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This seems like a straightforward consequence of a growing user base. Am I wrong?



As a submitter of original content, it's a little different. From the article:

> Sudden dramatic 50% increase from 2016 — 2017

I've felt that. I write a bunch of tech articles on HTTPS, nginx, HAProxy, CSP, EV verification, Brotli, TLS errors, and other HN-worthy topics (https://certsimple.com/blog/). In 2015-2016 I'd continually get on the front page simply by writing about something useful regarding these topics in a relatively straightforward way (maybe with some Sketch diagrams and other useful graphics). These days, while I still get a bunch of traffic from Reddit and Google, HN frontpage doesn't really seem to happen for my content.


I wonder how much of that is HN, and how much of that is DevOps "fashion" meaning fewer people configure their own server stack in the startup world now. Presumably the abundance of free AWS/GCE/Azure credit means people don't need to read about configuring their own load balancing proxy or SSL certificate as often now. For lots of services SSL is a button click. It seems possible that HN readers have greater access to free AWS stuff than Reddit readers.


> DevOps "fashion" meaning fewer people configure their own server stack in the startup world now.

Sure, to some extent (devops still means you need to design networks, it's just that individual server instances matter less) but that didn't change suddenly between 2016 to 2017.


> that didn't change suddenly between 2016 to 2017

How do you know? The availability of AWS didn't change much between 2016 and 2017, but maybe 2017 was when people started using it en masse.

In business school, they play the beer game ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_distribution_game ) to emphasize that a change at one end of the supply chain has weird, lengthy effects on the whole thing. You don't just switch seamlessly from the old state of affairs to the new; there's a big, massively awkward transition period.


Basically because devops doesn't change much of the need for info on systems architecture - some (like using ELB or DO LBs) but not much. In the presence of proof of a change in HN, and the absense of evidence for a sudden adoption of AWS, I'll apply Occam's razor.


I think you're right, but I think psychology comes into play as well, which complicates things.

That is, if I see something with 800 points and read/enjoy the article, I'm less likely to upvote than if it has only 200 points. I have similar feelings about photos on FB, which I'm more likely to "like" if it has only a few reactions than if it has over 100 already.

I don't know if others have similar feelings about when to upvote things, but if my thought process is not uncommon then it could dampen the impact of a growing user base. It's sort of like the bystander effect, but for internet platforms.


There's a pretty noticeable effect in HN comment karma where the same comment is probably worth an upvote if it's at zero or negative ("this didn't deserve to be downvoted"), but not if it isn't ("didn't deserve to be upvoted, either").

Like the phenomenon you describe, this suggests that a lot of people are trying to use their vote to move the total vote towards what they think it should be, rather than purely expressing an up-or-down opinion independent of the existing vote.


I can’t help but think part of this, at least when it comes to downvoted comments, is that the downvoting is very obvious due to the progressive graying. You’re more likely to notice something and ask yourself “wtf? There’s nothing wrong with this comment. clicks up arrow” than if the low score was just a number.


> a lot of people are trying to use their vote to move the total vote towards what they think it should be, rather than purely expressing an up-or-down opinion independent of the existing vote

I definitely do this on reddit, and probably on HN too. I don't know if such a thing exists, but I would use a widget that gave me an 'upvote iff karma < 1' button.


With a constant user base where 51% of the people agrees with another they'll give each other +1 karma every now and then, and the median increases

Since there is no 'karma rent' or anything, of course the over all karma over time will increase


Reddit sucks now, I lurk here more


A lot of Reddit is about which subreddits you participate in and how the moderation works. I participate in some niche subreddits that are absolutely great and are good discussion grounds on those particular topics.

All the default subreddits suck.


Do you rather feel that Reddit has gotten worse or did you grow out of it?

I feel like me or the web has changed significantly over the past years. I'm just not sure if I'm different and have seen it all or if everything became more professional and commercial and at the same time less interesting to explore.




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