Last year, upon Iteration 27 of this same subject, I threw something like this together in jest:
Quality of HN Comments Over Time
| . .
| . .
q| . . . .
u| . . . . . .
a| . . . . .
l| . . . . .
i| . . . . .
t| . . . you are here -->. .
y| (that's all)
M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A
Original thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=926604
Good work :)
Damn, we're always in the same spot, the years just keep flowing underneath us.
It would be interesting to have some live feedback on the current quality level, and see if that affects the response of the community, but this would require some sort of metrics on quality, which is quite a subjective field.
I believe a while ago there was a submission about parsing text to see whether the author was male or female, and wonder if there is a similar algorithm to check whether a comment is positive or negative, technical or shallow and thus create some objective measure of quality.
I haven't been able to find an instructions on what formatting can be used in comments, like to quote a previous post, for example.
The ratio of HN vs non-HN items as observed by any individual is of course different.