dudes the time for YC to be replaced by something
open and not privately owned has come, and I want
to help in some way
I mean not YC the company, but the news site: news.ycombinator.com
First step, I want to code some Redis based fast
replacement of the code base. Guess what?
Not written in Arc ;)
Second, let's make the code base open source.
Finally I'll get a linode instance for the first year,
and put it into some domain.
p.s. I know that Reddit is open source, but I want to
write a Redis clone so that it can make a good
use case at least ;)
Note: site will not be mine, once I put it
online + github I want to create a "core team"
from different companies / countries.
if you wonder about why "lamer" news, one of the
things I like less of HN is how they turned the
"hacker" term into almost a joke...
@rbucker: @antirez that makes much more sense.
And I agree with that. News dot yc is a conflict
of interest. Sort of.
@rbucker exactly what I think... for instance YC
funded companies job postings are special news that
are "sticky" or alike.
@dvirsky lamernews has a meaning actually, it is
like Cusano philosophy "I know that I don't know".
Makes sense IMHO in the hacker culture.
Several recent-ish negative stories (Dropbox security, Air BnB apartment damage) about YC companies really demonstrated pg's commitment to an open forum and really helped earn a ton of respect for pg and his commitment to this community. Within reason we were all able to say what we wanted about the companies and have a vibrant discussion (sometimes argument) with each other and often with the founders themselves.
If I have to see a job posting for a yc company every once in a while as the price for what appears to be a great and truly open tech/business forum so be it.
I'm not really sure what the point of this is other than to write a news/discussion site. If that's all it is, cool, hack away. But I don't get the weird counter-culture fight the man vibe that seems to run through it.
Funny you mentioned that. A few days after I posted a few of criticisms of dropbox in one of those threads I was hellbanned. All of my posts on that topic had positive point scores, one was at even 50+ points and sparked a fair bit of discussion.
I won't pretend that all I ever posted with my old account was deep wisdom and insight, some of the comments sucked outright, but very few are gray and given the timing I don't know what else I that I had posted that could have possibly been the reason for that ban.
Now he is doing great things for the startups community. While I don't like that IMHO HN is polarized, I still think YCombinator is one of the most significant phenomena of the latest years in our field.
But still I think it is legitimate to think that this kind of news sites are important enough that can't be polarized, that should be handled by many people (I want to create a consortium or alike otherwise lamernews would be like HN, with a single vision, but just worse since Paul Graham is smarter and with more resources than me).
Another goal of LN, not the site but the code base, is to provide to people a good code base to create this kind of sites for other fields using little money. Once those kind of sites start becoming big scaling them is apparently non trivial, but with LN this should be pretty different, we'll be able to do some math later when the site gets busier or when the code base is used for other bigger sites, but I believe that LN code base can serve a lot of traffic with little hardware, and the BSD license allows to use the code base in more contexts.
So I don't have nothing against PG, YCombinator, the community here, I just thing that at this point we understood that news sites for programmers are so important that there should be a "third party" involved in running them, without ADS, without job postings, without a big percentage of users being from a particular incubator, and so forth.
p.s. also if you ask me, I don't think PG is biased and kills stories against its startups, the things I don't like about how the site is handled are: the unilaterality of decisions, not fixing the site performances, and that PG did not resisted to the temptation of using the site to post job postings (you should try to realize how a huge value this is for YC however, startups are made of hackers).
Dudes that's incredible, hacker news guys removed my blog
post from the home page. Truly lame.
What's wrong with the iPhone 4s, and why Jobs is not my hero
Same with the comment section, people get a little sensitive and trigger happy with the moderating. Does not happen with every story obviously, but the trend is definitely there.
I believe this explains his frustration more than some hidden agenda by mods to censor things. It's still a democracy, even if a little skewed with the community biases.
BTW sure fire way of getting karma is to pile on MS :)
PS: PG, can we get some stats on OSes/Broswers used on HN? There's a couple of stats compiled by sites that were linked that show ~40% OS X usage, so just curious. And if those can be correlated with karma(respecting privacy, of course), we could get even more insight into the community.
It's a republic with its own philosopher-king.
It's obvious that for a lot of HN participants, the site isn't fun unless we can divide everyone into heroes and villains, or at least shirts and skins.
> It's obvious that for a lot of HN participants, the
> site isn't fun unless we can divide everyone into
> heroes and villains
Most news stations, for example, seem to me to be all about dividing the world into heroes and villains.
Also, do you think this is something that can be changed? My initial reaction is that this kind of black-and-white thinking is part of human nature, stemming from our need to apply our own morality to the events that occur around us.
Still if you think my comment is inappropriate downvote it.
I didn't know HN did sticky. These articles are voted up out of general interest level.
Cool to see something like this tried and wish you luck, but this kind of reminds me of Diaspora. I think when you closely base your product on something else, you need an exponentially better value proposition. I don't think "being open" is a huge selling point, and really the whole motivation is explained in less than a tweet.
The community here might be more sensitive to openness than other communities, but HN is generally seen as impartial/neutral anyway.
First, those comment threads were often toxic; for instance, they tended to host deliberate and pointed efforts to unmask companies that hadn't launched yet.
Second, I think it's totally reasonable for YC to provide HN perks to YC companies, and if that's going to happen, I prefer the overt perks to the more subtle ones.
Third, public comment threads are a crappy venue for having conversations about a job. If you want to know more about a job, contact the person who posted the ad. If the ad sucks, let them write better ad copy.
Finally, for the HN demographic, these are some of the best job advertisements on the entire market. They're a clear win-win.
It is possible that I have hired more people directly off HN than any non-YC company, and probable that I've hired more people from here than most YC companies have. I don't feel like I'm getting a raw deal at all. I'm perturbed by the degree of entitlement on display on this thread.
I'm fine with those postings, what with it being PG's site and all, so that's not really what I'm talking about. I just think the postings would be better with comments for the same reason everything else is. They can have bright purple headings to make them more visible to everyone for all I care, if some method to make them stick out is desired.
I don't recall those threads being nasty, but perhaps that's been crowded out of my head by the two or three things in my life more important than a particular variety of posting on HN. I think nastiness should be rooted out in a fairly blunt way: if people are being lame/immature about companies' job postings, they're likely going to be lame about other stuff as well.
#2 is something we're in agreement on.
> public comment threads are a crappy venue for having conversations about a job.
Yes and no. I think there are some kinds of questions and answers that might be useful to all applicants, and I think most people here are smart enough to figure out the difference between what ought to be public, and what is best addressed to the company in question via private email. For many of these companies, it may be the first time they've ever sought to hire someone, so it's entirely reasonable that they don't nail the posting 100%. A helpful comment or two might also help the companies.
As I recall, YC companies were allowed to submit those, but (for example) I couldn't for Matasano (I'm fine with that).
I am all for open and new sites and all that, but I do recognize the need to generate revenue to run something that we all enjoy and derive value, free of cost. So I have absolutely no problem with these barely noticeable ads(which still provide value to readers because they're about startups looking for people to give jobs to).
This way, it won't end up dying like code.google.com or other free services.
Coming to LN, I might be visiting the site but I am bit skeptical of "throw it on a VPS and github and lets see what happens". Something more concrete is appreciated.
What I'd really like to see is "$NAME, like Hacker/Lamer news, but for book reviews". The submission has a title which is $BOOKNAME - $AUTHORNAME; then the post contains maybe a link to some online store selling it. (affiliate links are allowed). After that the first post is a review of the book. That allows people to upvote the book, but downvote the review (or vice versa.)
Really, I should just buy some hosting and get my head round hackernews / lamernews.
The hard part is the community.
It takes a lot of time and thought to write a good book review, and you don't get anything out of it (unlike spending time to post a well-worded Ask HN, or spending almost no time to post a link to something interesting).
Most folks in a HN-like community don't have that time. If they even have time to read more than a few books a year... so they aren't going to spend hours perusing book review (which aren't actually of value themselves.. they just point to other things that will be valuable to buy then read...).
So, if anyone else wants to they should.
Also see links on the right of http://www.reddit.com/r/books for more books related sub reddits.
Love that it's open source, though. I'll definitely be taking a look at it.
It's just written in some crazy esoteric language by some nutjob. :)
HN is not a great website because of it's design (which is really poor in my opinion). It's a great website because of the community.
I don't participate nearly as much as I used to. It's not like the only choices are "stay" and "leave".
Maybe the new saying will be "Every competent web dev has coded a news site at some point"?
PS: I joined, my internet OCD demands it.
As far as I know, that project was never made open source.
You can find other early projects from antirez here http://merzia.com/
Maybe Hacker News has it's issues but, even if it Lamer News were a better option I do not think that somebody mocking 'competitors' (even though to be fair that is not even close - as this new site is only days old - as compared to HN) is a 'leader' worth following in forming a new community.
1. Your moderators are simply unable (or unwilling) to distinguish "sockpuppets" from a legitimate community of developers (that is the node.js community). Yes, when we post something to HN we send out the link via Twitter and IM to colleagues in the node.js community who may potentially upvote it. This is natural "word of mouth". We have never used bots, or any kind of malicious automation to ensure posts reach the front-page.
2. There is no transparency for bans, nor is the ban every communicated to the owner of the HN account. If you think an account is unfairly trying to manipulate the voting system; you have to contact them. Anything less is blatantly ambiguous and unacceptable.
3. Given the silent nature of bans on HN, we have no choice but to move onto a new HN account and continue to submit legitimate posts using legitimate word of mouth dissemination. Perhaps you view this as "sockpuppets," but what other choice do we have?
4. In the particular case of Nodejitsu, this behavior is even more unacceptable. We are a platform-as-a-service where any user can create a publicly available application on a subdomain of nodejitsu.com. How can you ban the entire *.nodejitsu.com domain when we are not responsible for malicious actions (real or perceived) taken by a given user? This is not an admission that any such behavior has taken place; I'm sure that your claim is addressed in -.
In the copyright world, site owners are protected by malicious actions of users through DMCA safe-harbor. In such senarios, the owner of the site will be contacted and the malicious behavior (real or perceived) can be addressed and/or removed. By silently banning posts and not communicating with members of the HN community about what you perceive as malicious behavior you are doing yourself a serious detriment. This has (and continues to) raise questions about the legitimacy of the content on HN as just a shill for YCombinator.
If you'd like to speak with me personally you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder and CEO
You seem to be having difficulty with the concept that what you know not to be sockpuppetry would, to the part-time admins of this site, seem like sockpuppetry.
HN makes banning mistakes with some regularity. Get over it or go somewhere else. It's ungracious to spit venom ("unacceptable", "blatantly ambiguous and unacceptable", "HN as just a shill for YCombinator") at the site admins, all of whom have better things to do than resolve individual disputes like this.
I'm as cynical as anyone about YC, 'pg, and the valley culture, but I can see when someone's doing me a favor. Like, every f'ing day for one thousand four hundred fifty two days. I too would run a site like HN differently, but that is irrelevant, because I didn't build a site like HN and so my opinion doesn't matter.
We don't ban sites lightly. We only do it when people make repeated, deliberate efforts to bypass lighter weight protections. Human mods can't watch every upvote 24x7, so if a site seems really determined to hack their way onto the frontpage, the only thing we can do is ban the domain.
I'm happy to unban nodejitsu.com if you promise to stop trying to game HN. In your case I recommend the following standard for what counts as gaming HN: if you're not sure, don't.
There is an unofficial "Upvote YC company articles" rule among YC founders. So, that's why YC company news tends to dominate HN. And, why so many amazing non-YC companies tend to not get profiled here.
It creates a echo chamber, which I think is detrimental to the entire startup ecosystem. It also gives an incorrect assumption to a segment of geeks that YC companies dominate startup the startup scene in Silicon Valley. In reality, YC companies are a very small percentage of the $20B of Venture Capital that is invested in Silicon Valley every year.
HN has in fact been less and less focused on YC cos as time has passed. The initial core of users were YC founders, and anything to do with YC was interesting to them. But over time that group has been diluted by large numbers of new arrivals. A lot of people now think of "Y Combinator" as a news site rather than an investment firm, which was certainly not the case a few years ago.
I'm suggesting that it's common for 500+ YC founders who are and have been active HN members, to quickly upvote articles about other YC companies.
I'm suggesting that this is a cultural artifact of what's happening on HN, not an algorithmic one.
And, I'm suggesting that this cultural artifact changes the content on HN to be quite focused on YC companies. It's natural. It's reasonable. And, certainly beneficial to the investment aspect of YC. You run a media site about startups, and you invest in lots of startups. Those startups naturally want their investor to do well, and their brand to succeed.
I'm not accusing you of malice. What I'm saying, is that I think that this cultural artifact benefits YC and it's startups to the detriment of the startup community at large.
I'd be surprised if I wasn't one of these alleged puppets. Of course I'm more likely to vote up something that someone mentions to me in IM, because I have to see it before clicking the button.
I can see how this looks like sock puppets. You've got a few dozen users that always upvote the same articles from a few dozen other users, and are much less likely to upvote other articles. I'm not sure the best way to know that we're all humans. If there were fewer people using/excited about/writing about ruby on rails, then the behavior would appear very similar, I suspect.
The term "gaming" is really vague. It's not at all clear how "this is something interesting that I'd like to share and discuss" is much different from "this is something that I'd like to get people to look at." It seems to me like the ultimate purpose of a site like this is to be gamed in a particular way by a particular population.
Just would be interesting to be more transparent.
Here is what iamelgringo said
"Problem is, Paul. that YC companies do this exact same behavior on a regular basis. I've gotten emails from founders to ask for word of mouth upvotes on specific blog posts, etc.."
iamelgringo is just one of thousands of people who receives requests to upvote HN posts. I have received several requests myself (from people who are YC founders as well as people who aren't YC founders).
I'd be happy to forward some of those (mass-email blasts) emails to you, if you think that YC founders and other HN members don't game HN the same way that the nodejitsu guys tried to do)
* Can you enumerate what you claim we did?
* Can you provide log files illustrating your arguments?
If the answer to either of the above is "no", then please keep your false claims to yourself. I'm happy to view this as water under the bridge, but I will not allow lies about my company, Nodejitsu, to circulate: we did not (and would never) use any kind of malicious, automated, or anti-competitive tactics to falsely generate upvotes for anything on *.nodejitsu.com
Again, if you'd like to speak with me personally I am available at email@example.com.
Apparently this is Marak Squires using multiple accounts (barracks and changelog) in the same comment thread. I learned about this when the guys who run the changelog wrote to me to complain about it.
Posting from a different account and up voting from multiple accounts are two completely different issues. We have never used fake accounts to artificially upvote anything. Period. Nothing provided suggests otherwise. On the subject of data, if the above is an attempt to justify the original decision it is insufficient.
* How were you able to infer that both accounts were in-fact represented by a single individual?
* When one considers it objectively, two accounts with the same IP Address posting comments to HN on the same thread from different accounts is not necessarily malicious. It simply could be two different computers on the same home or work network. Point in fact, Marak and I were roommates during the early days of Nodejitsu. How would you be able to infer the difference?
Full logs of all relevant messages / comments with dates and IP Addresses included are really the only thing that will be satisfactory, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I still do not see a pattern of malicious behavior or any malicious behavior at all. As I mentioned before, I am very happy to make this water under the bridge, but please stop making false claims in public without providing more than conjecture.
I was able to infer the two accounts were the same person because, as I said, the changelog guys emailed me and told me so. I notice you don't deny it, which seems both revealing and revealingly disingenuous.
(Incidentally, if anyone is reading this far, this sort of thing is why it sucks to run a forum.)
Of course not. My wife and I both post to HN, and nobody has ever criticized us for it.
It helps that we give full disclosure. If we're both involved in the same thread, whoever came in second will usually say "so there's no confusion, I'm married to [the other of us]".
That seems to be one factor some of your colleagues are missing.
> "It is simply posting from a different account."
The HN community has no problem with those who post from separate accounts for "personal" and "professional" stuff. Anonymous threads asking for legal, moral, or health advice are commonplace. Using your personal account to comment on political stories and your business account to comment on code stories is cool.
But it definitely bothers me when someone uses multiple accounts in the same discussion. pg suggests this is a pattern, not a one-time occurrence. Whether or not it's intended to be malicious or manipulative, posting to the same thread from multiple accounts definitely comes off that way. Similarly, using multiple accounts to circumvent bans so you can give your posts publicity appears sketchy.
Maybe pg, the moderators, or the algorithm made mistakes. There are better ways to respond than making multiple accounts, and there are better ways to "make this water under the bridge" than the path you've chosen in this thread.
It does suck more to be hit with a false positive since you might not notice it right away. But I think overall the system is good. It speaks to my inner passive aggressive. :-)
We were wrong. It didn't really block much spam; from the very beginning, spammers had "quality control" bots checking delivery rates of their spam, and they'd adapt to new algorithms within hours, demonstrating just how well they could monitor their black hole rate.
Early this decade, the technology to do efficient blocking "at the edge" was finally implemented, and boom - no more lost mail.
Silent bans are really just a way to exert power. They achieve nothing.
Frequently over half the submissions are dead spam, presumably killed by the policy in question. I rarely see false positives. While the quality of the remainder isn't always great, it's a lot better than it would be if there were no controls in place.
ps. Flag some spam while you're there :)
But perhaps such measures are needed to defend against the non-bot trolls and other belligerent individuals, and only implemented after numerous attempts at corrective feedback have failed.
That's not how it works. You say something that offends some random moderator, and he/she can trivially silent-ban you. No comment under your comment saying you will be banned etc.
If entire communities are allowed to flock to Hacker News to upvote the latest post about their pet platform, the site will become nothing more than a cheap marketing tool.
So, PSA: Please don't strip-mine this community's goodwill for your own or your company's benefit.
As to your 2.: You're entirely correct.
Because there's been none of that happening for the past year...
HN is now the tech news site for insiders. It's not some obscure backwater.
1) Whether astroturfing does happen has no bearing on whether it should happen,
2) Examples of people astroturfing are an argument for having the rule, not an argument against it.
Charlie the above scenario should have triggered alarm bells. I always thought of HN as both an experiment for Arc & free publicity for YC. What's the controversy?
I completely disagree that it's unacceptable. I prefer it that way. It makes it harder to game the system, and I think that keeps the quality here better. The current system is biased towards the community as a whole. You want it biased towards the organizations that benefit from visibility. I don't see any reason to swap those biases.
Personally, I find it marginally acceptable to tweet a HN submission instead of the blog post itself. Tweeting the HN submission is an implicit "Hey guys, please vote this up for us!" to everyone who follows you.
As for the competitors line, I was possibly confused by past drama certain threads that there was something going on with that. Sorry for any misinformation this may have spread. It might be to everyone's advantage to ensure that there is a proper way to communicate with HN to get someone unbanned (I am not with Nodejitsu but I'm sure they'd be willing to talk). There is good content on that blog.
You can see everything that gets killed by turning on showdead in your profile.
E.g., "[dead] Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, hacker in AT&T iPad case, on Occupy Wall Street (youtube.com)" http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3146776
Edit: another killed link, "Funding for venture capital industry plunges" from the mercury news. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3146633 The article seems pretty relevant to the audience here.
As for your specific examples, the first was killed because that user is banned from submitting, and the second I killed myself because when I tried the link it was broken; it's since been fixed so I unkilled it.
I don't know if the Mercury News is auto-deaded, but I wouldn't be shocked if it was.
Some evidence to support this claim would be useful.
Perhaps the most important change that HN needs to make is to have topics. It isn't fair to other people and content if the stream is full of NodeJS content, but that is a legitimate interest so HN can't ban the prominent workers in that field (bizarre). The ban from HN seems to be purely a side effect of the fact that the maintainers are not interested in designing the system responsibly (they are too busy with other responsibilities). Topic channels are obviously needed.
I think the difference between HN and reddit needs to be considered well and the two should be integrated some how, I would like to see topic channels on HN.
I too am interested in some sort of substantiation for this claim.
marakmarak 5 hours ago | link [dead]
> They're banned because they created an army of sockpuppets to vote up their posts.
That is inaccurate, and libelous.
We have never used fake accounts to artificially upvote anything.
Your users and moderators harassed me to the point where I would be forced to create a new anonymous account every-time I wanted to post materials, so I wouldn't have to deal with the onslaught of your abusive community.
I was very candid about this, tweeted about it, talked about it in IRC, it wasn't a secret.
These accounts were all used once, then instantly abandoned. You have full logs of all of this.
I think you've been fed some bad information, because if you checked your logs you will find what I'm saying is accurate.
Show me one instance where our "army of socketpuppets" upvoted something from nodejitsu.com. You can't, because it never happened
Edit: submissions will silently be hidden. Following the link below brings me to a blank page. Also nothing on the new tab.
Although in principle I agree that "legitimate content" shouldn't be blocked, if spam has happened from or is related to a blog it's only reasonable to expect that such a blog might become blocked (how else should the moderators handle this?), the other legitimate content notwithstanding.
This is irrelevant to applications hosted on his company's domain.
"The great majority are banned for spamming and/or voting rings. Others (like url shortening services, squidoo, etc) are banned because they're often used by spammers. Others are banned for the reasons I listed in that recent essay: linkjacking, being offtopic, or characteristically being fluff."
I plan on making a big formal post about this when it has a bit more polish, but there are already a couple of sites that are using it. Here's the link if anyone's interested: https://github.com/sjuxax/raggregate
Maybe there have to be some mechanism in place that redistribute it from people that doesn't use their karma, though.
I don't think many will actually be giving up hacker news in joining lamer news, tho.