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on Apr 5, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite

What's got to stop is the endless summary posts from Mashable (who often don't even link to the original content), TechCrunch, TheNextWeb, PandoDaily, and other affiliate linkfarms. Just link directly to the content, thank you very much.

From a week after your account was created:


Forbes, Financial Times, New York Times

From right now on the front page: extremetech, time, mashable, nytimes, arstechnica, msdn, theatlantic, wsj

Edit: I feel like I should explicitly state a point here. Between the live front page and the one you linked to the live version has more mainstream media. But it always seems like it's on the decline, whether it is or isn't.

Also, I think there has been a marked decrease in 'Show HN' articles that make up to the front page. I'm not sure if both are related but if a 'Show HN' article has to compete with the whole world's news, I suppose its possible to fade away without anyone noticing.

I wonder if it would be a good idea to give 'Show HN' posts more prominence as they're less likely to have been reported elsewhere?

I remember that this was under discussion a while back - whether to keep a separate tab or not - sadly, it was decided against at that time (though it might not have been needed at the time)..

What about a "community" section that was home to Show HN, Ask HN - basically posts for the HN community? I think that's actually a great idea...

Hacker News has this - click the "Ask" button on the header

Perhaps a more interesting question to ask is: where are the HN submitters getting the articles that they post here? My hunch is that a lot of us are grabbing our news from social networking services (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) moreso than we used to. In fact, the percentage of our total news discovery from those outlets -- as opposed to, say, from regularly following a handful of blogs and aggregators -- has probably increased dramatically. So, what we might really be seeing is a representation of the sources most frequently shared on social networks.

LinkedIn, for example, routinely offers business articles from the same sources that have been appearing on HN more frequently. In fact, it's not uncommon to see an article shared by LinkedIn make its way to HN shortly thereafter. (The correlation/causation dynamics are unclear, however, so we should keep that in mind).

Obviously, some tech/startup news items get covered by the big media sites, but the number of these - often several covering the same story - don't even meet the qualification of being a primary source.

Some of those are better than others. The Atlantic is usually original reporting or long form journalism.

extremetech is very annoying to me at the moment. Some of the articles are vaguely on topic for HN, but the coverage is usually well below what could be appearing on HN. I would much rather people link to the original source than to places like ET or The Register or the aggregators.

EDIT: Has anyone created an HN stats software? It might be interesting to see graphs of sources; votes; comments; etc.

What bothers me personally is that original valuable content loses with mainstream crappy summaries and worthless flamebaits like the ones from zdnet (take a link, write a few sentences with an unproven statement, ask 'what you think', ..., profit!).

I actually see a lot of mainstream media picking up items from here as well.

Mainstream media is ok, mainstream articles are probably not (Google glasses, Instagram for Android etc.).

I'm not sure why - Google Glasses are certainly relevant to Hacker News, and I think few people would argue about Instagram.

IIRC, HN is a place to read articles about things that hackers would find interesting. Google Glasses seems like a fairly cool technology, even if it isn't startup related.

I have the feeling Polls and Ask HN have increased.

But I'm sure as "wheels" pointed out on the mainstream perception, the ratio was the same when I've signed up years ago.

Actually, I think the "Ask HN" posts have really been slow lately as I always include the best ones in my weekly Hacker Newsletter. The last couple months it has been hard to find more than three or so quality ones each week.

Yes, even http://news.ycombinator.com/classic has been affected.

wow, never heard of it. what is this 'classic' exactly?

It's a version of HN which only counts votes from users who've been on the site for at least a year.

Seems that way to me, too. Have 000 data to support that assertion, however.

I post rarely, sometimes from NYT, and try to contribute articles that are germane, inspiring - not retellings or layman's gee-whiz reporting.

Overall, I don't think this is an important problem for HN - if a problem at all. And of course, we can change it ourselves at any time.

How about tweaking the algorithm so that the popularity of a website counts against a submission? I don't mean that the article should be buried if it's from something like nytimes.com but it should have to work harder to make it to the front page.

HN has always been a great place to get news not being reported elsewhere

I'll let other users here check my user profile, including its extensive list of submissions, and then let me know how I fit into the community here by how I submit articles. On my part, I agree that HN has long been a place where one can find stories that aren't reported elsewhere, and that can be both a feature and a bug. HN is an especially good place to find breaking news on its core topics (?) of start-up business and new applications of software technology. It is also a good place to find thoughtful discussion on stories from a variety of sources about the impact of technology on society, education policy in light of technological changes (what drew me here), and the personal development of hackers (what keeps me here, as the parent of four children who may all become hackers). I love the thoughtful comments here, even on metadiscussion topics like the issue of "What's on topic on HN?"

That said, I don't find it bad to find story sources here that are "mainstream," or sources one could find elsewhere. We still won't see the same kinds of comments on those stories elsewhere that we can find here on HN. Indeed, compared to many of the blogs that are submitted as sources on HN, I would MUCH rather see more stories from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, National Public Radio, Time magazine, and The Atlantic, simply because those are all professionally edited sources that often (not always, but often) do a good job of checking facts and establishing context before publishing a story. I especially don't like submissions of stories here from linkspam blogs that quote a paragraph or two of a professionally reported and edited story, add a more eye-catching headline, and do nothing to add value to the story. If there is some breaking news that is first reported by the mainstream media and on-topic for HN, link to the mainstream source. Don't reward lazy bloggers with eyeballs.

As examples of sources that are not mainstream, so far not frequently posted to HN by anyone other than me (usually), and well worth reading when they have articles on-topic for HN, I suggest


for breaking news in biology,


also for breaking news in biology, with especially good reviews of gee-whiz stories that make it onto HN from worse sources,


for general overviews of scientific reasoning,


for reviews of new developments in medicine and biomedical research,


for reporting on education policy, especially science and mathematics education,





for interesting news about mathematical research.

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