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Tell HN: An Observation
123 points by DanielBMarkham on Sept 24, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments
For what it's worth, seems to me like nobody is reading the new page much any more.

Used to be I'd submit an article and get 60-150 reads as the article dropped off the new page. Today I submitted an article http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1723576 and got only a couple of dozen.

Now perhaps you guys have managed to figure out that all of my articles suck all of the time, but even then you'd think with 10x the traffic it would still translate into more initial readers from a year ago.

I'm not trying to complain that nobody upvoted my article! Hope it doesn't sound that way. I'm much more interested in the lack of drive-by readers now as opposed to a year ago and what that means for the site.

If you'd like to hear me complain, happy to oblige. Meanwhile the front page has gossip stories about how a lot of Angels are actually assholes, some famous guy quit Oracle, another guy rags on .NET, Uncle Bob is a great person, and more Google/Apple fluff, along with the more usual HN material.

Just seems kind of strange. Don't know about you, but all this industry gossip, fanboy-bait, and the lack of user-generated content drives down the quality for me in a big way. Combine that with a lack of readers from the new page, and it seems like there is a feedback loop setting up. It's not that HN is turning into reddit, but it seems like the mechanism of HN itself has changed significantly.




I think that the real problem in operation over here is information deluge. People aren't reading stuff on that page because it overflows on a minute by minute basis. So let's say, if I click to read a long article and I come back to upvote it. This would mean that I am putting a flag for others to read it, but in this time frame it has moved beyond the first new page. Hence, the stories that tend to get upvoted are the ones with a recognized tilt that appeals to the lowest common denominator (which is still pretty high, but for how long?)

However not all stories are created equal. Most of the stories on that page are from noob users who want to jack up their karma. Hence, the deluge HN on the weekdays (only dedicated ones stay around on the weekends) leading to this difference between the weekday and weekend articles.

How can we solve this?

One simple way to do this would be to post noobstories only to the noob stories page and sort the entries not by time, but by karma of the user as well as the votes given like the comments.

This way we could have a quasi front page which will create a positive feedback loop. Hence, there will be an implicit reward in going to the new page which will ensure that only the good stories were posted. Also, since older users (by karma, PG's metric) who are more settled in and are less likely to do karma antics it won't overflow every minute or so.

However, this might create a barrier to entry on HN and perhaps that's a good thing. This would force people to comment and get karma before it shows up over there. Hence, ensuring that the quality get maintained.

All in all with the same code behind the comments the new page problem can be solved.

(update: wrote a lot more detail)


It seems like eliminating the ability for noobs with less than, say, 20 karma from submitting stories would fix this and get rid of a lot of the spam that gets posted.

I know it seems unwelcoming to noobs, but we already have a tiered system where you need N karma for your votes to count, to downvote, to submit polls, etc.

I didn't submit anything for months after joining, which I think is the best way to go. Through actively participating in the comments, I got a good idea of what the HN community was really like.

And even now I don't submit that much (though since I discovered the bookmarklet my rate of submissions has increased). HN isn't about submitting to me, it's about comments (though obviously I realize we need good stories to comment on).

The biggest drawback I see is that it might impact the quality of comments. If users desperately want to hit that submission threshold, they might comment a lot or comment group-think-ily trying to pick up a few points here and a few points there until they hit that threshold.


I honestly think this is the way to go, especially if you figure out a good damper on frivolous commentary.


There's always the stupidity corpus that mr. Graham used to talk about...

http://stupidfilter.org/wiki/index.php?n=Main.Status


That would prevent people from using throwaway accounts, which a lot of people seem to do. And they are not spammers.


I've thought about this too and it looked like a tough problem to solve, but it isn't.

Why do people do that?

They usually do it for Ask HN posts and well you can easily discriminate for them. Further if anyone tries to spoof the system by adding a URL there then we can parse it to see if there is any text there according to the stupidity filter. So, essentially it will still work.


I think there's another technical solution.

Instead of having a link directly to the article, have the link go to the discussion page instead, but with an added header.

That extra header would check for a cookie. If that cookie is set, no action. If the cookie is not set, set the cookie, then forwards the user to the actual article.

Then, when you finish reading and decide it's worth an up vote, when you go 'back', you're already at the discuss page where you can vote the story itself up, as well as comment on it.


I often go to the comments page for a submission first, then click the article link. Particularly if it looks like it's going to be one that drifts off. That way the back button puts me in the right place, even if I come back to it hours later.


I understand your intent, but under no circumstances (that I can think of) is it okay to change the expected behaviour of the back button.

The back button should always do just that ~ take the user back to the previously viewed page.


I must say, that's a mighty fine idea you have there. Although it may surprise some folks at first. If HN had ads it would seem to be click fraud. Might work as a bookmarklet or browser extension.


I was thinking it would be opt-in on the preferences page.

Another option would be an extra link at the end of the headline (like how scribd appears for pdf), but that just ends up looking cluttered.


It does seem like things fly by too fast. Here's an idea: what if every person saw only a random subset of the new stories?

Kind of like how Facebook has "Top News" and "Most Recent," but instead of intelligent filtering there would a simple random selection. The selection would be persistent, so that you'd see the same articles when you went back to the page.


I read HN quite a lot, and I have to say, I rarely get around to reading the New page. Honestly, it takes me a lot of time to just go through most of the stuff that hits the front page (including comments), so I usually don't have the time to check out more articles whose quality hasn't even been vetted.

I think HN really should implement a way around this. The most obvious is to randomly show new articles on the front page, give them a chance to collect some points (if they're good, of course).


Currently the front page shows the top 30 articles, so people coming to the site see this by default. Maybe the front page should instead show, for example, 10 of the top articles and 20 new ones, in separate lists.


I know I barely have time to read the stuff on the front page, let alone the new page. As it is, my wide reading berth takes an hour or two of my time a day and I try to submit interesting stuff I find. But much beyond that and I'm not getting stuff done.

A new front page sidebar could work, but it would clutter things up. I'm not sure of a design that combines new with popular. Are there any precedents out there?


Yeah, I see the 'new' page as a place for super-contributors to help sort and upvote the good stuff so more people can read it on page one.


same here. I rarely go the new page section. Sometimes i navigate to 1-2 top pages. Thats about it. I definitely think there should be way to show the new article. Maybe we should have a page called upcoming/new pages that shows latest ones.


Around this time of day the submissions on the new page go by so fast that only the most juicy stuff makes it to the front page. 4 votes before you scroll off the new page or your article might as well be dead, it's very rare (but it does happen) to see anything get traction afterwards.

And of course you didn't write about a scandal in progress or something like that.

If you write just for the interaction with HN I can imagine that it is hard if your stuff goes by unnoticed, but of course there is no automatic relationship between what you did and how it was received in the past coupled with everything you write in the future.

Maybe simply not enough people thought it was homepage worthy and it is a signal to do better? That's how I interpret it when my stuff slides by without even a single upvote.

(I note that even devmonk who commented did not upvote your submission).

Don't take it so personal, as HN grows this is bound to happen more and more often. I've had it happen to me with an article that was requested by people here, that felt pretty weird too, but there really are no guarantees.

Spray and pray :)


Thanks Jacques. As usual, we agree. Sometimes I wonder why I reply to your comments at all, since we agree so much. :)

I think what bugged me was the lack of drive-by readers.

HN is pretty much the only site I submit to. I have no aspirations of blogging as a business. I blog because I want to, and I'd blog if nobody came by. So heck with the score or the front-page status. And no, it doesn't bug me that a large percentage of what I write is not home-page material. That's okay too. Hey, I got used to being a mediocre writer many years ago. It's all spray and pray now.

The problem is that as a submitter you'd at least like to get a decent second set of eyeballs on your work. The value the site provides to me as a submitter isn't making the front page -- it's getting the feedback from readers. No initial readers, no feedback (good or bad)

Sure, there is a bit of sour grapes here. I guess you'd think if you spent a long time writing something that in return you'd at least receive a reasonable review. But if the average number of initial reviewers is decreasing for everybody, it can't help but mean a decrease in the quality of material overall. So it would seem that my problem as a submitter, even a submitter of poor quality material, affects the quality of material on the site for all users.


As for the original topic of your submission, minimalistic interfaces, I'm all for it.

I predict the death of the submit button in the next 2 years.


It occurred to me over the last week or two that most all of the startup and pet project work I've been doing over the past decade has all boiled down to presenting complex and thought-provoking data to the user in the most simple way possible. Every little piece of user interface, web application, or technology that sits between the brain and a simple version of the decisions it needs to make each day is a cognitive weight we carry around.

There was another great article on the front page of HN today about cognitive slaves. It's a topic that keeps coming up again and again for me and the community, and as one other commenter asks on this thread, at some point it's not enough to simply complain, what would you do to fix it? I'm happy to actually be trying something. Wish me luck!


This is going to sound very cryptic, but I hope it comes across, you are a solution looking for a problem.

I think it's only a matter of time before you find your groove, I see it happening all over HN, people that try one thing after another and suddenly it clicks, they find their thing and from there on it's upwards.

Don't give up, the 'making complex stuff simple' thing you've got is absolutely a key in all this. The webcam thing was much the same, until we came along it was just too hard to put live video on the web, we reduced it to one click, that was all it took. Youtube did the same for clips and look where they ended up.

All you you need to do is to apply that wisdom to something that draws a crowd.


Give up hell, I haven't even gotten started yet!

It might seem to the outside observer that I start a lot of things and don't finish them, but really I'm iterating around where things hurt and where the response is, just like you note. I have been very fortunate to make enough consulting that I can take several months a year to work on my pet projects. And after all, isn't wealth really the ability to use your time as you see fit? So in that sense I am truly a wealthy man.

I have some "boring" work I am doing that is bringing some residual income as well. I've found that time is truly your friend with startups -- the longer you are out there the more success you get, no matter what you are doing. So in some ways this start/stop work has been counterproductive, but you play the cards you have, not the ones you wish you had.

I am truly excited about the long-term capabilities of functional programming and the F# language in particular. It's allowing me to build blocks of little "solutions" that can then be assembled in ways to make larger products in a way that OOP simply didn't accomplish. Very cool.


What is the difference between ww and something like justin.tv?

I am fairly addicted to ww(particularly, the pet deer).


Funding and execution I guess.

WW.com was bootstrapped out of my previous company (consultancy / software licenses).

Justin.tv is a lot slicker and it seems they are doing way better than we are in terms of traffic and user satisfaction, but we're working quite hard at the moment to turn the tide on that. WW.com to me feels as though it has a stronger community element to it.

WW is actually quite a bit older than justin.tv (we started in 1998 as 'camarades', but because the name was pretty hard to spell it got changed), we missed a few chances, had some spectacular bad luck but on the whole I'm feeling better about it today than I have felt in the last 5 years.

I don't think the Justin.tv guys have too much to worry about for the time being, but we're definitely planning a very serious effort to make a go of it.


There have been some great posts/discussions at the blog The Online Photographer in the last week about this, proximately prompted by the new Fuji digital rangefinder just announced at Photokina:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photogra...

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photogra...

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photogra...

and then less directly:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photogra...


>I predict the death of the submit button in the next 2 years.

I cringed.

Maybe for data that isn't high value, urgh.


I think as Jacques suggests, the problem is sheer number of submissions, combined with the way the new page seems to work by showing everything: stuff thus scrolls off the bottom much faster than it used to.

It’s unclear what could be done to counteract this.


Somebody here once suggested categories, and I think there might be some merit to that idea. It allows more new and more front page stories (if there are both new and front pages for each category) and allows people to skip categories that don't interest them. For instance, some people may prefer not to see metadiscussions like this one, and are only interested in what HN thinks are worthy industry news.


Maybe something like Reddit's "rising" page would help. Basically, somewhere that would catch all of the stories that only got ~4 upvotes on the front page, but would filter out the ones that didn't get any.


Idea: Only have the "submit" link (or even the "threads" link) on the "new" page. It won't get everyone reviewing new all of a sudden but undoubtedly headlines will catch people's eyes en route and perhaps encourage people to pay more attention to it.

(Update: On reflection, reducing usability might not be a great way to go. Typically that's a better way to reduce bad behavior than to encourage good..)


I have said this in the past (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1665746) - as long as posting doesn't "cost" anything, there will be mindless as well as countless posts, making it harder to really spot intelligent stuff. It's natural for explosive stuff to make it to the top.

Now, how we pay for the posts is probably have karma as part of it somewhere. Or may be not. But, it's a discussion worth having.


According to a thread less than 24 hours ago the problem is that your articles are falling off the new page too fast.

The problem is too many submissions, not less people reading the new page:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1720742

It's an alternative explanation.


And it's a testable alternative explanation.

PG, check the analytics. What's been the trend on hits to /new over time?


One of the factors that I've noticed lately is that due to the quantity of new submissions, it takes only 30 minutes or so for an article to drop off the first "new" page.

I try to check the "new" page periodically, but I must admit, I don't scroll beyond the first page-- so, the article referenced above I missed entirely, and it seems like I wasn't the only one.

Which means that the problem may not be that "nobody is reading the new page much any more" as much as "things age off the new page too quickly for most people to notice them."

As for potential fixes: off the top of my head, I haven't the foggiest.


It's obvious: feature a random article from the new page on the front page like Reddit does (a different one each time you load the page), so it gets some exposure.


But that would have the unintended side-effect of making the site much more attractive to spammers because they'd be almost guaranteed some homepage exposure.


Feature a random article selected from new articles submitted by users with at least 10 points?


Feature a random article selected from a probability distribution based on user karma.

e.g.

    Alice   - 100
    Bob     - 200
    Charlie - 300
    Dave    - 0
Dave's new article will never get front page exposure. Charlie has a 50% chance, Bob a 33% chance, and Alice a 16% chance.


If you want to modify the probability based on karma points, I would suggest giving larger probability to those users with fewer points, as those with more points (ostensibly) would already get more attention given to their submissions anyway.

Dave won't get anywhere with either this scheme or the one I proposed, at least not immediately. But that's the idea: it will be a little bit harder for Dave to gain traction, but it will demonstrate that he's not a spammer, which should be a reasonable price to pay for ensuring the site isn't overrun with garbage (any more than some claim it already is).


That wouldn't work either, it would simply cause a karma feedback loop.


Worse things have happened. You could easily cap the "considered" karma at like 500. Or some value that is a function of the total karma in the system.

EDIT: or cap the "considered" karma at the median for all users.


Would it really?

Since the signal:noise ratio on the /new page is pretty darn good right now, I don't think that featuring one of the new submissions on the homepage would change that much.

Also: this proposal would only lead to more impressions for the spammer if the homepage received more than 30x the traffic of the new submissions page. That may be the case, but how would a spammer know that?


Try looking at the newpage with 'showdead' set to 'on'.

Right now I count 8 'dead' links, but it's not rare at all (especially when it's quiet) to see 15 or more.


Perhaps: autoscroll the pages (of the "new" pages), a-la duckduckgo.com ?


My problem with looking at the new page and help in filtering is due to the amount of general and blog spam.

I think downvotes on new page can actually help so they can discourage users from spamming HN with articles in trying to build karma points

Alternately, make posting cost the user something, say 10 Karma points per submission, in that case users will only submit something they think will grab enough attention


One example that I have seen of this was this submission of Grace Hopper on David Letterman's show from 1984 (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1719458).

Now I realize that many people don't vote up videos. However, this is Grace Hopper, who was one of the first programmers for the very first computer ever. She is credited with coming up with the term "debugging" after finding a moth in one of her computers, and she wrote the first compiler for a programming language.

If that's not Hacker News worthy then I don't know what is.

And yet amazingly, this submission only got two upvotes (one of which is mine). Now I realize that we've had a lot of scandalous and "Big Important News" but two upvotes seems abnormally low to me. In fact, if Google Students had not tweeted it (http://twitter.com/googlestudents/status/25361367579) I would have never even seen it.


Thanks for the upvote. I was the one who submitted it, and I really thought it was something HNers would like to see-- a real piece of Hacker history.

I was quite surprised when it didn't make the front page.


Some of us administer networks where video is an unacceptable use of network resources (100 kb/s split among several dozen users.)

I've always avoided video, and especially now that I'm responsible for this network. (To clarify, since apparently this post is controversial, we're very isolated and this network is the primary link to the outside world for over 100 people.)


Perhaps the frontpage could be filtered per account. In other words, if HN shows me the same article on the front page for the 3rd time and I don't click it, I probably don't care, so it could use that slot to show me something new.


I'm not helping the community if I visit the new page and don't vote on anything.

I don't vote on anything because I don't want to 'save' all of the threads I find slightly interesting. Saving is only for things I want come back to later.


Most people just consume. I think a very small fraction actually comes to the new page and vote.


The best spot to make a difference is the second and third pages of the 'new' set, that's where the stuff is that got lost.


You're unhappy that people aren't going to the New page so you wrote an observation that can only be seen by going to the New page ;-)

In all seriousness, it took me quite awhile before getting into the habit of going to the New page, but now I do it after going over the main page. It was actually only after seeing a comment that "people don't go to the New page" that I started doing it, so it was one of the rare times when a "reminder" post didn't annoy me and seem like whining. These types of reminders are legitimately helpful IMO.

I'd love to see new items integrated into the home page, personally. Like a split screen, or just have them listed at the bottom of the page, or just in a narrower column somewhere, or whatever.

But I'm not sure that that would have any effect on your other issue, which is the type of thing being voted to the top. They get there because people start by going to the New page; they don't get there on their own. So although giving more attention to new items might get more people to take notice, I don't think it would have any effect on what makes it to the top.


I can sympathize with your complaints. There does seem to be a lot of retreaded topics on the main page, so I've just changed my HN bookmark to http://news.ycombinator.com/newest. I'll try it for a week, and hopefully I'll spot some more interesting stuff that otherwise would fall by the wayside.


Here's an idea: Only users with a certain amount of karma can submit stories.

The first few karma points have to be gained by commenting, and then for example with every 10 karma points a user can make 1 submissions. Or have different 'levels' with certain thresholds, etc. You get the idea, and I think that could help reduce the amount and increase the quality of submissions.


The obvious problem with this is that it eliminates the possibility of old-timers using throwaway accounts to submit anonymously. That's a pretty major drawback, if you ask me-- there's a lot of good discussions that begin with an anonymous "Ask HN" or "Tell HN"...


Yes, I've noticed that it is harder to get things on the front page.

I've recently submitted a few links that I thought were HN worthy but they barely got any notice if at all.

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1714743 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1696933 http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1714334

Perhaps they're not interesting or maybe with the current system more things are getting overlooked and lost. Don't know.

Usually, I tend to only look at what's on the New page when I submit something (since it automatically redirects you there). So, I'm as guilty as the rest. However, at that time, I'll check out the other posts and upvote other submissions that I consider quality material.

I probably need to spend more time looking at the New page than the front page to help with keeping the quality up.


Actually this is the biggest problem that the internet faces now. The number of quality signals that people send is much less than the amount of content that's out there -- one consequence is that it's easy to "game the system."

Hardly anybody is viewing "new" queues, making links to interesting web pages, or otherwise doing the work to discover what's new and good. They make it too easy for spammers and voting rings to do their evil work.

Also there's a general "burnout" effect that happens in social media -- if a particular forum isn't all that excited in your content, you'll find that it gradually gets less and less traffic because people see your URL or your name and decide to move on to the next thing. This can be overcome with real or imaginary 'social proof' (lots 'o votes) but then you get into the fact that the populations of people who are looking at the "new" queue and looking at the front page are entirely different.


...all this industry gossip, fanboy-bait, and the lack of user-generated content drives down the quality for me in a big way

The more mainstream adoption HN receives, the more the stories will degrade to the lowest common denominator—that of gossip, fan-bait, and chop shop content. I returned to my feed reader for the majority of my interesting articles a long time ago.

The "new" page is basically a feed aggregator of tons of individuals' posts, most of whom don't have the notoriety or baiting title necessary to stick on the page long enough for the few people who read "new" to see them.

Like any other public link sharing site—no matter how niche or well-seeded to start—it will increasingly pander to the 90% who come rather than the 10% who started it. And it'll keep doing that until it becomes reddit (no insult meant; reddit is a great public link share). But at this stage I'm pretty confident it'll always have better discussion.


As a tiny incremental change, it might help if the resubmission of a link by another user would bump the link back up to the top of the new page in addition to adding a vote. If multiple people find it worthy to submit, it's probably worth giving it more screentime.


It depends on time you can spend on HN to, really with the speed HN moves these days it's hard enough just to keep up with some of the top stories. Only when I really have hours to spend do I get time to get past the stuff that catches my eye on the front page.


I read the New page sometimes. I've found that I have disproportionate power over what appears on the front page. Maybe half of the stories I upvote from the New page end up hitting the top half of the front page.

It only takes 3-4 votes for a newly submitted (< 30 minutes ago) story to hit the front page. If you and one other person like it, it'll usually get to the bottom of the hot list. From there, there's often a cascade effect as more and more people see it on the hot list. If the article's any good at all, it can often be in the top 5 within an hour or two.

It's good for karma, too, as getting early comments in on stories that later become hot is a good way to get lots of points on them.


How about tweaking karma to add value to certain users votes, users with tons of great submissions and comments to have more effect. You can grant power karma to people you feel have the same philosophy or that you feel drive HN in the direction you want. This isn't necessarily democratic or "fair" and i do not care because i love the great submissions with intelligent commentary. i have seen a lot of submissions concerned with submission quality and am happy to see HN publicly addressing the issue and apparently making an effort to ensure the quality and heritage of the site. (long time lurker brand new acct.)


Forgive my generalization, but I see HN as a handful of groups with some overlap. You have hackers/programmers, business marketing, pure entrepreneurs, and investors/angels. There are people who fall into multiple camps, but stories tend to fall into one of these groups. I think the point you're making is that topics along the lines of hackers/programmers seem to have fallen off in favor of some of the other areas. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Personally, I visit the "new" page as often as the frontpage and find many interesting stories there.


To be constructive, if my generalizations are correct, then HN could support some form of tags or categorizations to identify the kind of story being posted. People could focus on the areas that interest them and not see stories that don't appeal to them. This could also be a way to identify "gossip" and track its appeal to parts of the userbase. Just an idea...


One more try:

1) Why not limit submissions on HN to one per day?

That way, people will only submit their most relevant links. If a story is important enough, then either 1) someone else can submit it and this will invite broader participation on the site, or 2) it won't be submitted today and can be added tomorrow (and it probably wasn't that important to begin with).

2) HN articles used to relate to either hacking or startups (stories about education, economics, etc. were typically found on Digg and Reddit). Why not return to this formula?


There has been some really sensational news during the past few days: Angelgate, Facebook downtime, Zuckerberg $100mm donation, uncomfortable micro analysis of patio. Maybe it's the time of year? Or a coincidence. In terms of the normal ebb and flow this is surely a period of flow. I think that just due to regression to the mean next week should be more quiet and readers will have more time for the new page. Hopefully another "Erlang day" won't be necessary.


Did this decline start when Hacker News Daily opened? The Hacker News Daily lists the 10 highest-rated articles from Hacker News at http://www.daemonology.net/hn-daily/

Maybe some readers are less engaged because they skip the http://news.ycombinator.com and go straight to Hacker News Daily.


I have an idea that I want to throw out there. I haven't fully thought it out, so I'm sure it would have drawbacks.

But what if one were able to earn karma points by interacting with the "new" page. The details could be worked out to make it un-"gamable", but the basic premise is to reward users that put more effort into discovering posts in the waterfall of the "new" page.


The title "My Master Plan to Destroy the Internet as we know it (whattofix.com)" doesn't have any terms that interest me.

In your first paragraph you use the phrase "web interface" if that or some other technical term had been in the title, I might have clicked. fyi


Bingo.

I actually use only the new page since enough of my interests are sufficiently esoteric that submissions about them never get many votes (often only mine).

But your title was a distinct turn-off, strongly enough so that I actually remember it as such. Unfortunately I just about never look at who submits items, otherwise I might have given it a chance.

At least for me, you'd be much better off with a title that gives me at least the slightest concrete idea of what the submission is about.


Because articles cannot be downvoted, I am very stingy with upvotes. I don't like most articles on the front page, let alone the new page. If your article is really great, it won't be on the new page but not the front page for long anyway.


I think this is one the places where the concept of subreddits really shines. Allowing users to control the content that is shown to them allows interesting niche posts to maintain visibility.


Consider yourself lucky that you can submit your own articles to HN. My blog got banned from HN, but I gave PG my word that I wouldn't submit my own articles and so he unbanned me.

Submit on a Saturday.


I would expect time of year is a significant factor. Are you sure you're comparing to this time last year? I do believe what you say, but memories are terrible data.


I'm not even sure my votes ever count on HN so I rarely vote. The algorithms, as people talk about them, seem to be stacked against us casual readers.


I'm guilty of this. Reason behind is that I click on links and discussion threads via newsyc20 on twitter whenever something of interest pops up.


I have a rule for myself: every time I submit a link I have to scan the New page and upvote those links I like (after reading them).


I'm working on a site to fix something like that. I don't want to reveal the name yet, but stay tuned :)


What changes do you think should be made to enhance the quality of content and get more people to vote?


Load random new stories on the homepage (top 2 or 3 spots) with markup that makes it clear that this is a new story


the RSS feed is nice for catching new threads, but I haven't been using google reader much lately for my own reasons. (http://news.ycombinator.com/rss)


how about for the first page display a random subset of N pages worth of new submits, for a small N? Nobody scrolls past N pages anyway.


Hide your kids, hide your wife http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlZOfHCpFFs


Remember the mantra? Innovators, then imitators, then idiots?

HN is already in a third stage. ^_^

You'll be down-voted if you even try to say that Ubuntu, or Java or PHP (or any other target of a mass-hysteria) isn't cool or superior to anything.

Recently I got that just because I didn't agree that Ubuntu is the greatest and coolest Linux distro ever.

How many of my down-voters can build a distro from scratch or at least recompile PHP with all its modules and their dependencies, or, OK, know how to build a package from its sources? It is a rhetorical question. ^_^

So, everything eventually become reddit. It is just a relation to a number of unique visitors.

And when you have a lot of unique visitors then you'll have all those technology narcissists, who're promoting how cool they are in finding a security issues in an amateur code, or how they so clever in explaining obvious things or making easy things easier.

Everyone is a teacher nowadays. ^_^


HN does not need to be re-jiggered or re-invented or re..., just make an effort to check the new page and upvote the articles you like. I always do because I like to see quality, or my assessment of it, make it to the front page and have other users chime in. Let the experiments happen on the plethora of clone sites.


Requiring 10 points to submit is really stupid?


Requiring 10 points to submit stories seems like a pretty decent idea to me.


wait, why his post is +8 while mine is -3?

is it because I was only wondering if it was a good or not? Oh, HN...


I think it's a great idea. Even if you have to borrow points from HN. See my other comment in this thread.


I suspect that "HN is not turning into Reddit, but..." is the new "HN is turning into Reddit". :-)

(EDIT: This wasn't meant as a diss... it's just that people know by now that saying "HN is becoming Reddit" is a no-no, it's even listed in the guidelines. So whoever has complaints or concerns about the site, often wants to make it clear that they are not playing the HN-is-Reddit card.)




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