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Ask HN: Why punish popularity?
26 points by fogus on Aug 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments
It seems that there is a weighting algorithm in place that penalizes submissions that receive many upvotes from a common referral point.

For example, member jashkenas submitted http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2872831 earlier today and offered a HN link via Tweet. This article received a quick dozen upvotes but was quickly buried on the 2nd page and has since fallen into limbo.

Are all HN submission discussions intended to grow organically? Is there no room for directing interested parties to HN via a common source for the purposes of stimulating discussion?

I can envision a scenario where this would stop karma-baiting, but come on... there must be a better way. jashkenas is a valuable member of the HN community and it's ashamed that he cannot serve as a source for stimulating discussion through a (now) ubiquitous channel for communication.




I think I support the current system, though maybe there are ways of tweaking it. If there's no preference for internal decision-making on HN by people actually reading the /newest page, HN will tend to only consist of things that had traffic driven to them from something like twitter, a popular blog, or reddit (it's already pretty hard for anything on /newest to get noticed).

That seems like it'd lead to an HN that consisted mainly of discussion of things that're already being discussed elsewhere. To avoid that, some decoupling of communities so that what's at the top of HN is primarily driven internally is good, imo. But, perhaps there's a better way than devaluing externally driven votes.


I wonder if this new activity of the weighting algo noticed all the rapid upvotes for new posts originating from #startups on freenode? That place is a regular source of 'please upvote my story here guys: <link>' even from the channel ops, two well-known HN-ers.



Everything posted on Hacker News has the same and equal ability to be picked up from /newest. If the content you are posting is interesting it will naturally hit the front page and will not need artificial votes from friends.




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