Not unlike what's happening to Reddit these days.
I dig that sort of thing, someone did something similar with classic MySpace: https://spacehey.com/. We just need Bebo back and we're sorted ;)
> You can purchase FarkUnits for $10 for 100 FUs, or you can get a discount if you purchase in bulk.
> Using it is easy. If you type a word with "fuck" or "shit" in your comment, a new button will pop up that says "Add Comment using SwearJar - 20FUs." Just click or tap that and those words won't be filtered to the customary 'fark' or 'shiat.'
So, basically, a "here, hold my beer" domain name.
I recall one person posting a photoshopped picture of a woman who had two sets of eyes, "this picture gives me the creeps every time I see it, what are pictures that unsettle you?" Not much later their avatar had been changed to that exact photo, with text like, "I am so sorry."
I don't think it ever held a really dominant position. It was never famous or well known. It seems content to have a loyalish fan base who either see ads or pay to remove them. That seems to pay to keep it alive and a smallish staff to keep it running, and it doesn't seem to desire any more than that.
The comments right from the beginning of that thread are sarcastic about how everyone else seems to act as if the world has ended at every redesign. It's hardly user hostile. It just gives enough for a decent conversation on news items that rarely merit more than a few laughs and sarcastic comments. They keep it light with aggressive moderation, and that seems to suit the people who fund it. And it doesn't have any aspirations higher than that.
It was great fun at the time, but I guess I got bored with the format and the snark and at some point life moved on. I don't remember site design being part of it...
Calling one of the most visited sites on the internet in the early 2000s “not dominant” is odd.
This seems to be a common thing with all kinds of companies, Digg, Facebook, many others. It's not like you can't build ads into the current site, right? Tracking can be easily built-in these days. Sure it'll decrease initial download speeds, but the UX won't be as terrible as what they keep coming up with.
But hey, I like boring things ;-)
That still seems to be the solution for a whole lot of websites, even though the Intersection Observer API now exists.
I don't get it.
Either that or they know all the above is bullshit and they're just hoping they can cash out with FU money before the ship sinks.
None of it seems to increase value to current users, invite new users, or actually grow the business.
You can argue about the merits of those changes, but it is those changes that changed the community, practically fatally so.
I think this also marked the death of the early 2000s internet culture, which had been formed on places like fark.
HN should refrain from undergoing any major redesigns and instead focus on making minor adjustments. It is worth noting that some HN users frequently suggest redesigns, believing that it would improve the forum. However, I must emphasize that if HN were to heed all user suggestions, it would risk becoming a desolate space within a few months.
In support of this notion, one could say that a Volvo is akin to a Porsche designed by a committee.
Attention economy makes money by friction. It's like putting water wheels on a river - as long as you don't dam it completely, you can extract just a little more value by stuffing yet another wheel downstream, until the flow is close to stopping dead.
The real cause of the decline of slashdot, in my opinion, was the corporate buyout and departure of CmdrTaco, Hemos, and the rest.
For what it's worth, the site is still going, there's usually at least 1 story with >100 comments on the first page, at least when I've taken a look.
I think HN should stay exactly the way it is. I know we all hate things like clicking for more comments at the bottom of popular posts, but this is like an antibody for the kind of user who wouldn't stop with that suggestion.
Digg and Reddit had a lot of overlap in what they were trying to do immediately prior to Digg’s redesign. Reddit was an obvious place to go if you preferred Digg up until that point.
Now what’s the clear alternative to Reddit? Discord is probably the closest just from a UX perspective and I expect to be finding stuff there that I used to find on Reddit in the near future; but it’s not as close as Digg and Reddit were, and a lot of the people that made Reddit into what it was have an issue with Discord’s walled off nature.
Except it's not easier, there was an instance where a community had been using a discord channel as a file sharing platform for mods. An administrator was doing some housekeeping of the channels and accidentally deleted the entire chat history (which is easier to do than it sounds), and so irrevocably deleted all of the uploaded files, some of which were never recovered.
As to how it’s the closest alternative, mainly in that the atomic unit around which Discord is organized like Reddit is the community. On Reddit it’s subreddits and on Discord it is servers and it has gotten complex enough that for server owners Discord is slowly becoming a build your own social network toolbox.
Instead of the sidebar, each channel has pins. You can have an arbitrary number of channels for different topics, and you can even have forum channels where at the root level of the channel are forum topics. Once you’re in a server, searching it is trivial to see what people have said in Subject X in community Y, although this isn’t as good as say, searching all of Reddit is and you have to find a decent community to be able to search it.
Also a lot of subreddits are already running a Discord server on the side with the same or a similar mod team and have been for years. Doesn’t quite resolve Discord’s server discoverability issue, but Reddit doesn’t make the worst springboard for figuring out Discord either. If you support any Patreons or have similar memberships elsewhere, there’s a decent shot you already have access to a number of private members-only Discords which has kind of been my springboard into actually using my Discord account this past year.
But you know, it is very different. I don’t think it’s nearly as perfect an analogue to Reddit as Reddit was to Digg for Digg users, but it’s probably the closest to what Reddit already is.
Threads are "ok" but still more ephemeral than a reddit thread.
I'm aware there are subs running discords on the side... and it's just on the side. I've had occasion to visit a few, and most of the time (from my own experience), they are just rehashing discussions already had on reddit and there is usually a channel or two that reposts links to reddit. It's great if you already spend the majority of time in Discord but I don't. I don't have time to sit in a discord and wait to have interesting discussions.
Earlier today, I was met with someone getting upset at me trying to have a discussion; editing prior comments because I called them out on something they had said [snide comments about people being asexual] and blocking me because "I don't fight on Discord".
All that said, I'm willing to give Discord a try here and there- but my prior experiences don't instill a huge amount of faith or hope in me. Until I find a Discord community that provides an analogue to normal discussion, which may never happen.
I can't imagine having to explain things to someone in real-time or helping them with programming issues. I imagine the vast majority of help channels cater to people coming off beginners' tutorials. Many of which can be covered with a simple search through Reddit or Stack Overflow.
I don’t see a bright future for Reddit. A lot of the broad appeal back when I used it more was that it surfaced the best stuff from all over the internet so I didn’t have to sift through all the boring stuff but funny enough now the only time my little sister and her hip friends see Reddit posts is when the best ones have been turned into a tik tok. I doubt this is going to kill Reddit but honestly I think it’s been fighting a losing battle for a while now. I have a feeling its indirect competitors will keep getting better at providing the value reddit does over time in their own way and leave reddit with very little left to offer.
It really never did recover from this. I "grew up" on Fark, and lots of my early web projects were clones of it/inspired by it. Fark really was a special part of the internet, and it's sad that it fell off. I wonder if the fact that they never moved on from this design was Drew being gunshy about changing it again.
In other words I think he's happy with it, and doesn't want it to change. The main change since then was more ads or paid accounts, which seems a fair tradeoff. Anybody who wants Reddit knows (or knew) where to find it.
- It inserts "ads" for other Reddit posts in the middle of a comment section. If you're not paying very close attention, it's easy to miss that you're literally not seeing all the comments on a post, because you have to scroll down past the "recommended reading" or whatever they call it and expand the comments below the fold.
- it often makes it impossible to see NSFW content on mobile websites without using the app, which is annoying if you click through from a Google search result on your phone. This applies to text posts too, which is all the more annoying because despite the name, the NSFW tag is used to tag more than just porn (hide spoilers for TV shows, punchlines of jokes, etc.)
With that said, I don't think old.reddit is that good either unless you only want to read text-only posts, and it's pretty much unusable on mobile.
Old Reddit is nearly unusable on mobile, but it's still better than the new Reddit on mobile, which is... actually quite impressive (and not in a good way).
Though I guess there's still some skeleton userbase left. Apologies to any goons if i'm misrepresenting things.
That and Lowtax and the admins were mainly interested in making the users fight each other for content (eg Helldump); Lowtax then moved onto marrying and abusing various different wives then claiming they ghosted him when they moved out in the middle of the night.
In a word? Lowtax. It's quite the wild ride (with a few dark turns, regrettably): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhjMv9nxxWk
(But the SA admins did delete the 4chan thread on the day its traffic surpassed SA.)
Didn't FYAD go on to play a role in "weird twitter"?
People have similar complaints with Reddit re-design (so do I). What's with making websites "prettier" instead of more usable?
But measuring and improving user retention is hard, and might need expensive measures like improving content quality, it's much easier to optimize onboarding new users by shuffling some stylesheets around. KPIs fulfilled, who cares about the rest.
The learn to use it? There's now a reverse trend in appliances: they use to be simple, now they are quite complicated, see washing machines, yet people handle it.
The only reason I come here is to find interesting articles, but mostly it's nonsense editorials by extremists, "best practice" by novices, thinly veiled advertisement clickbait by companies, generic news from generic news sites, press releases, Twitter threads... That's most of what is on the front page here.
The comments section is a mess. Experts get downvoted for stating facts, know it alls beating up people for making mistakes, goody-two-shoes lecturing people for not following rules, pedantry galore, the bizarre hangups of straight white libertarian code bros, sycophants, newbies passing off nonsense as sage wisdom, and up/down votes being nearly random and mostly based on emotional response to rhetoric or whatever mirrors their opinions.
The sad truth is that if they tried to fix all these problems, there'd be like 3 comments and 7 new posts a day. To keep something popular and engaging it has to be crap and controversial.
I'd happily see it take businesses whose model rely upon it with them - including this current approach to 'AI' and political campaigning.
Would it be the start of the world or the end?
Dang. I was with you all the way until the bigotry.
Level up, dude; there are more important things to focus on.
At the time when reddit absorbed digg users after the redesign it had a fair amount of downtime as part of its growing pains, I'd expect to see the same for all the proposed alternatives in the next few months.
With how thoroughly reddit is screwing the pooch here though I think it's a matter of if and not when.
Good and viable platforms tend to already exist and be highly stable. What I witnessed most especially as Google+ shut down is that a number of options were floated and promoted. Some were largely vapourware (e.g., TBL's Solid), there were any number of opportunistic sites which emerged, and often fringe and distinctly problematic services (e.g., MeWe) were strongly advocated by a small but vocal contingent.
What is most effective is to plan ahead, communicate clearly, maintain a diverse set of online presences, and to spec out possible migrations in detail. If subreddits started making such plans, their bargaining power over Reddit would be much, much stronger.
For online presence, major online services (FB, Twitter, Instagram, and these days probably TikTok etc.), a dedicated and fully-controlled website, and an email list (or lists) would be a very good starting point.
Good discussion sites are surprisingly difficult to find, and the basic options are fairly thin pickings. Old-school forums (e.g., phpBB), blogs (Wordpress, Dreamwidth, Drupal), and several of the federated platforms are probably the strongest options. I've helped curate a selection here:
Attempting to migrate to a not-yet-developed / early-beta project ... tends not to go very well.
When people visit a Mastedon site and see something like this its an instant turn off:
> mastodon.social is part of the decentralized social network powered by Mastodon.
Nobody cares, or wants to care that its decentralized. They just want a social network. When you've got to screw around with 'picking a site' to sign up on its hassle. When you've got to mess around to find something because its on a different node, its a hassle.
As someone else said, they need to shut up and stop the key point being that its a fediverse - the average user has no idea what that means, nor should they need to.
There's also the woefully underdeveloped user experience aspect of things, and overexplaining. On the signup page for example you see this:
>With an account on this Mastodon server, you'll be able to follow any other person on the network, regardless of where their account is hosted.
I dont care. I dont need to know that, if its a given that I can talk to people on other instances then I dont need to be told.
It's got a long, long way to go before its even close to gaining critical mass.
Same with reddit/others. Most users dont care about how it works or what makes it special or what the tech stack is. They want content: fast, easy, not crashing and in one spot.
I'd joined in 2016, kicked tyres for a bit, and increased my own usage around 2018. By the time Twitter's October Revolution arrived in 2022, the platform was sufficiently well-developed to both accommodate a substantial new influx and appeal to at least some of those new participants.
And Mastodon and the Fediverse had seen previous waves of adoption, often led by drama, dissatisfaction, or shutdowns at or of other networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.).
What tends to occur is that systems evolve and develop over time, as do the communities making use of them. It's less that there's One Big Event than there are a succession of smaller ones ... until a tipping point is reached.
Where the Fediverse is in terms of the long slow implosions of Twitter and Reddit remains to be seen, but don't discount long-simmering discontent and the emergence of new options. As a podcast noted recently: even power users of Twitter refer to the service as "Hellsite", and that's a very unstable situation. People remain out of inertia and lack of alternatives, not from some deep and abiding love of the service. Reddit increasingly seems to be in a similar place.
digg v4 was a disaster, but the exodus started before that when digg removed threaded comments.
Related: Wikipedia changed what pages actually looked like by moving a contents navigation bar to the left side and minimizing some other features.
It's the last UI change in a major website I can think of that didn't make me grimace.
Google's "don't be evil" had to go away too. Capitalism can't make room for considerations such as proliferation of evil.
The reason people think it got removed is two events:
One, when Google Inc reorganized to create its Alphabet Inc corporate parent in 2015, the “Don’t be evil” motto stayed with the Google LLC subsidiary that still today handles most of what we associate with the name Google. For Alphabet, they added “Do the right thing” instead of moving “Don’t be evil” to the new top of the corporate hierarchy.
Two, in 2018 they moved Don’t be evil away from the preface of Google’s code of conduct. But they moved it to the last sentence, which is at least far more prominent than burying it in the middle, let alone removing it entirely.
I used to work for Google years ago, before all of the events I’m discussing and with no personal connection myself to those events. (Obviously I’m speaking only for myself here and not for them.) I think nowadays their level of morality as an organization is slightly better than or comparable to most other prominent tech megacorps, whereas they used to be atypically much better than that. The same deterioration has occurred in how good or bad of an employer they are - they used to be great, but now they’re slightly better than or similar to most other prominent tech megacorps. Still not worse than their peers in either morality or employee experience. But as much as “don’t be evil” is still officially there. It’s definitely far less of a corporate focus than it used to be, which I find quite sad.
People only believe in corporate slogans when they can use them to make cynical points about abandoning them, but nevertheless, these things exist:
Honestly I should go back and thank the mod/poster because that little splash of cold water prepared me for everything that has come after that. I think about it every now then when I run into the newer variations of that theme.
I am daily fark user for 20+ years. The site certainly is past its prime but this is just the natural lifecycle of many online communities I suspect. I wouldn't characterize it as dead. I wouldn't characterize its decline from peak popularity as caused by user-hostile actions of its owners.
I don't think fark is a useful cautionary tale in context of reddit. Probably a more useful example might be slashdot.
Fark has made changes: with its ux and its moderation policies and implementation of those policies at times, users grumbled.
It's perilous to actively antagonize your audience, to take away things from them that have genuine utility for them. A site dies when you drive away your key content creators and contributors. None of these things happened at Fark I believe.
Another useful example of a site that stepped back from the brink of mass audience exodus is onlyfans and their rolled back attempt to ban adult content.
While it wasn't a key point in me leaving, I switched from Fark to Reddit around the time they started cracking down on Foobies/porn because of "misogyny" and not wanting to offend advertisers.
He should've been just honest and transparent with server costs and how much Reddit Gold and ads were bringing in. They used to have a Reddit gold target.
From there, they can slowly implement API charges to make a tiny profit so they don't just lose money there or implement Reddit Gold/Premium tiers that offer way better benefits.
or better yet - make the reddit app so good....people wouldn't want to use another one.
Don't fuck over the user base! Your users are what makes a site like reddit good! Don't they know that? Trim the fat (middle-management usually). Get out of the cloud if you're hosting servers in the cloud, move things on-prem. The cloud is great for flexibility, but for cost-savings, on-prem will always win. Whoever is the upper-management that approved the whole "charge for API use" - fire that guy too.
(rant) Too many websites have had upper-management take over and immediately change things that bring the site to its knees. This happens time and time again with new management. They think that they can bring some new life and revenue into the site and in the process, they cripple the product. It happened to evernote, dropbox, tons of great, cheap/free services that "couldn't support the freemium model anymore" so they cut cheap/free access to the product and people just went somewhere else. That's exactly what's happening now. (/rant)
What they used to be (simple, free, centralised forum software) doesn’t interest the market; so they’re having to try and package it as a social network.
Rightly or wrongly, the market has an understanding of how to value that and things like data collection and deployment, DAUs, mobile vs non-mobile usage (again, more about data collection), and the oh so relevant deployment of AI/ML.
It’s why, we all know, there is hate speech and such on the platform which could be handled more actively but isn’t: they need the DAUs.
It’s the big issue with “build it and they will come” type endeavours like this: you have to know you’ll do when they get there.
Where do I go now?
At the time one of the reasons for moving from Fark to Reddit was that browsing Reddit looked more "professional" - ie something you could get away with at work...
EDIT: I checked and it seems... dead
There are still a few sub sections and most articles get single digit comments.
I really thought Fark would have grown in these years. It seemed to have carved a niche for aspiring radio DJs for "news of the weird variety".
Do most Americans really believe they're entitled to free access to Reddit?
I've spent years of my life on reddit, and enjoyed most of it. For that, I'm truly grateful to spez and all the others that make it work. I 100% support them charging for the service over injecting ever more ads.
It's bizarre to me that folk are getting upset and abusive because reddit wants to charge parasitic apps for the privilege.
Infinite scrolling in Twitter etc. is much less obnoxious.
Yes, Twitter's much better on that aspect, partly because how different its design is, and partly because how they handle browsing mechanics.
I guess the new (current since 2007) design has a lot more whitespace, although not as bad as now "mobile-first" designs of the last 5 or so years. On the topic of mobile, the current fark.com doesn't have a phone-friendly design.
I find the original design hard to use. The post text is very small. There is no max width to the main content, which makes it difficult to keep track of where you are when text spans multiple lines. The links are on the far-side of the page from the posts/comments they relate to, without any horizontal spacing indicators, so it's very difficult to tell what lines up with what.
The only thing I like less in the redesign is that the sidebar sections are intermixed with banner ads, which makes them hard to find and get to. But overall, I found the new design a big improvement to the old one, which judging by the responses to this and the linked post, puts me in a small minority.
But who has the impetus to make such a thing?
Needing to click through server after server with none of them accepting new users is a discouraging experience.
I understand why this has been posted, but much like ill-informed comparisons to Digg, Reddit will be fine. Reddit has a much larger and more diverse audience now, and likely a majority are exclusively using the iOS/Android apps.
And Gamedev, Flipcode,....
This stuff comes and goes, get used to it.
Not only are the LLMs like GPT effectively doing scraping like never before, without any legal oversight, AI is also automating and causing much more pressure on those social sites.
The future is bleak, LLMs are going to destroy what little "Far West" we still had and turn all the open sites into even more walled gardens.
So far AI is just creating bullshit art, and destroying the open internet.
I´m looking at the big picture here.
So what I was trying to say is I can see how more and more social sites and services that have open APIs are going to rethink how they share their data seeing as all the value is being sucked dry out of them AND then repurposed as a new, privately owned product.
What is this supposed to mean?
What role do you think lawyers play in scraping the internet?
If anyone from reddit corporate is reading this, understand that you’re playing with fire here. This week is critical to saving your platform.
* fire spez
* promise a clear committed roadmap of mod tools
* promise to review 3rd party API pricing, and delay the current rollout
Edit, some context: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/146wn9s/commen...
(spez / reddit ceo is a mod on r/programming, hence it still being up)
Must have gone dark in the last two hours, I guess. Clicking on your "context" link gets me:
> The moderators of r/programming have set this community to private. Only approved members can view and take part in its discussions.
The GPT astroturf fail seems like a worthy story in itself, if it could be stood up - amazing!
Then again, it's spez's subreddit, so maybe he wants it public (in which case he can just flip it back).
Given that nobody has reverted the change, I assume they'd just forgotten to do it in the first place.
So, my guess is that there's more blowing up with reddit right now than just the blackout.
The whole subreddit is down at the moment. I guess the other moderators disagree with the CEO?
How is it possible that these companies are still run like an immature dorm room shitshow? Are there no separation of duties? The CEO should not have admin access to anything (the very least for security purposes).
Calling it a dorm room shitshow is an insult to dorm rooms everywhere.
Although doing Lowtax things may lead to turning into Lowtax, which is probably bad.
I can certainly tell you it's not a serious problem, because it'd be illegal if it was. All serious problems with websites are revenue issues or legal issues.
Fuck r/the_donald - but that's just blatant admin power misuse to deflect criticism. Very topical with all the "fuck u/spez" comments going around these days.
Should've made it a wordfilter though. Those are more participatory.
(You won't take this advice, which is why I've run a large popular internet forum before and you haven't.)
I think you're a very small minority in that opinion, my friend. Perhaps leadership decisions like that are why you refer to your forum in the past tense now?
> One does not spend their preciously scarce free time on an Internet forum if there is nothing funny about it.
By your own metrics, HN is often a failure and you should not (or do not) spend time here.
Users reacted poorly and "shocked" site wide somehow that an admin could exerts admin right and edit database which as a sysadmin made me laugh a lot because I get occasional similar ones from our users when we do admin stuff.
(Sure, the victim was (probably) a highly unsympathetic and stupid person. What justification is that? It's schoolyard-bully sociology to attack unsympathetic weirdos. Most bullies grow out of it and live with regrets. But 'spez is a fucking adult! What's he doing lurking in the worst subreddits of (his own) website, searching for prey to gaslight? What's the character of a grown-ass man who does that?)
Basically, it's PvP. This is pretty obvious from the design; you post and people reply to you, which they mostly use to argue with you. An example of a product designed for people to be nice to each other is Discourse, which isn't much like HN or reddit.
People do have human rights, which is why I said what matters is if it's illegal or not. Putting slanderous posts under their name would be a real issue - if you think this happened go ahead and sue him - but the most common one would be doxxing: posting your IP and personal info from the admin console. Which he's probably got access to.
Spez is the perfect example of this. His editing of the comments cemented his reputation as corrupt and stupid, and from then on everything he communicated towards the community received a much stronger backlash than it otherwise would have, regardless of how unpopular the decision actually was.
Normal reddit users don't know any inside baseball facts about the site. The normal users are those people who post the same basic "women, what's the sexiest sex you ever sexed?" questions on askreddit once a week.
Of course, their site design makes this a problem since it relies on mods, who are specifically that kind of person since they do it for free.
that seems to be a very poor reasoning. If your honest contention that all things that are a problem are illegal (thus one can assume then also that you 100% agree with all laws on the books as well) seems then we have no societal problems, and the government and laws work perfectly... Thus no need to elections, or changes to those laws.
A common theme on social media is that a group of people care about something and want to ban it, but instead of changing the law, instead they self-enforce their pseudo-laws by yelling at people who violate them. Complaining about the mods being an example, another being fanartists who have a ton of rules about "sourcing your art reposts"/not tracing, another being that 2014 period where everyone went around GitHub projects trying to shame the owners for not having a code of conduct.
This might be because they're anarchists and don't want to call the figurative cops, but usually it's because they're a minority and there isn't actually popular support for it.
So you position is that totalitarianism to the extreme is the only way? That everything, every action, every social convention, every interaction between two people should be under the purview of some law or regulation.
I am not a big fan of codes of conduct, as such I damn sure do not want the government creating a law around code of conduct. If some open source project wants to enact a stupid CoC I want the freedom to fork that project and replace with either a CoC free project or a competing one with a different CoC.
government is not empowered, nor should it be empowered to government what social media ban's, or the conduct of developers interacting with each other on a open source project
In the other examples there are other levels of "government" that have "regulations" that are more official than nothing that you could lobby. You could get GitHub to change the ToS to require CoC, or Twitter to ban certain kinds of things artists don't like, rather than just be personally mean to other users on the site about it.
Or they might have realised that third parties are crucial to their success (they have the stats, they know what % of traffic, commenters, power users, etc. are using third-party apps) and instead added more constraints around the API, like also serving ads (like Telegram), lower rate limits for unauthenticated users, forcing oauth etc. Instead of going the nuclear path of making any third party downright unviable and thus forcing them to shutdown.
It might become a bit shitter, it might lose a few users who are a bit more tech savvy or from the "old days of the internet" who'll find themselves fedi or forum based alternatives but the majority will keep getting what they want out of it without a reason to move - most users probably use the official app which is rubbish compared to Apollo etc but is sufficient for them.
I'd love to see this protest actually work but the cynic in me says it won't, or if it does it'll be a slow death as the 1% leave and the content dries up which then pushes away the majority, and it'll be too slow to save it... only then might we see a viable alternative pop up, but I'm sure it won't be any of the Fedi solutions as they just fragment the communities too much even with the instances opening to each other, but we're already seeing Lemmy instances "defederate" from each other
Anecdotally, I've seen more and more comments that remind me of Facebook, a platform I deleted my account for 8 or 9 years ago. I left FB to get away from the brainrot and if Reddit is bringing in more and more of these users, I'd rather go somewhere else.
I've added Reddit.com to my Ublock list and am removing Apollo from my home screen. If Reddit doesn't turn this around, I'll be uninstalling at the end of the month. I don't have high hopes.
Ugh, hopefully not more Discord. We have already got way too much hinging on Discord.
Don't get me wrong, I like Reddit. Before it I used Usenet, which died and after Usenet I was active on forums (most of those also seem to be gone now). I really prefer those topic based social media to the other user-based social media. But I've seen enough of them die before.
The same was AOL is actually not completely dead. Yahoo! is not dead, Digg isn't either, neither did MySpace. And I'd totally see Tumblr having a full come back to the front of the stage.
Another way to put it could be "dead to us" for any specific value of "us".
As it stands, a huge chunk of Reddit's content is Twitter and Tiktok reposts. Older users like me enjoyed that because I didn't want to sign up for Twitter and TT. The younger app centric users that Reddit is pivoting to probably have Twitter and TT accounts. So what value is Reddit providing?
Let reddit turn into a wasteland of pun threads, office references, fake ragebait and wholesome content run by AI repost bots, as long as there's a viable alternative for the 1%.
I get and like the principles of the Fediverse but for the average user it's too fragmented, needs too much effort around discoverability, is confusing and promotes echo chambers in some ways worse than Reddit (in that your instance can simply cut off another instance it doesn't agree with - at least in Reddit you can find another sub all on the same instance that meets your echo chambers. Yes you can change instances but supposing that other instance doesn't carry a group you use heavily?)
IMO Lemmy's growth will halt once the more intrepid average user decides it's too complex, tells all their friends about it and goes back to Reddit.
Likewise, the fact that there is a community of instances that have made the choice to have a pleasant space, free of troll farms spewing endless abuse, and are taking that seriously, really seems to have upset a lot of people around here.
You can't get the_donald on Reddit either, because fascists make a room stink like farts, and only people who've been huffing their poopy-smelling breath can't see that. I think what's really upsetting for those of the trollish mindset is that while removing the_donald and other fascist subs was more about keeping the site running smoothly and just getting rid of a headache, the decision to lock out gab and truth.social and anyone else who tolerates it is strictly an aesthetic one; they are no longer outcast because they're a pain in the ass, they're outcast because they suck and the whole community agrees.
I knew in 2016 that it was just the start of a process of smartening, where people get more optics into the nature of the world and the Internet's place in it. Seven years on, The Smartening proceeds apace, finding ways to have nice things, even with armies of chaos and division trying to tell us to be angry, to rage incoherently at our neighbors, doing everything they can to bring bad feelings into our lives.
The platforms are done because there's no more free money for them to play with, and when the big machines that run on that money can't fill up with another funding round, things are already grim and only getting worse. The fediverse is doing alright.
Perhaps I shouldn't have used a Trump related fake example but it could be as simple as cutting off a peer because the mod is a vegan and wants to cut off meat recipes (and cuts off the best and most populated soccer community at the same time)
I confess that I'm vegan-adjacent, I eat meat whenever it's put in front of me but my wife is vegan so I never have meat put in front of me and I don't miss it, but if vegans can actually create a major ideological schism in the greater federation over their specific issue, I will see that as a problem and pretty much agree that the fediverse is a fail.
That said, it's a better fail than previous fails, so the way forward is not back to the platforms regardless.
But I think the vegans are going to settle for having the right to exist like everyone else, and there are definitely already lots of radical instances I'm sure. But can they make all of mastodon ban pictures burgers on a grill?
Let's find out, actually. The experiment is already in motion.
Ignoring the specific example used to make my point, my point was how do you avoid the problem? If PopularInstanceA decides to cut off PopularInstanceB for "reasons" you have fragmented a community with users on both instances going to be unhappy... yes they could all move and suddenly MarginalnstanceC becomes PopularInstanceC as it federates both A and B but users will get lost along the way, most will only tolerate this kind of instance changing crap once and even then how do you stop A cutting off C because they are federating B?
Yes I agree it's all just hypothetical but we're relying on the goodwill of probably unpaid enthusiast server owners to keep the Fediverse stable and that feels like a house of cards to me
This is the most bewildering part of every conversation I've had so far about the fediverse, and it always comes down to this idea that because it is difficult, because it is not the easy and well-funded way that has a buyout or a powertrip at the end of it, that it's somehow bound to fail where, well, so far the platforms claim to be succeeding but let's see how they do with the interest rates as they are for another few years.
Which part of Reddit - leave out Twitter, leave out Facebook, leave out Google, leave out everything else because they only make my question harder to answer; Reddit is currently the great white hope of the Platforms. The one that everyone desperately points to as a platform done right, because the alternative - a world without big corporate daddies seeing to our needs and keeping us safe at night because Alexa is listening to us breathe, a world without the possibility of chatting up a VC capitalist doing a startup and cashing out a billionaire in a couple years - is too horrible to contemplate.
So exactly which part of Reddit, with its legions of unpaid labourers and current shenanigans, is not very obviously a house of cards that is just about to collapse right before their IPO coup-de-grace?
Reddit is "relying on the goodwill of [definitely] unpaid enthusiasts," except their goal is not to foster community and offer an alternative to the platforms, their goal is to do their IPO, collect their golden parachutes, and let the whole thing fester like the untreated infection that it is.
I will place my bet on the enthusiast server owners and the willingness of their communities to take collective responsibility to make sure that we do have an actual alternative to this bullshit before I'll ever trust another platform.
And you know, we ought to know better than to question the ability of communities of enthusiasts and weirdoes to actually make something happen without a fucking VC involved. Look at GNU(/Linux), on which the entire world runs. We got this baby, and we won't need YC to make it work. I'm sure there are folks in this forum that won't like that either - if you can't monetize it, it's worthless to them, and that's why our communities keep going up in Private Equity smoke, just like Sears.
Also it's baffling to me that the CEO of reddit is a regular user and somehow isn't up in arms about how irritating it is to use the site.
Why would you edit these? Deletion seems far superior, do you want people to go around editing out the racism of peoples posts? Seems absurd.
The generous argument for would be it preserves any redeeming value in the offending comment. The practical answer is he (EDIT: spez) wanted something to rail against.
Sorry, clarified. Spez wanted something to attack.
What's absurd is a CEO editing posts to troll people
> P.S. old.reddit.com isn’t going anywhere
You mean, those who cannot use the official Reddit app because of lack of accessibility?
Reddit is playing with fire, this could all go horribly wrong for them. I just don’t find it likely. Reddit is really, really big. Those 1% add a lot of value to the site but without it the site is still quite valuable. 1% of users can eventually be replaced and it won’t catch fire in the meantime.
The reddit user base is largely unaware of any of this and will forever remain passive users. I’m confident spez took one look at third party app user counts and said, “worth it.” If Reddit does IPO I expect it to become only more popular. Time will tell.
It's the same reason why so few people sign up to pay for YouTube or Twitter. Video content is available elsewhere. Whatever the hell Twitter content is can be found just by talking to people.
On the other side so many do pay for Spotify and Netflix because that content is locked down pretty well. You can pirate some things, but it's a pain. Paying is easier.
Reddit seems to think it has a product that has value. Like so many web content hosts before it, it's probably wrong. It probably can't work as a business unless it's showing people adverts. And the problem with that model is that people hate adverts.
Honestly, until users realise that they can't have a content host unless they pay, no sites like Reddit will survive long term.
Some key takeaways:
> Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year. Even if I only kept subscription users, the average Apollo user uses 344 requests per day, which would cost $2.50 per month, which is over double what the subscription currently costs, so I'd be in the red every month.
> I'm deeply disappointed in this price. Reddit iterated that the price would be A) reasonable and based in reality, and B) they would not operate like Twitter. Twitter's pricing was publicly ridiculed for its obscene price of $42,000 for 50 million tweets. Reddit's is still $12,000. For reference, I pay Imgur (a site similar to Reddit in user base and media) $166 for the same 50 million API calls.
> For Apollo, the average user uses 344 requests daily, or 10.6K monthly. With the proposed API pricing, the average user in Apollo would cost $2.50, which is is 20x higher than a generous estimate of what each users brings Reddit in revenue.
30 days is not enough time to change apps business models (with existing paying customers in the mix). Additionally it seems reddit made promises in the beginning of this year that they wont monetize API access.
Reddit does not want to find common ground with 3rd party apps and make money with them, it wants them out of the market ASAP.
The issue even extends to non-mobile users that are afraid now that old reddit will be chopped for better monetization etc.
What makes the activists here think that they can speak for this 1%?
My old.reddit.com homepage hasn't change much. Missing is r/ProgrammerHumor but r/Programming is there, alongside with r/darksky, r/wallstreetbets etc.
All the porn seems to be there too, which might actually move some numbers if gone dark.
The only sub which I care and it's gone is r/StableDiffusion
Which leads me to believe that the boycott will remove only a subset of reddit users and we are about to see how much reddit cares about that subset.
Redesigns on the other hand can kill a site. That's the only thing I've seen many times killing a website.
I don't think the blackout will be limited by its scope so much as by its duration
But I know that /r/programming has two Reddit administrators as part of the mods, so I'm not surprised they're not going dark.
Let's see what will happen in few days.
Is there anything stopping Reddit from making the CEO a mod in every major sub though?
You basically need people willing to donate lots of their time to read new on a specific subreddit constantly (there is a reason (in a consequentialist sense) mods tend to enforce their opinion on every post, it's cause they spend hours reading every single one already, and the kind of person willing to do that probably has some (obsessive) opinions).
There are some subreddits where you can be a mod and you get pinged and you make decision, and so you can spend your time doing other things and still help, but they are very small. And there are some tools that let you take the "and I get pinged and I make a decision" up to the larger subreddit scale, and tools which make reading new easier to do... these are the tools reddit is going to get rid of / make pay only.
So yea, it's going to be even harder to find some poor schmuck with no life willing to donate a bunch of their free time to create high quality subreddits that comply with the admin's rules (which is actually what a lot of "do whatever you want" mods end up spending most of their time dealing with). And the people they do find are going to have even stronger personal influences on subreddits than the current ones do.
The biggest sub I mod recently grew to ~10k users, it's German speaking, and covers a pretty niche topic.
That sub alone is already a surprising amount of work, and 10k is absolutely tiny.
Automod alone removes 4-5 posts a day, and there's still quite a lot of bot generated, irrelevant, or spammy posts and comments that manage to bypass the filters. I can't imagine the amount of spam that would flow in at a subreddit hundreds of times larger than that.
Moderation takes time and unless Reddit is going to pony up $$$ to pay mods to sweep in on short notice, then I suspect people who casually volunteer will quickly be overwhelmed.
I really, really don't hope much of reddit moves to discord, it would be a disaster for the usability of search engines.
Personally, I think it just goes to show that if you make a platform which depends on people's generosity to keep content well moderated, you should absolutely consider those generous people as your company's main resources.... and if you piss them off, as your worst enemies.
I think the main reason there was no exodus similar to Digg's is not due to good policy on Reddit's side (it became increasingly worse over time) but the lack of a competitor that could quickly scale to receive a migration without going dark.
The number of users migrating from Digg to Reddit and the number of users today is quite different, but if there is a better platform that could stand this migration, Reddit could be dead in a matter of hours.
Reddit was a convenient insomniac doom scroll. It can go.
The obvious competitor for those is still Facebook, but FB's algo is actively hostile to the long-list-of-active-forums UX that makes Reddit work so well.
Now it's Reddit vs what?
Many people love a drama so will beef this event up, but I suspect they will be back to usual soon enough. At the same time I feel Reddit should respond to this with something positive for general goodwill as there is value in that for the day there is an alternative.
While never going to actually happen, I'd find it funny if people flooded to communities.win, the forum Trump supporters setup when they were pushed off Reddit. Would be great irony.
For tech news, you are looking at it.
For everything else there is YouTube + comment section, stack exchange, Discord channels, …
People don’t necessarily need a “clone” replacement.
Edit: OK. What exactly is so offensive about this post?
People use Reddit in different ways. Those others site may be perfectly good substitutes for them.
If you want a “feed” you can comment on, YouTube can do that.
You want questions answered, Stack Exchange.
If you only visit small specialised tightly moderated subreddits, Discord channels will probably work just fine.
Reddit is a means to an end. There are others ways to communicate on the internet.
Nothing is an option. Separately from the API drama, I’ve been questioning whether Reddit is a net benefit in my life. Everyone can draw their own conclusion to that question, and I won’t try to convince anyone.
However, for myself, if I’m forced to use the official desktop or mobile app, I’m definitely not going to use Reddit at all, alternative or not.
However, in general, these were driven by Reddit banning some sort of abhorrent content, so they were kinda self-limiting; few normal people would want to use a reddit clone that was 90% populated with the denizens of r/fatpeoplehate or the upskirt people or whatever other sort of horrible weirdos were impacted by reddit's bans.
This is really pretty different, in that it impacts the average user (or at least the average power user) so might potentially lead to more reasonable breakaway communities.
What I have learned is there always is an alternative and clinging to a platform that is headed in the opposite direction you are going is not worth it. I’ll miss Reddit in the short term, but I’m done with it and have moved on.
No matter what really happened; always tell people you are the person who invented the like button at facebook, not the one who decided to band porn on tumblr.
> ban porn on imgur
> ban porn on onlyfans
Oh wait, they were actually smart enough to back-track on the last one..
Only those in posession of the sigma hussle grindset can see the true genius behind that plan.
Being well-liked and poor is waaay worse than being rich and hated.
Only if you're an egotistical sellout.
I find the targeting to be good enough that I look forward to the ads to a certain extent as I have found all sorts of fun products that way.
Not sure if that is enough, but does Reddit really need 2000 employees and hundreds of millions of CV money? I have a hard time estimating what it costs to run a site like Reddit.
The development they've done in the past 5 years could have been done with like 50-100 people, including keeping all the SRE going. Insane.
There is no one problem with Reddit, and that is the problem. They have to reboot and build Facebook 2.0 (or whatever) without a highly fickle user base turning tail and running. Rock, meet hard place.
Actually there is one singular problem ... money.
They could accept that "reddit the product" is a 2-5bn market cap business with solid 0.5bn revenue; staff up on that basis, scale their infrastructure on that basis, M&A on that basis, set investor expectations on that basis.
And Reddit's response is to block web browsers almost entirely (on mobile), and try to force people to use the app.
Maybe their next step will be to force use of a desktop app and disappear from the web entirely...
So if ad revenue isn't going to do it. Then it needs to be a freemium model with subscriptions. They probably get 25% of their revenue from reddit premium. That also means, charging for the API.
The problem for many of the third party apps is they've also been running a freemium model with very low overheads due to the fact Reddit has been largely funding their freemium model. They've been charging next to nothing for their premium options ($1.50 a month) and they have massive amount of very active users. They're so big that paying a reasonable per API request fee results in a massive bill. A bill they can't pay due to a freemium model and super low fees that don't pay for the freemium users. Third party apps directly compete with Reddit, therefore it's fair they pay Reddit for the resources they use as well as the lost potential of the users they did take. Those paying for premium on an app would probably pay premium on Reddit.
Then comes in the low value users, who are outraged the free toy they have wants to make a profit. "It's too much money" - funny enough Reddit users think they're worthless - was one of the main cries. "This third party app IS REDDIT" - well if they're Reddit they shouldn't need Reddit access. A userbase who resists being monetised. Either they're monetisable or they're not. If they're not the company can't survive. What the Reddit users need/want is a non-profit.
Realistically, there are a large amount of people who don't care about the protests. They're going to be creating content. I wouldn't be surprised if the people most outraged are the ones who don't even comment that often.
The biggest issue most vocal users (including many mods and developers of third party apps like Apollo) have, is that the prices are much higher then the expections reddit set beforehand and that everything was only communicated 30 days in advance.
If reddit wanted to keep third party apps, but have them pay for the users use of reddit, they could have implemented a transition plan. Or make it work another way. Or charge a realistic amount (you yourself state reddit's users are low value, but reddits is asking for $20 million per year in missed monetisation just for Apollo's users, which is very high value).
Instead, reddit seems to approach this aggressively, signalling through their actions that they intend to kill off all third party apps. That's what the the subs going dark are protesting against. Especially since reddit's own site and app are of significant lower quality.
Otherwise wealth correlates somehow with both caring about your interests, and caring about abstract causes, for different reasons and often not in the same people. This is why 1) businesses catering to affluent people are often more cautious about the cheapest tactics (even if they ultimately go for the same results), 2) there is so much public faux political idealism from companies.
But there's plenty of avenues they have for generating revenue that doesn't involve shutting down 3rd party clients, e.g. commercial promotions, signal / post / comment boosting, subscriptions for advanced / exclusive features, etc.
1. They are not "reining in" expenses, they are purposely pricing out 3rd-party clients (which probably has the goal to show more ads, not less)
2. The $10M buyout comments was a reasonable comment countering the statement that reddit loses $20M each year by users using Apollo. A comment which was a half-joke, as the audio recording shows clearly. In that case, buying Appolo for $10M would have been a steal and Reddit would have jumped on it. They didn't, their prior statement was probably a lie.
3. There were no suggestions for reasonable optimizations of API calls. Apollo claims they already optimized whenever possible and whenever they were asked for it, and that client was specifically not listed in an earlier discussion about ineffective API usage. Reported measurements confirm that, the official API uses more calls. Regardless, later Reddit made this accusation, showing that they are not truthful in this discussion.
Your pro-reddit position is not reasonable.
If something loses me 20M$ per year and I have an option to buy it for 10M$ or kill it for 0$, I would choose the latter without much thinking. And that seems to be exactly what Reddit is doing.
And that is something that any client using a third-party platform should expect that will happen eventually.
Sounds to me that shutting it down is the one sure way to lose money, but I also don't trust that the reddit team had made that calculation properly. This all seems like a short term profit or like a power play to me.
Weren’t the $20M reddit claimed they are losing, missed opportunity costs? I.e. if Apollo users wouldn‘t use Apollo but the official app, they would make that amount of money off of them. So buying that amount of revenue for $10M sounds definitely reasonable to me. If what reddit claims would be truthful that would be a guaranteed 100% ROI.
> A comment which was a half-joke, as the audio recording shows clearly.
…at some point people need to understand that jokes are about timing, about audience, about place, and the subjects of the joke.
again, i have no dog in the fight, but the number of times i’ve heard “it was clearly a joke” is wild. we’ve all seen people from every political corner from every walk of life proclaim “clearly that was a joke” when repeatedly it wasn’t received this way by those involved.
jokes are about timing.
all of that said, i do wish the founder of apollo well, if old.reddit wasn’t your thing apollo truly was one of the better alternatives.
slight tangent, but this is another lesson on how we inevitably screw ourselves when relying on non-open source.
if it isn’t ours, the thing is someone else’s. we have to face this. we repeatedly see the repercussions of ignoring this fact.
Reddit needs 300 people max to run, and they got like 1500.
It'd pretty easy to be a profitable company with a $10 million turnover, but you're not going to be a unicorn this way. Founders and VC wants high return on their equity, and today being enormous without profitability is valued more than being reasonable and profitable.
There was once an age where investors would buy in simply on the belief of unicornedness, but that ship sailed several months ago. Investors have become much more critical of tech businesses, showing substantially less interest in tech companies that aren't displaying strong fundamentals. A recent Fidelity report indicates Reddit's own valuation has dropped by 41% on that change in sentiment.
In fact, if profitability was the goal, then he should have been ousted at this point, because he's been back for 8 years now without succeeding to make the company profitable.
I don't think he is that inapt, and that his board is stupid to let him in charge despite such a failure, profitability was just never the goal. Getting the biggest possible IPO is the goal, but the timing is actually very bad for them for the reason you mention and now they're trying as hard as they can, including by creating fake subreddits with translated old content for non-English speakers (at least French and German speakers).
Just fyi, reddit rose around the same time as Facebook so it’s likely they share a similar governance model, where founders control an outsized part of the board/voting shares. Since Uber and wework semi-imploded investors are less forgiving of that sort of thing but legacy companies like Reddit likely still are run that way.
But did they try to be?
The feeds are definitely not cacheable (except for maybe on a per user basis with a low ttl). Popular and all are never the same upon reload. And every user is going to have a different combination of subreddits. Those feeds have to be generated on the fly. Most of the data is too dynamic and ever-changing to cache effectively.
- Cache of most popular topics (again, even a 10s invalidation time) would help
For the logged users you could do something more dynamic, for example, cache the front-page snippets of the main subs + add the ones for the user. And again cache that
(unless the 'new reddit' makes this harder, to which I would say - well deserved! ;) )
Also a lot of their content is not "hot" and "commentable" anymore.
There is no reason reddit can't be profitable if they did these things. They don't need 100,000,000 users watching videos to bring in ad revenue. They need 10,000,000 users generating good content that ends up as top google results and they can find clever ways to monetize product tie-ins, annual meetups (those were a thing in a lot of cities a while ago), events, merch, and subscriptions. It isn't rocket science. The top stockholders just have to be satisfied to be millionaires instead of billionaires.
Reddit already bought a third party app with Alien Blue, and they ruined it so badly that they had to close it down and start again. Nobody wants Reddit in charge of the third party clients, they have awful UI designers and a user hostile UX team. The whole point of a third party client is that it has to actually design a UI that it's users like, or it dies.
(and not from someone known for lying and editing comments made by other people using their root access)
I'm actually quite surprised we've not had a Verge/Techcrunch/The Information story with views from the inside yet. Reddit was always a quite leaky ship that treats staff badly. Internally there has to be some people side-eyeing and thinking that Huffman has lost the plot, especially with his AMA making the blackout worse. Morale is probably not high. Those hanging around for any kind of IPO payout probably know this is going to hit the financials of that quite badly.
If your role is anything to do with community outreach you have to know you will not be able to do your job for the next year at least - even if Reddit were to somehow tough this out, it's most engaged users and moderators now hate your guts.
Maybe journalists are waiting for the strikes to really hit and we'll see it today.
1. The vast majority of Reddit users (maybe not the contributors) use the native app. I myself do as well. So this api change doesn’t affect me immediately (of course it does indirectly by restricting moderation and bots).
2. I open Reddit today and it’s different but not inferior. I’d argue the real value of Reddit nowadays is in all the nice subreddits one subscribes to, and most of them are still alive and active. My friends who just started redditting last year have not even noticed the whole shebang.
It’s very possible (in fact slightly more possible than not) that Reddit will survive this mostly unscathed. I’m not betting on it but I’m a poor speculator so don’t take my word for it for sure.
The idea that you'd willingly use an app with baked-in ads is insane to me, to say nothing of the fact that the official app performs very poorly and could charitably be described as "dogshit UX".
Do you have any friends outside tech circles?
Any time I see friends from non-tech industry browse web on their computers I wince so hard. I can't understand how they stand it but it's normal for them. It's also normal for them to wait few secons until pages/apps load because all the crap. Those people make up 99,9% of users everywhere except select sites like HN.
As a Joe Average, computers are an appliance and the internet is merely a service like broadcast television. Reddit is merely a channel on broadcast television like CNN or BBC, and it's natural to use Reddit to use Reddit. Do you watch something other than BBC to watch BBC?
I agree with the crowd saying that this subreddit privatisation strike will have limited effect at most. Most people don't care and aren't affected, and that's the cold reality. Reddit itself is far beyond the point of critical mass, if there are even whispers that this strike is insufficient that means it is insufficient in the grander scale.
As another bit of anecdote, I remember when Digg died. It died overnight. Literally. One day everyone was talking about and on Digg, the next day everyone wasn't. When something on the internet dies, it dies. There are no rumors or murmurs of impending death, it just dies.
You also kind of backed up my point; Reddit is way above critical mass right now and unlike with Digg that mass doesn't seem to be moving out anywhere. If these strikes and demonstrations want to make a difference the actions taken need to be far more drastic.
Real world worker strikes have a potential to work because the workers are willing to put their employment on the line, an ultimatum. What's happening on Reddit right now isn't an ultimatum; users aren't putting their Redditing on the line. Two days to a few weeks of privatisation is something Reddit can weather just fine, even moreso if the subreddit itself is still readable as in the case of some.
Oh please, becoming a principled free rider is not some sort of enlightened stance. This is just a dressed-up version of the person who pirates whatever media they feel like because, like, capitalism sucks man.
Do you also boycott all movies with product placement in them?
Geez, no wonder Reddit is trying to kill third party apps..
Most of these subreddits are driven by content creators and moderators who are fully dependent on third-party apps and moderation frameworks. The consumers might not personally care about those features, but if the core members of these small communities give up, all the content will dry up.
They’ll survive. But no one will love them anymore. I was still a fan of Reddit as a platform till the moment Huffman lied about Apollo’s developer for no reason whatsoever.
That goodwill is hard to earn. And although goodwill isn’t convertible to dollars directly, it tends to affect trajectory over the long term. See freenode’s dramatic decline, among many other examples.
I thought tildes was supposedly a Reddit alternative. I guess they never caught on.
Plus, pg would make money off the IPO. It’s a YC company after all.
Now that Reddit is trash, I guess all the serious tech people are already here... ?
I didn't even know what subReddits were; but now that I do, I'm baffled as to where the former Digg people were posting and why I managed to see mostly their traffic for days or weeks on Reddit without making any effort to go into a tech sub.
That was the old Reddit design, so maybe there was something fundamentally different about it.
They understand. They know, but it seems they're not budging. And it's because of money; if Reddit goes public, they and all investors will instantly become multi-millionaires; if the site then goes to shit, they won't care anymore.
But they pulled this too early, and it'll affect the IPO, even whether it'll go through or not.
Kbin.social seems to be more stable, even if it's alpha software. And it integrates with Lemmy.
If we want the internet to be federated, by the people, for the people yada yada, then this is what we'll have to get used to again. Big corps took it away for a while but do we really want their future?
You can (and maybe should) host your own lemmy instance and participate in the discussions.
In the one of the first big Apollo threads, one of the devs was spamming Lemmy throughout the discussion as the next great reddit replacement: easy, federated, more performant than reddit. I guess he almost got 1 out of 3 correct.
It's fine to be critical, but it's important to foster an environment that encourages growth and competition. Have electric cars sucked for the last decade? Yes, but we should still invest and promote them as they offer a better future.
Twitter has a payrolled moderation team and while 3rd party apps had benefits an house app without major feature gaps.
Twitter also hasn't grown since making the change - usage has dropped (depending on measurement / estimate) 8-15% and is still dropping.
You're not anymore. The intended audience is _bigger_. It's like how Facebook shifted from young college folks to kids, moms, grandpas, and mainly companies.
The original users of Facebook left, but Facebook still grew.
Now it's Reddit's turn to swap its original user base with a bigger target audience.
And twitter never tried to pivot its core product and kick out most of its users to chase last year's hype and be more attractive to markets that are already happy with other apps.
Their mobile app also incorporated a lot of features and it is not a POS like the Reddit app
It is not so anonymous and real people actually depend on it.
Politicans, official organisatons for communication and so on. It is harder to leave it.
Not to mention moderators.
/s if needed
It was already getting choppy with the election and cryptocurrency generating huge emotional hellthreads. Then came Musk and Mastodon. Now it's Reddit. HN is just turning into another hub of tech outrage. This site is giving me pain to read now.
Want to see a contrast? Look at the comments on this Reddit drama and compare it against the original Digg redesign drama on HN a decade ago. There's a sharp difference in comment quality.
Further reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, rest-in-peace, was a and highly inflential in his contribution to RSS, Creative Commons, Open Access academic publishing and pushing for an open internet generally. Maybe some see it as a stretch to point to the impact of Aarons work in todays Reddit but the history is there. His story is part of Reddit's story and YC/HN's story.
Reddit is a product of YC and HN has always followed Reddit closely.
Generally available API access has been a defining feature of many HN startups so far. This shift alone, towards a world where big tech are locking out API access and squeezing indie devs, is also of great interest to many who rely on API's for work and play.
It's a perfect storm and we're all watching closely.
Reddit is definitely a YC story, and so is HN. But Reddit isn't HN's story. It's one of many. Except the frontpage is filled with multiple Reddit stories with repetition of the same comments.
> Generally available API access has been a defining feature of many HN startups so far. This shift alone, towards a world where big tech are locking out API access and squeezing indie devs, is also of great interest to many who rely on API's for work and play.
> It's a perfect storm and we're all watching closely.
Sure there's nothing wrong with following closely. As you say, this is a big moment in economic models of tech. But the quality of this commentary is just bad. I feel like I'm watching my grandmother watch a soap opera on TV after a long day. Maybe this is just me, but judging by the voting happening on my comment, it's not.
HN and Reddit are deeply intertwined at multiple levels. There's a cultural connection ("this site is turning into reddit" is a decade+-old meme that just can't die). There's a historical legacy one - HN came about because pg wanted to recreate the kind of culture Reddit had in its first two years, while the latter kept evolving past niche startup/tech content. There's a technological one - Reddit started as a Lisp success story (written/prototyped in Common Lisp, subsequently rewritten in Python), HN is written in pg's own Lisp dialect, Arc.
For better or worse, Reddit is part of HN's DNA. It's not just accidental phenotype similarity (both being link aggregation/commentary boards with up/down-voting karma mechanism) - HN is Reddit's younger sibling.
> Except the frontpage is filled with multiple Reddit stories with repetition of the same comments.
This is temporary. Reddit is going through a critical moment right now, but the amount of Reddit stories should start to decay in the next couple days or weeks (unless Reddit manages to turn it into a perpetual high-intensity crisis).
Part of that HN is not known for the perpetual "drama" generation the reddit community is known for.
I say that as someone who left HN for reddit. And someone who mostly tries not to comment here, lest that makes HN more like reddit. HN should stay different.
To the extent people think or even say this explicitly, this is literally defining HN in terms of Reddit. The sign on the vector may be negative, but it still connects the two.
That is true, but emotional/historical connections changes how people feel about things, even though it might not be "how it ought to be". Reddit is closer to YC and therefore closer to HN, no matter how independent HN should be from YC.
If stuff like GPT is going to be useful as a Q&A engine on Google/Bing it needs plenty of data feeds that are coming in quickly and fed into training. People claim some old scaped DBs of Reddit comments are enough because some OSS model trained on it but I’m skeptical that’s a serious option for Microsoft and the like.
Otherwise the HN/YC<>Reddit is pretty much just an old founding story, not one relevant to today or the culture of HN.
>Want to see a contrast?
The new Digg (2012)
What difference in comment quality do you mean exactly?
Wow, a comment about Digg in 2012 applies _perfectly_ to new Reddit, except I get 2 big pictures instead of 6.
You're right, but the reason I didn't include it is that the coverage around AI isn't all emotional. There's a lot of hype behind it yes, but at it's core it's based on new products that people are excited about. But maybe I should have. A lot of them devolve into the same type of hellthread.
> What difference in comment quality do you mean exactly?
Discussion about CSS and web design features, discussions about web accessibility, and how there were just very few flippant comments. These big Reddit threads have a lot of pithy "f** Reddit" comments and lots and lots of silly (angry) jokes that make me feel like I'm on Reddit and not on HN.
On the other hand, lots of discussions are also happening around design and accessibility. Reddit's official app has bad design, including many dark patterns and terrible accessibility and performance. This has been discussion alongside the policy changes from day one.
1. Before Reddit and Digg, there was Fark. Then a user-hostile redesign killed it (fark.com)
2. Why Perl?
3. Video to Video with Stable Diffusion (Step-by-Step) – Stable Diffusion Art
4. The Surprising Power of Documentation
5. Intel is all-in on backside power delivery (ieee.org)
6. Temperature-dependent RNA editing in octopus recodes the neural proteome
7. MIDI 2.0 driver support coming with Linux 6.5
Doesn’t look like he engages much https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=pg
Maybe dang could arrange something or it could happen organically. But that particular event was in response to an acute flood of traffic. Not some long term reduction in comment quality and Reddit-tier rage/politics.
You can’t fight floods with a small temporary dam. Nor can you moderate your way out of it entirely as every major subreddit has shown (hyper modding usually does the opposite by sanctioning a certain ‘acceptable’ set of low quality posting and fuelling meta drama).
Randomness inevitably includes sequences that seem non-random—sometimes longer than one would think possible from a random process.
If you have any ideas about how to further dampen hellthreads, I'm all ears. We can't just suppress them because that would produce an even more hellthreadish backlash.
I've been reading Hacker news since 2008, but as things stand now, I'm afraid I won't be reading it for much longer. Why?
Because for the last (at least) few years, more and more often I catch myself asking: why is "Hacker news" even called "Hacker news" anymore?
Maybe this question will sound strange to some people here, but once upon a time in the past Hacker news used to have a lot of posts that were actually interesting to hackers. Today on HN mostly topics about entrepreneurship, economy, about unscrupulous rich people who make money from the corpses of others, and for whom the audience applauds in unison here, etc., prevail. We can say that the topics about everything that real hackers have never been interested in and which is the antithesis of hackers prevail here.
Guys, I guess we know what hackers are, what kind of people they are and what actually drives them? I say this because what we read here on HN has nothing to do with it. Why did this shift in interest occur? And, wouldn't it be great if the owners of this site would admit it, be honest and rename the site to, for example, "How to become the new Elon Musk"? I think that would be quite appropriate, because this place has nothing to do with hackers anymore, so it would be fair to admit that!
Put another way, there's a tradeoff between false positives, (hustle bro Musk story, say) and false negatives (a story that would generate good discussion not making the front page - yesterday there was one about the air India flight landing in Russia that had a bunch of political comments but also lots of interesting talk about other times planes landed on the wrong runway, taking off with one engine, etc.)
Since the cost of false negative is much higher than false positives, better to skew that way.
Reddit is owned and controlled by VCS who have been finding out playground in the hopes of future profits. We all know and understand the game. They hoped they built a website where the users were assets. The Reddit users think they are assets. However, it Reddit can’t make a profit off of them. They aren’t assets they are liabilities.
Any site wanting to replace Reddit would need either someone with a sizeable amount of cash to fund it or VC money. Realistically, this is the week where we find out if Reddit users are assets or liabilities. If they’re liabilities who wants to fund a replacement?
What happens is they can’t make money off the API? I would presume cancel the IPO and make mass layoffs, cut everything to the barebones and make money that way. VCS will make their money while the site burns.
However, what will Redditors do? Go to a bunch of small communities where the group knowledge is smaller and not as good.
The users have nothing to lose. Worst case Huffman and his owners go ahead with smashing and burning the 3rd party moderation and commenting infrastructure - they would have done that even without protests. Would Huffman ban the people who contribute and moderate the discussions and police spam for free, and hire paid mods instead? A week ago I'd have said that not even he is that boneheaded...
Reddit users have Reddit to lose. A site that gives them hours of entertainment, allows them to access support groups, find out tips and tricks, get advice, and much more. It'll cost tens of millions a month to host another. Who has that?
VCs will get their money one way or another. Either they get their way with this and monetise users who previously were not monetised. Or they make profit other ways.
> and burning the 3rd party moderation
This here shows how out of touch you are with the reality of things. Third party moderation tools are staying. They're beneficial to Reddit, of course they're going to keep giving them free access.
This turns out to be much more of a mixed bag in reality. Many of the third party moderation tools are built into the third party mobile apps, which will not get free access.
In the AMA OP  they listed a few projects that will get free access, some moderation tools among it, but even just requiring registration for such tools will have a massive chilling effect on the existing and future ecosystem.
These smaller forums can’t compete with Reddit on the whole. Sure you have places like hbf forums, file sharing talk, etc which are better for that niche but when dealing with people wanting various communities in the same place there is no viable replacement.