One thing I find a bit depressing is that even though this scheme hugely reduces the time one spends on HN by filtering the articles according to votes, the top voted articles are not the ones that I would want to read. I usually come here for that "hacker" hacker news (hackerhackernews.com used to be something like this, but now the domain name has expired it seems). Anyway I am sure there will be people who find your service really useful.
I highly recommend you giving it a try, it is still growing and I hope someday it may become the new source of real hacker news.
* I dare you to find an article like "Flipping arrows in coBurger King" on the news sites right now.
If I see one blog incurring in a fault, they're banned for life.
I think looking at scores -- without looking at how long it took for those scores to be reached -- probably weights in favour of more "interesting" stories and against link-bait stories, simply because the link-bait tends to accumulate most of its votes very quickly.
So that story is probably a perfect illustration of when sorting by highest score alone is better than HN's score-per-time measure.
Then, how about using the top 10 from the classic view? http://news.ycombinator.com/classic Would that help?
This would hinge on the frequency of all comments to the site and having your scraping interval be less than the difference of the most recent comment and last comment displayed on /newcomments.
I think it'd just be really great to have another view into "Most active discussions".
That happened to virtually every other site: Slashdot, Digg, Reddit. As the site gets attention (because of its core strength of great hacker content) it starts drawing in a non-core audience. Because it's a voting system the non-core articles will start to grow in influence. It loses what drew people in in the first place.
Ah well. It's the circle of sites.
Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with the amazing peeps at usethesource
I wonder if any social-links-sites (hacker news, reddit etc.) have tried with an algorithm similar to that which last.fm uses, where you get suggestions on stories based on which previous stories you have shown preference for? (I'm sure this sort of ranking has some fancy name as well)
If not - Why?
If I recall, it was based on your activity (this was pre-subreddits) so if you interacted with lots of political stories, for instance, similar political stories would be suggested.
The problem was if you downmodded a bunch of articles involving Ron Paul, your recommended links would be Ron Paul articles.
I could think of an obvious solution for that problem.
I'm not sure of the exact criteria for it, but its basically very highly-voted articles that are fairly recent.
I've been thinking of limiting myself to /best to keep my HN time in check, so you're definitely onto something.
More broadly, the challenge is having my own life modeled well enough so that information relevant to short, medium, and long terms plans gets reformulated appropriately.
I could see this leading to a point where 'news' is not something I check in the morning over coffee. Rather, it's a feature that presents itself whenever I shift my attention to doing another thing (e.g. working on project A, planning weekend B, etc.)
The really fascinating thing would be getting updates about apparently tangentially related items. It's the classic 'local angle', only with regard to activity, not place.
I have often found that the articles I enjoyed most at HN were the outliers, i.e. not the ten most upvoted ones (anecdotal evidence, never tested this quantitatively). In fact this is what makes HN interesting: the quirky entries. My guess is that most of the 10 articles you select will be already covered by other such sites, diminishing the value of coming to HN in the first place.
The end effect will be similar to Hollywood blockbuster effect. It's not that I don't like to go a blockbuster movie, but I don't want to watch those all the time.
"The 10 highest-rated articles on Hacker News on July 13, 2010 which have not appeared on any previous Hacker News Daily are: "
Would be nice to have the full post in there with the 10 links :)
EDIT: Just noticed my other post has garnered at least one down-vote so although I'm pretty sure this idea doesn't have legs, on the off-chance you dear reader are one of ~13 other folks who'd like to see this happen, drop me an email to express your interest.
I could scrape the entire site at midnight each day, but I think PG would be very unhappy with me if I did that. Scaping /news every 5 minutes imposes much less load, and since highly ranked links get almost all of their votes prior to falling off the front page, this gives me almost as much information.
Do you mind sharing the scraping code?
"On the front page, by points divided by a power of the time since they were submitted. Comments in comment threads are ranked the same way."