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I guess HN and similar platforms could fit into the social media box, broadly. Taken extremely literally, they are mediated social environments. But I would absolutely make a distinction between sites like HN and "real deal" social media.

Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter measure success by things like user engagement and time spent on the platform - and their design principles are optimized to max out those measurements. That's how they create more value for advertisers and make billions of dollars.

This site is a social experiment in creating civil online discussion. Facebook and co. are a social experiment in hacking human behavior to create compulsive users who consume advertising with (measurable, trackable, hackable) enthusiasm.

I don't think HN would get much buzz for an IPO. :)




What does an IPO have to do with whether a platform is social?

From your analysis, it almost sounds like HN is more social than the behavior-hacking money machines. The big companies might own the most commonly used social media, but that hardly means their model is the only one.


This is absurd. You and others nitpicking this person to death and creating false equivalencies while ignoring the content of their argument.

I too will not welcome our amoral surveillance overlords onto or into my body. I hope that is a clear enough statement for people to understand.


>it almost sounds like HN is more social than the behavior-hacking money machines

Excellent point! You have gotten to the core of the issue. Mediated social interaction is not more social. It's just a way to harvest data. Mere "connection", in the language of FB who aims to "connect the world", doesn't equal better and more fulfilling communication.




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