (and it rarely misses important stuff). But I share your frustration that it is "deep learning news", see this post of mine: https://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/comments/4el597/is_... (Though, in the last month deep learning is my main focus, so it is OK.)

https://barnacl.es/ is one of my favorites, for bootstrap startup news

https://barnacl.es/ (Barnacles) is a ~strong~ young community of tech-related news with emphasis on bootstrapping and launching products.

It doesn't look that strong to me. There aren't any comments and I guess there aren't more than a few active users.

I think the request was for subreddits though.

There was a good discussion of this a while back -- one user here made a multi-reddit of the suggested subreddits, in this comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7255336

Maybe not entirely tech related but /r/entrepreneur has some good posts (not all of them but there's some gold here and there)

Surprised /r/cscareerquestions hasn't been mentioned. It is my goto spot for discussing cs careers and options.


For all things related to chip design.

For bootstrapped startup talk, I like http://discuss.bootstrapped.fm/

Looks like a great site for solopreneurs. Thanks. I signed up.

Does anyone participate on MetaFilter ($)?

Yep. Not under this name though.

The classic, slashdot.org

Kaggle forums anyone for machine learning and data science?

how can I get an invitation for lobste.rs?

* Barnacl.es * aesi.news (defunct) * DnE

It isn't hard to get an invite if you're even partially competent. Then again, it is invite only to keep out the sort of camp following mouth breathers that are taking over HN.

Please don't come here to diss this community while participating in it. That's like littering in a city park while complaining what a mess it is.

We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13050127 and marked it off-topic.

There's a difference between dissing HN as a whole, and dissing the growing subset of the userbase that has lowered the technical content of the site and decreased the civility and level of discourse.

That, or you mods aren't doing your job in keeping this site sufficiently attractive to hackers--if you were, threads like this wouldn't be necessary.

The first step to solving a problem dang is admitting you have a problem.


UGH REDDIT. You couldn't say forum? It has to be on reddit?

IRC is where it's at tbh.

Where on IRC? #startups? or language specific ones? Quite a few are ghostowns since slack picked up steam...

Looks like somebody doesn't know how to idle.

only idle for about 25 years...must be doing it wrong... :D

Well, which IRC servers/channels then?

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