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Ask HN: What's the Hacker News for different industries?
323 points by obblekk on March 11, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 90 comments
Curious if there's a high signal source of knowledge for other highly technical industries.

If you don't work in tech, what else do you read daily?

Surprised no one said the obvious: Reddit. Find the right subreddit and you'll see high-ish quality posts on the topic. Javascript, Node.js, etc.

The problem with reddit is that there are a lot of "Shits and Giggles" reddits, and this tends to bleed into the "Serious" reddits.

For example; someone is browsing r/funny and clicks a link or two and find themselves in r/programming, or whatever, but keeps acting as if they are in r/funny.

And so your serious discussion is full of funny comments which someone has to clean up or let the discussion deteriorate.

True, but in the good subreddits the downvotes are brutal enough to deter or drop the offending post to the bottom.

IMO, the downvotes are a big problem with reddit, unfortunately.

If people actually followed reddiquette (downvoting posts that do not add to the discussion) the system would work great. However, a large majority of people will just downvote what they disagree with. There is no way to keep this behavior in check.

What happens is that counterpoints that do not align with the majority 'party line' are rarely seen on reddit, and although the hive mind is often agreeable to me personally, I need to see dissenting viewpoints in order to get a nuanced understanding of any complex or opinionated issue.

I've pretty much eliminated reddit from my life in favor of HN (this is my first post, actually) and Metafilter and I couldn't be happier.

You just haven’t noticed this phenomenon on HN yet.

It’s a fact of life: a downvote button will eventually be used as a “disagree” button rather than some idealistic concept of what moderation should be. Even the most reasonable person has a trigger subject, be it gun laws, abortion, or vi vs emacs.

If you think HN is somewhat immune, you’re in for a rude awakening at some point.

HN in general also has a couple things that are trigger subjects. Areas there is little hope of making even a reasoned argument. I still like to burn a little karma sometimes ;-)

HTTPS-everywhere, Net Neutrality, employee rights.

And of course, Rust.

It's more anything to do with women. That's HN's third rail.

The difference is that in HN you need to earn your downvote rights (which I have not yet). That should put up a bar for initial down voting, though I agree with you. Some posts of mine have been downvotes, but not for an obvious reason. This means I am more careful posting the next time.

> There is no way to keep this behavior in check.

Sure there is. For example, each user could be allocated a set number of 'downvotes to give' each day. If that limit were, say, 5, users would either 1) use them up very quickly if they didn't change their behavior, thus not able to downvote for the rest of the day or 2) change their behavior to use them more sparingly.

This might help, somewhat, but it also leads to other hacks -- account farming to increase the number of votes on user has, say, or creating voting brigades.

My view on moderation systems is that you need to think very carefully about what the intended result of the moderation system is.

My read: that moderation is used to gather information about quality. And you've got to consider whether or not the contributed signal is actually useful or accurate information. The case of accurate-but-unpopular posts or comments being downvoted (or incorrect-but-popular upvoted) is a frequently encountered one. One possible view is that rather than gathering all available input, the inputs be considered relative to actual value.

If you're sick with some rare condition, or have some specialised piece of equipment that needs repair, you're far better off going to the specific expert(s) within a field for advice than asking randomly across the population (assuming that expertise is itself merited, which raises ... other interesting questions, the history of both medicine and engineering having some interesting examples).

Generally, crowdsourcing should be better than no information, but is not assured to be better than a sufficiently qualified expert opinion. Which means that if you do get such experts offering their opinion, you'd prefer those.

There's also the raw voting and ranking problem, the question of dimensions of assessment (e.g., accuracy, quality, readability, humour, etc.), which might want to be considered.

It's a complex, but not intractable, field.

While I don't use Reddit, I have always wondered what would happen if people were required to anonymously give a reason why they downvoted. I've been rather frustrated by this in the past on imgur. I'd love to know why someone downvoted me. There could potentially be a process that would remove downvotes if they were just nonsense that weren't actual reasons, like people putting in "asd".

To be fair, /r/programming is probably one of the most toxic subreddits itself.

I've never found another subreddit where everyone is as unbearably angry and negative. Too many programmers suffer from social issues for a laissez faire community to be a fun place to frequent.

With the exception of /r/fatpeoplehate, those aren't the subreddits I think of when I think of hateful subreddits, as they are mainly low-subscriber fringe groups. The same sentiment that FPH had lives on in other "angry" subreddits that reach mass appeal (like /r/justneckbeardthings, and much of /r/blackpeopletwitter).

I think a sentiment analysis of posts from the major subreddits would be an interesting read.

What's angry about /r/blackpeopletwitter? I don't think I've ever even seen a negative post there. It's mostly just funny.

this was my first impression when I stumbled in /r/programming

Reddit is surprisingly bad for biotech. r/biotech is usually students asking how to get into biotech, and r/science doesn't allow news reports (non peer-reviewed things). So there isn't really "science news" kind of discussions; really quite disappointing. Would love to know of any people frequent that have rich commentary.

There's r/everythingscience but it's not what it should be. Hopefully this will change.

You should check out DrAwdeOccarim's comment below for some biotech links

I'm me.

There's a heap of good info and contacts there. Though the quality is far more varied, and generally goes down significantly once a sub hits a certain size.

It seems to me that the less informed the majority of an audience is, the less effective a voting system is at incentivising insightful / productive discussion.

Its actually pretty rare outside programming-related, e g many science subs are really popsci garbage or students asking administrative questions

The "find the right subreddit" isn't something that works universally though. Yes, there are good ones, but it seems almost random for which topics they exist and for which they don't. Even if they keep the memes and joke comments in check, many more are full of endless repeats of the same basics. E.g. I'm always surprised how many hobby-topics are dominated by "I just bought $thingEveryoneRecommends, here is a photo of it, and the box it came in!", with droves of comments of how awesome $thing is.

For music production, it might be Gearslutz: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/

Reading the forum archives has been blowing my mind, seeing forum replies from the sound engineers on my favorite albums. Butch Vig did a thread answering questions about Nirvana's Nevermind [1], and Charlie Clouser was recently answering some questions about the Quake soundtrack & Astro-Creep: 2000 [2].

[1] https://www.gearslutz.com/board/q-a-with-butch-vig/398321-ho...

[2] https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-for-picture/911330-qua...


Is pretty good for guitar / amp / etc info. (following your Music thread/theme)

Oh and: http://www.tdpri.com/

I spent hours as a teenager on the Gear Page, that place was great.

What are the main differences between the three biotech websites? From a quick skim, it seems that Fiercebiotech and endpts are strictly superior to biospace for someone who is not actively looking for jobs in that space.

Sometimes one will have something the others won't, but really because biotech is "small" big news travels fast and just reading endpoints will get you pretty much everything.

I also like https://www.biopharmcatalyst.com/ if you're interested in the capital/investing side of biotech.

For inbound marketers https://inbound.org

For data science https://www.datasciencecentral.com/

For quantitative investment http://www.moneyscience.com/

Most industries don't have a Hacker News. In my opinion, it is coming. Tech-savvy generations will be moving into senior roles, and they will look to communicate online.

My main question is are these other industries as passionate as the tech industry? Are they as collaborative? I am from the oil and gas industry, and I can firmly say that currently the answer to those two questions for the oil industry is a hard "No". But that might change.

Couldn't one argue that the oil and gas industry is on the way out itself? I know that may come off as a bit naive. My anecdotal experience leads me to believe that the oil and gas industry isn't exactly pushing the envelope technologically. Sure there is a lot of cutting edge science and technology applied on a macro level, but for the industry to truly embrace the future would mean to become something entirely new.

I don't see this industry embracing the hyper connectivity, progressive, mind-share of the internet the same way I only see half-hearted engineers entering this field.

Long distance / long term live-aboard yacht cruising: http://www.ybw.com/forums/ + http://www.cruisersforum.com/ + http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/

GN looks like a neat Go-specific HN clone, I'll start keeping an eye on it.

Unfortunately, it seems that there are almost no comments: from the 24 topics I see on the front page, only two have comments. Do you feel the submissions are high quality? Or what makes you recommend it?

I'm looking at GN because I can not keep up with other places like r/golang or twitter and here I can view the most important information once a week without any problem.

Also on r/golang there are not too many comments. It seems to me that this is a problem of the entire golang community, nobody wants or have time to comment... this language makes you lazy. :)

On architecture (buildings not IT) there isn't nothing like HN (high signal crowd curated news). At most there are reasonable good news curated by one/few individuals. The task is herculean and will be, by definition, highly biased. Hints:



A coworker of mine recommends http://skyscraperpage.com, but that probably doesn't serve as an HN for architects.

http://www.datatau.com/ - HN for Data Scientists

Matt Levine's newsletter (Money Stuff) for general financial news.

For entrepreneurship, bootstrapping


http://avsforum.com/ isn't as high signal as HN, but it does serve as something analogous for home theater (or it used to years ago when I used to visit it; it may have deteriorated). That's where I got the impetus to start my reverse engineering project to write a Linux driver for an HDTV tuner way back when.

No to share links/stories per se, but many professionals mathematicians are on https://mathoverflow.net/

https://www.echojs.com/ - for everything javascript (sure some also get posted on HN but hey, if your in the js scene maybe it's nice)

Real Estate investing https://www.biggerpockets.com

For Calligraphy & Penmanship - http://theflourishforum.com/forum

I haven't visited in a while, but it used to be that the penmanship forum of the Fountain Pen Network was the go-to place for calligraphy. IT was later sub-divided into more specialized fora, and maybe lost a bit its momentum.

The calligraphy subreddit is also quite active.

For food and agriculture technology: https://feedit.agfunder.com/

I'm working on Knowledge Trybe (https://knowledgetrybe.com/) - the focus is on Science and Learning.

For bioinformatics I read Genomeweb, but I am interested in other good outlets under the same theme

I started producing a list a while ago, although it never really got off the ground.

Feel free to submit a PR if you like: https://github.com/mikeanthonywild/hacker-news-for-x.

- Hydrogen Audio for digital music library management: https://hydrogenaud.io/

- Gearslutz for music production and audio engineering: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/

- Head-Fi for headphones and portable players, amps, DACs, etc.: https://www.head-fi.org/forums/

- Not a forum, yet still a strong community: Discogs for music collectors: https://www.discogs.com

Data Tau http://www.datatau.com/news is a site using the hacker news stack focusing about data science. Quite slow, but some nice articles / links there.

Seeking Alpha (https://seekingalpha.com) is a popular place for investing / trading crowds.

shout out to https://ftalphaville.ft.com/ for their alternative take on finance news

https://www.webdesignernews.com/ for webdesign and webdev

Quantitative trading - https://www.quantnews.com/

One of the largest drivers that took me away from engineering (my bachelor) and into IT was the quality of online discussion and strong communities. I love how easy it is to stay up to date with the current trends and technologies, and the level of support from others who have solved the challenges that you currently face.

For growth hacking: https://growthhackers.com

Actuarial Outpost is kind of like hacker News for actuaries... Especially those who have not yet finished their professional qualification exams.


Built on an ancient blogging platform but still rife with insights from the leading minds in the Energy and Climate industry: http://www.theenergycollective.com

does anyone know of a HackerNews for Building Automation Controls?

For animal welfare, cleantech and environmental conservation: http://news.kindandgreenworld.com

Looking to popularize and build up the community.

Built on the excellent lobste.rs

I'm not either of these,so there might be better ones, but:

Pilots: pprune.org

Maritime: gcaptain.com

Airliners.net also

/r/coffee is also great.

Looks like I need to add a lot more feeds to https://engineered.at later today!

designernews.co for designers

For those who don't know it (like me): AgTech = Agriculture Technology

Any other outlets for AgTech?

Hmm might be an opportunity here to bring the 'adult' culture of hacker news to a more broader platform. Could probably most naturally be accomplished with 'subs' on HN but might dilute the core brand?


Lobste.rs feels like what Hackernews was when I first got here. I remember reading up on so many weird and cool personal projects on HN, along with obscure math, logic and black-magic programming.

Nowadays it feels like HN slowly moved towards the more startuppy and political side of things, while keeping its sharp technical focus.

Could also just be that I ignored the startup/political posts in the beginning though, I was heavily against that. I was also way less informed about the industry and math/programming in general, could as well just be that it got a lot harder to impress or surprise me with weird programming or math stuff.

For computer architecture, realworldtech might count.

Is it alive? There's one story from Jan this year but then the one before that was 2016.

Oh, you should be looking for the forums! Not as likely as they used to be. But I have yet to find anything similar.

Sidenote: if anybody has suggestions for sources of in depth articles on computer architecture of the level of quality that David Kanter used to produce for RWT, I'd be very grateful.

David Schor at wikichip produces some nice stuff

Facebook groups.

That’s what I noticed for smaller film producers (think film school new grads). Especially around jobs and gear, but articles as well.

Sellercrowd for media sellers

For nonprofits: https://impct.io/

Built on lobste.rs, but needs more users to start submitting and commenting on stories.

The best option I found is Twitter.

Pick any industry, follow it's key leaders and journalists, and follow their followers, and you basically have an RSS feed of that industry's news.

For Donald Trump News: http://www.trump-news.today

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