My main concern is Reddit pulling a Twitter and cracking down on third-party clients/enhancers, such as RES and the Apollo app for iOS (which is excellent)
"Hey your friend did a thing, go congratulate them"
"Hey, a friend knows this person. Go follow them too"
"Hey, your friend just posted a picture of spaghetti, go signal your approval"
How about I check in and interact with my friends on my time in a manner I want to?
Keeping on using a service like that just encourages further bad behaviour.
I do somewhat need to use it as a way to communicate with users for an OSS project (eg not a personal account), but that's still limited to maybe once a day at most. Not worth installing a client program for that.
But yeah notifications in general needs a strong enforcement from Google if we don't have to turn them off completely.
Apps get one chance. One instance of spam and they are banned from ever notifying again.
I've been following this rule for over a year now and am down to very few apps that have any notification permissions these days. Maybe 5-10 of the near 30 apps on my phone are still allowed my attention.
I go even stricter. Unless it’s a messaging app it goes silent straight off.
That said apple notification center is doing a bad job at exposing app setting. I’ve forgot some app at vibrate only and it’s just too much hassle to go find it so every now and then the phone vibrates and I’ve no clue why.
If you happen to read this, I suggest you email the HN mods and demand them to tell you why they have been tricking you to waste your time writing perfectly good comments that they have set to be invisible to a large portion of the userbase, for more than three months.
FFS I can't believe they're still doing this hellbanning shit on HN. Just set an account to "scream into the void indefinitely" and forget about it. The admins are otherwise quite reasonable so I can't fathom how they're actually okay with this.
FWIW, I clicked "vouch". AFAIK this sends a message to the admins to reconsider the hellban. But now I wonder what it actually does, cause I can't imagine nobody but me clicked that for all of three months.
Knowing only the individual can see their upvotes for an individual post makes the question - is there a difference between 30 upvotes and 2, if the rank of that post is 1? Which I find simply to be, intellectually resonant (or simulating) in the way Reddit, even Google - used to be. Those places have become so noisy, which is ironic, but that's the problem with success. The problem of finding a metric to measure the thing against.
The biggest difference is that HN has only a tiny fraction of the number of users that Reddit does. HN feels pretty similar to the way Reddit felt ten years ago when it was much less popular.
Interesting article I suggest reading.
I agree with TheCoelacanth that an increase in users will lead to a decrease in quality.
There are always going to be lots of people on the internet, lots of voices, hence, ranking algorithms. But I've been trying to find a place where the ranking algorithm doesn't get so much in the way of having a conversation. This is how I grew up watching my father interact on Usenet, and my father as a consequence had very interesting, philosophical conversations with me.
So I see these places as places that are intrinsically valuable to continuing dialogue and personal identity. There's a lot of noise out there and I'd imagine it's no different than any other social sphere.
This article is very cynical and very "I'm in the in group, I'm more smarter, I'm more analytical, I 'get it' - not you" which doesn't have to be the way people see it. That's a divisive mentality, and nothing good grows from communities that attack it's own members, predicated on the belief that that's a necessary behavioral function of the community in order to keep the community 'pure'.
Hacker News, at least from my perspective, is built with a design philosophy that is 'aware' of it's value system. The mere fact that you can scroll through all the comments in one list, this is the hacker mentality. It keeps information opened in various ways to be examined by the user, and that's what hackers do. They say "look, isn't this neat? do you want to see how neat it is the way I do" - and then they give you the thing to tinker with, and let you tinker with it. There's no heavy opinion involved, there's no extreme stratification between paradigms and people, there's no need to completely close yourself off from thinking about things differently, because you just move on from one thing to tinker with, and then you move on to the next when you want to learn more. Articles do get posted that are "Do this, NOT that!" but there's typically a dialogue that goes beyond that and is connective, rather than cyclical in a fundamentally socially disconnected way.
Honestly if people don't see themselves in the format HN presents I think they will get bored. I'd rather bore people with technical specs than adopt sociopathic traits and adhere to ideas like 'it's okay to be evil if that's what they are going to do'.
There's stuff that becomes cyclical and there's stuff that cuts the problem off at the head. It's easy to get in a routine where one sees that pattern everywhere automatically. That's an artifact of the past. But if you set yourself on auto-pilot, eventually you set yourself up for engaging in 'future prediction'. And you might find yourself treating others in a particular way, that is completely disengaged from the actual reality of reality - each conversation. The map is not the territory, and so on.
Not my experience at all. In fact if anything I'd say HN today feels the way Reddit felt ten years ago.
1. I got off Reddit
2. I saw that that had changed my conversation style
3. I appreciated that I had matured in a way I could notice, without it having to be pointed out to me, or rewarded with upvotes
(I'm not denying that today's Reddit is quite different from HN if that's what you're trying to say)
So yes, I have left HN multiple times. I find reasons to come back to it, I find reasons to appreciate it.
I couldn't check Wayback machine for 10 years ago, but Reddit 2002 is not as good or like HN.
It just failed to load that time (it happens) and they've screwed up the refresh somehow (probably a bug).
(Though, thank you to the OP for posting an explicit desktop link so I didn't have to suffer this pause.)
At least AMP seems mostly dead. Though between cookie notices, "use our app" and "subscribe to our mailing list" popups, fixed navbars, and the damn on-screen keyboard popping up for no reason, I'm lucky to see even a single line of article text on some sites on mobile, though which line it is changes every few seconds as ads on invisible parts of the page pop into and out of existence. And then the article is shitty modern "long-form" journalism that doesn't get to the point until after 10 paragraphs describing the latte the reporter had while giving the interview. I've had better experiences reading click-bait slideshow articles than those from some so-called "professional" outlets. God I hate the modern web. Get off my lawn.
Try it yourself at : reddit.com/.compact
(Note: I do this with Firefox for Android. No idea if other mobile browsers have a similar "Desktop Mode" feature.)
Many sites do this with GDPR opt-outs, which ironically are non compliant on multiple accounts.
I used to occasionally read stuff there when an interesting-sounding article was posted to HN, but I'm not visiting that page ever again.
Something about the new site just somehow puts me off. While I could mindlessly browse the old site endlessly, something about the new actively makes me want to close the tab.
Either way, a good thing.
It’s not that people are stupid, sometimes you’re simply talking to a teenager with no life experience. Often it is because people are kind of stupid. My national (r/Denmark) subreddit has devolved into a vile place for instance, I’d compare it to t_d, it’s the best “quick” comparison there is, but it’s obviously not as bad, at least not yet.
I think /r/space is the only major subreddit that I don’t dislike, and most of the smaller ones have been abandoned.
The new design being horrible was just what tipped the iceberg.
/r/Australia isn't particularly racist or astroturfed but there is still a lot of times I'm amazed at what gets upvoted. /r/bjj is a good place for jiu jitsu content but the same stuff is posted across every network and the communities are so small we all know any news pretty quickly.
Maybe I just got older and care less about reading or discussing the same topics all the time. I've had the same trouble with Facebook recently where so many lies fill any comment section.
This cycle of social networks starting lesser known but higher quality and ending popular but rubbish is inevitable because the bottom 25% of users have far more capability to drag a social network into the dirt than the top 25% could ever drag it back up.
Every time I visit HN I read something interesting. I can’t remember the last time I read something that interested me on Reddit, outside of /r/space.
I mean, I know it sounded arrogant to say I was the most knowledgeable, it simply happens to be true, but it only applies to Reddit. It’s extremely rare that I feel like that anywhere else, even Facebook is much better in that regard.
Maybe I’m just using Reddit wrong, but it hasn’t always been like this either.
1. It looks like a mobile app. I hate most of the mobile ecosystem for its horrible information density and dark UI patterns.
2. You cannot find shit. The only way to open a subreddit's wiki in the new UI is to append "/wiki" to the URL, from what I can tell.
3. It looks like a social network (i.e. a waste of time) and less like a forum/message board (i.e. a productive community).
www.reddit.com: 4285 kb
old.reddit.com: 1888 kb
i.reddit.com: 802 kb
Assuming 5 kWh per GB of data, and 14 billion reddit pageviews per month 
5 kWh/GB x 1e-6 GB/KB x x 1e-9 TWh/kWh x 802 KB/view x 14e9 views/month x 12 months/year
= 0.67 TWh/year
= 1.6 TWh/year
= 3.6 TWh/year
And for what? What did we gain from this?
2. Everything is clickable. On a crappy touch pad I misclick so much stuff.
3. Resource usage. I bought a lighter laptop. It sacred me actually because embedded YouTube was lagging on the new site. This was even worse because everything is ckickable problem.
4. It took a lot of clicks to see a content. There might be an expand / collapse but I had a hard time finding it consistently.
After having to click "visit old reddit" a few times, I just got sick of it.
> After many years of trying, I have now managed to successfully kick my Reddit habit completely and have gained precious hours in my day.
It stopped being fun. Reddit has turned into the infowars of the left. It's just spiteful and angry leftist politics 24/7. I suppose it was inevitable when reddit sold itself to a news media company, but still sad to see reddit die a slow and painful death. Was once a great site for open ideas, discussions and jokes.
Unless you're specifically visiting r/politics, r/latestagecapitalism, r/socialism, or similar subreddits, this just isn't true.
I don't know if you'll see this comment because the thread is off the front page, but I came back to thank you. Your comment set off a lightbulb in my head and really helped me make a positive change to my life. I'd been wallowing in a major (3+ hours a night) reddit addiction and my productivity was way, way down and I wasn't accomplishing stuff I wanted to do (learn another language, work out, clean the house...) because of it. I also HATE the redesign (so ugly, so spaced out, way less "sticky" to me as a user because what I really love about reddit is the discussion subreddits and the conversations. I'd always been turning the "new reddit" off and using old reddit view. When I saw your comment above, it was like an epiphany. A-ha! Just leave the ugly terrible redesign activated on all the time!!
I am so thankful I saw that- I changed all my reddits to the new design and successfully accomplished a ton of stuff I'd been procrastinating on over the last few weeks.
Cheers and thanks so much for the great idea.
When Reddit stopped allowing non-email-verified signups and conveniently locked everyone out who did have a non-email legacy account, the writing was on the wall. They didn't even have their own mobile app for years after the "mobile first" rhetoric and guess what... It still grew to the #3 website in the world.
While I haven't verified it, I recently read a post that they didn't stop allowing email-less account creation, they did add a dark pattern around it. I believe it was someone like an email prompt and next button, but allowing the email field to remain empty.
There's a term of art in philosophy called universalizability (Kant). Basically, what would happen if everyone followed a principle or strategy. Locke spoke of the social contract - civilization is not compatible with unlimited individual freedom.
Reddit already has an interesting user sorting and self-selection process: sub-reddits. People can more easily congregate around common interests. They don't even have to buy a domain, learn HTML, or pay hosting bills. Which would seem to reduce flame wars. But this can result in groupthink and safe spaces for extreme views.
Just for those interested in philosophy but lacking knowledge of the subject, this is technically correct but not the complete picture. The term "universalizability" is informal and not precise in describing Kant's morality; it falls under his categorical imperative. I suggest the entire linked SEP article for a more thorough discussion of the topic.
this sounds interesting and im not sure its common knowledge. does anyone have a source?
Xbox Live: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/microsoft-explains-xb...
I've never owned an Xbox so I don't know how effective it was.
Looking at the front page now, it's just turned into 4chan.
Right now it is very closely editorialized, but conversation level is at a good point.
Reddit itself did grow massively with the Digg exodus, but that was after it had already grown into its own, it had a community behind it to begin with. There was no content void for trolls to fill up with crap. It only worked because Reddit had grown up naturally already.
If a site is hyped as "reddit competitor", it will fail, just like sites hyped as a "facebook competitor" or "twitter competitor". Hype is a horrible thing for any site that depends on user interaction and discussion.
"You'll get over it"
> All it would take is one great, open forum site to absorb the refugees from a terrible management mistep
This is fundamental risk to any business that depends on a social space. The best explanation of the mechanics that create this risk is Joe Peacock's talk at NOTACON 8 about the time fark.com made the same mistake... and then poured gasoline on the fire with the infamous "You'll get over it" comment being the only publicly visible response by fark.com's management.
 They also mentioned that some of the loudest people that left came back later under a different username. That's the lesson the talk is trying to explain: most people probably do like (or will eventually like) the benefits of the "new and improved" version, so involve them in the process and respect that they might just need some time to adapt. Forcing people to adapt immediately only associates the new version with a strongly negative experience.
This is the goal of https://notabug.io it's a p2p fork of reddit based on GUNdb. Still very early; but my hope is that there will be enough interest in lifeboats that people will be interested in helping to construct one.
notabug is a p2p link aggregator app that is:
distributed: peers backup/serve content
anonymous: but don't trust it to be
immutable: edits are not supported
votes are PoW *voting is CPU heavy*
In practice it will tend towards federation for calculation of sorts/searches I expect.
The big thing protecting reddit right now, IMO, is that /r/worldnews for all its faults is still a much less awful way to browse international news headlines than the vast majority of news sites. Sure, the headlines are editorialized and the comments are mostly trolls, but at least it won't crash your phone browser and it's not gonna interrupt your unhealthy obsession with foreign affairs to bring you someone else's unhealthy obsession with celebrity gossip. And for all the ads pimping the reddit app, just try to download a recipe from Cookstr or the Food Network or whatever and you'll soon be begging to see fake loading screens that ask you to download an iPhone app. (Serious Eats is good though.)
So it'll be a while.
The only other ubiquitous logins are Facebook and Google, and I trust neither of them to do Reddit's job better than Reddit does (which is, admittedly, not the highest bar.)
HN did introduce a minifier [-] in the wrong side of the comments, but at least the rest is pretty much the same.
> You retain the rights to your copyrighted content or information that you submit to reddit ("user content") except as described below.
> By submitting user content to reddit, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display your user content in any medium and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so.
> You agree that you have the right to submit anything you post, and that your user content does not violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret or any other personal or proprietary right of any other party.
The individual users retain the rights to their comments and posts and so on, Reddit just gets permission to display them.
So, a mod would probably have to gain permission from every user before federating, legally speaking.
How does archive.org get away w/ archiving reddit pages and content?
You'd think their api would make it not possible to break the policy above, but you can grab comments/posts/etc json feeds without an api key, and agreeing to anything at all.
It says and 'to authorize others to do so too....' could that mean by 'others' anybody who accesses reddit endpoints via api? Or uses the .json feeds?
For a while during the LJ/Dreamwidth transition there were people using apps to post on both, and Dreamwidth even let you follow arbitary RSS feeds so you could include reading public LJ through it. It still took a long time to transition most communities, until the Russian buyout and change of policies.
The most avid consumers of my own posts seem to bee reputation-farming robots at reddit clones, on Twitter, and the odd Wordpress blog.
Reddit publishes RSS feeds, and has a pretty robust API. The behaviour described is one consequence of these.
I doubt it. Unlike Digg, Reddit has community lock-in. If your content is generic memes and videos and general-interest news articles, then you can switch without caring too much if everybody else follows right away.
But if you’re in a small city sub or the sub of some niche hobby or interest, then it matters a lot if everybody else agrees to move. You want to be where the other people are and it’s really hard to get an entire community to organize somewhere else. A site that can pull 20% of a small sub’s users isn’t 20% as good. It’s useless.
Reddit is an ad company. It's not an effort to build you a nice website, it's a machine for taking your time and attention from you then selling it.
Asking Reddit to "please stop" grabbing at better attention hooks is like asking McDonald's to "please stop" raising prices.
The right way to say this is timeless: refuse to make the trade. If Reddit goes too far, close the tab. That, in bulk, is how you get a response.
But things rarely change for the better when you don't complain.
Reddit is trying to build a community too, because otherwise they wouldn't have visitors. It's naive to think that speaking up never makes a difference.
When speaking up has made a difference, virtually every time, it was coupled with action, or it was speaking up to people who had no reason not to agree.
Reddit’s community is a means to an end, that’s my point. Asking for something that strengthens the community without harming ad views may be reasonable, but asking them to strengthen the community at the direct expense of the reason they want a community is nonsense.
Sure, privacy issues aren't solved, largely because people don't care, don't understand the tools, and marketing companies are ever more aggressive.
But to say that Google and Facebook have done nothing in the face of public outrage is wrong.
Rome wasn't built in day - things get better step by step - speaking up is often a good start.
We spoke up, and the EU is largely without software parents. It's easy to forget our victories in the face of all the upcoming battles.
However, often people complain and do nothing, or complain and keep buying the company's product. (e.g. games with microtransactions)
Sure there are a few, but creatives are limited and if the are making a game, they choose between designing for $50 for a complete experience or for $13/month for the rest of your life. These affect gameplay drastically.
So people liking microtransactions mean these games make more money, so they are made, so stories are worse, so my game play is affected.
I loved Mass Effect 1. The mind set of “why would I care if multiplayer charges for stuff?” led to the franchise sucking. And while there are other games to play, none as good as Mass Effect exist.
It's a Gresham's Law dynamic that's been observed at least as far back as the 1950s, see Dwight McDonald, "A Theory of Mass Culture", H.L. Mencken, "Bayard v. Lionheart", or Ben Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly.
There's also the wee slight problem that subversion of mass media by populist, demagogic, and/or fascist political movements is a distinct historical trend. See Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy, Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, or much of Hannah Arendt's work. This theme is also hit on by MacDonald, below.
It's more like asking McDonald's to stop trying to sell / serve me a worse product that I didn't order, halfway through my order. And despite them knowing who I am, repeating this question every time. "Hi, I'd like two McMea- WOULD YOU LIKE A SALAD INSTEAD??"
If they are not making sufficient money on one of their products they should pull it, not try to irritate people into choosing something else.
The x button works for me, but when I load an other page it reappears. So reddit wants me to dismiss the floating bar for every page I visit on the site.
I'm curious to learn about the thinking behind building out such dark patterns. Have the reddit employees tried using the site on mobile while logged out for extended periods of time? If the answer is yes, I would love to know how they justify building out such a feature. Is there pressure to grow the app installs metric? It sometimes feels like reddit is losing touch with the community.
There's another variation of the popup where the button to install the app is huge and the link to proceed to the mobile site is tiny. It's also pretty easy to accidentally click on the button to download the app. Here's an image : https://i.imgur.com/rSS8HoI.png
I find it hard to believe that no one prefers the old mobile site. That would be pretty weird that their designers and programmers have such odd tastes that they actually like the app or the Facebook style scroll.
I sort of get how it happens but I can't quite understand how the level of stupidity required by management is achieved in practice to actually do it.
It's a common commercial lifecycle for all sorts of things. You make a new thing. You find a way to make money from the thing. You expand your market for the thing by filling a need and treating your customers well. At some point you want to cash out, and start burning your userbase to make extra money. Eventually this destroys the whole thing.
It works the same way it did in 1999, so my grandma can still sell stuff on it. That's it. Done. It's probably made way more money by not changing anything than by increasing CPMs 5% by playing a fullscreen ad every 6 seconds.
The reason is irrelevant, and they don't ask for it anyways. They just keep badgering and badgering and badgering to try to figure out WHO YOU ARE and tag your phone info/MEID across the internet... Do you really think they can't connect that info?
LinkedIn is the worst example because they represent professionals, and doing this is about as unprofessional as you can get.
I'm curious if they are selling anything to cookie onboarding and audience data vendors. Has anything been disclosed?
It's the main reason I wish people would stop using Medium to host their blogs, because there's an uncloseable "open in app" button in the middle of the content.
I don't want your Cookies, dammit.
It should be run like a public service, for the benefit of society. It's now being run like a business with VCs that want to see a return. Exactly the problem that ruined Digg.
Trying to turn reddit into a big profitable business will corrupt it. Hopefully the replacement will be a more decentralized phenomenon. But even if not, it will be replaced by something better shortly after it becomes bad enough. What reddit was is too important to not exist.
I used to click _CONTINUE_ because I'd already gone to the mobile site and just wanted to close the #$@%!$* pop-up. And would be taken to Play Store.
But as you point out, "take me to the mobile site" isn't actually a proper link. It makes me think I'll lose my current page, when I'm in fact already here. This is what should be named Continue, and the other should be "Get The Reddit App". Bastards.
>Reddit’s official mobile apps have seen tremendous growth and are by far the most popular way to browse Reddit on mobile devices.
These days dark patterns are tremendous. This thread must be fake news.
I can load actual apps faster than their content-focused website.
However reddit is so bad that unless they improve the performance I’ll likely just stop using it
Just like supposedly they weren’t gonna do the user-hostile stuff described in this thread?
SHINE for reddit -- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/shine-reddit/...
Old Reddit Redirect -- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...
But... on the whole I really hate the direction Reddit has gone in.
Apollo is fine, but I hate having to use a mobile app. And the mobile web experience is such shit. The fact that they push the app so hard makes me think they have loaded it with a crypto miner. Ha, well probably just location tracking or other data they can sell that they can't get from the web version.
And the redesign... man, it's just bad. It screams, "I'm going to load more ads on the page..." That has to be the real reason behind it, a design that allows them to have every 2nd item be an ad. Great... just want I wanted. Bastards.
I worry they'll soon crack down on Apollo and old.reddit.com and accessing the site through a non-crappy interface. Or they'll charge to have the "old" reddit view. Just really hate most of their decisions, not like it's amazing content anyway... but if I use it, I don't want to get bombarded with ads or have to load an app.
The good thing is that I’m spending way less time with my phone now. The OK thing is that websites like facebook and reddit are constantly reminding me to use the app. The bad thing is that my apps now remind me all the time that I’ve disabled notifications.
So far it's been a universally superior experience to the proper mobile site or the app.
I really wish they would write a great mobile web app. I use Facebook once a week to catch up on family stuff, and go all mobile. I also use Twitter sometimes, always mobile.
I try to avoid other sites that try to force me to install an app. I can do without their content.
EDIT: I just learned that old.* goes to a non-js version that doesn’t have these problems! Yay!
Let’s brainstorm a bit on why this is the case.
Does it just come down to ad blockers not being available for local apps? At least on iOS, access to e.g. notifications, address books, pictures etc. is optional. But maybe most users just answer “yes” when asked, and the reason local apps are preferred is because access to this stuff isn’t possible via web apps?
Not that I'm complaining. The new design is just...weird?
In my case that's mainly game-specific subs, and places like /r/paintball.
In the old days, it would have been a two lines userscripts, but since Greasemonkey was abandoned, there's no good alternative to do a portable (maybe webext-based) addon.
Edit: just saw post is about reddit. I had assumed it was about the practice in general, since it is not uncommon to open a website and immediately be redirected to the App Store for some random site, article, etc. medium is one that comes to mind. Imgur. It’s a common thing.
They aren't interested in user experience. They are interested in drumming up mobile #s in the short term to get the best valuation possible. Reddit, like most things on the internet, have turned away from their idealistic beginnings for the cold hard cash. Not that I blame them really.
I've been through situations like reddit is going through. I can guarantee you that they don't care 1 bit about user complaints at this stage. It's all about getting the metrics they need to the valuation they want. They don't care whether reddit survives or not over the long term. They don't care about user experience. It's all about the short term right now and cashing out as quickly as possible.
Think of it like trying to sell your car. You don't car about its long term prospects. You just want to spend as little money as possible to make it look as good as possible to make as much money off of it in the short term.
It's not really unheard of for an employer to paint a rosy picture for prospective employees...
Because anything involve the cellphone is technically stupid.
(Apologies if I missed a joke there)
> "Please don't comment about the voting on comments. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading."
As for your original comment, people may have misunderstood what you meant regarding the submitted url.
Abuse exists, of course, but people also imagine it onto everything they see on HN that they happen to dislike. Then they come to the comment threads to post unsubstantiated claims about it. That doesn't help.