Should I add downvotes on stories, for users over a certain karma threshold?
I can understand that the tone of the article is one that you might not want to represent Hacker News, but I think the article subject is on point and worth considering.
I have been fortunate enough to live under a rock and not follow techcrunch at all, until I started reading HN (I'm a recent reddit lurker, and as reddit continues to become digg my clicks seem to be heading elsewhere). The TC articles I've seen in the last few weeks have all been phoned-in armchair architecture drivel and whining about del.icio.us's release schedule (seriously, who cares?)
I think the upmods to the article in question here are specific backlash against TC's quality falling faster than my west coast (USA) home's value. I'd be concerned that downmods would lead to moderation warring, and that would just bring this site one intellectual hop closer to reddit (and thereby digg).
I humbly suggest waiting for HN's traffic (using the metric of your choice) to increase 20% before reconsidering downmods. If HN develops a tradition of tuesday morning "your site sucks" rants then you absolutely have my support -- but please don't react to one or a small number of articles in what could be a very permanent and culture-shifting way.
Now that you're speaking, don't stop. Welcome, iigs.
A couple week trial period couldn't hurt. What's there to lose?
A lot of people ask for downvotes when they're particularly annoyed by a particular story, but they're always told to just go vote up something good.
A more moderate change might be to allow people to undo their upvotes if they decide the story wasn't worth saving after all.
You have more data and experience than anybody else. Try out what you think will be best and undo it if it doesn't work.
That's to prevent deliberate sinking of freshly posted stories by a small, but coordinated effort.
I think this story rose to the top because it's aligned with the eigenvector of TC-related talk at HN. Hive mind has awakened and achieved a stable thread of thought. Over time we will see more of those stable waves forming. I have twice purposely clickbaited to the top of HN, and several times at reddit - the eigenvectors of the hive mind aren't hard to see and exploit, but after a certain point it's not clear who exploits whom. :-)
The only way to stop it is restrict the community.
Either that or you just wrote the piece knowing that it'd appeal to the growing anti-arrington/tc sentiment here, so you knew it was an easy climb to the top.
I'm getting extremely irritated by this sort of stuff. Many of you are doing exactly what you're criticizing Arrington/TC of doing - childish gossip and name calling. There's much more important, worthwhile and fulfilling shit to discuss.
Especially since the ones you'd wish they restrained themselves the most are usually those less able to do so. (as an extreme example, ask a spammer to avoid spamming you...)
But I'm with everyone else when I say to give it a trial period and see how it goes. It's the only equitable way to see how things will work out.
This solution doesn't scale, but it's quicker to implement than giving a higher weight to the votes of people who have voted for editor-selected good stories in the past. I don't like downvotes on anything.
I think a better idea would be to allow the editors or leaders to have some way to enable the story downvote button for the rest of the community. Perhaps after two or three leaders downvote an article, the button would be enabled for everyone.
Restricting upvoting controls to a story's dedicated comments page would also deter impulse upvoting and force users to check out the justification.
One thing you might also try is allow the top n posters (nickb and company?) to enable downvoting on certain articles, whereupon the rest of us can pile on if we like.
What I especially don't like is the practice of "private beta invitations". I am wasting time reading "news" about features of some new online service, only to find out that it's not available yet, but Techcrunch has "50 free invitations for its readers". It's a win-win-lost situation - startup got publicity, TC is "first to report it", but I wasted my time.
What I think TC got right is the blog-like format + discussions + quick reporting. But the content stinks. I hope competition will take him over.
Yes, the site has influence, but to think it's the only way to get noticed is only adding fuel to the fire.
yes, sorry. I'm slightly horrified that my rant is #1 on HN. In a nice way though.
At some point though, I won't be able to handle it and will unsubscribe, regardless of how many people follow his news.
However I hardly go there, usually a track for me. so they could get some more traffic there if they changed their site but the service within the browser and distributed bookmarks will always be their main point.
And seriously, this doesn't deserve to be on YC.
Though I don't follow many blogs anymore, period, R/WW writes fewer articles, but it tends to do a much better job with making sure the articles it DOES write are good. It's fairly high-quality.
VentureBeat started out by just reporting VC money and so on but switched. I liked him when he was with Mercury News but I haven't really been visiting his site as the other ones pretty much covers it.
Allen Stern wants to be like Michael Arrington and he's done a good job thus far. He breaks news every now and then and provides great analysis.
Silicon Alley Insider is shaping up to be a great tech news source. Topical, on point, and constantly updated.
And as much shit as Valleywag gets around these parts, they're still a top read in my book if you're an outsider in the Valley and want to pretend you fit in.
The story of the internet.
Regarding the posts, I think better comments would encourage more cooperation by the websites who are profiled as the comments could be more valuable.
It will then be more fun.