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Ask HN: What do you like about the Hacker News community?
22 points by tokenadult on Aug 18, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
Apropos of the usual angst about whether or not Hacker News is degrading as a community, I thought I would emphasize the positive by asking what you like about the community that brought you here in the first place and has kept you here till now.

I was brought here by reading Paul Graham's essays on his personal website. Way back in 2003, a local friend recommended that all of the parents in my homeschooling support group read pg's essay "Why Nerds Are Unpopular." She seemed to know of pg's name from his contributions to the Internet research community (of which she was part), but I had never heard of him. I read and thought about the essay, and in 2005 a friend recommended that I read "What You'll Wish You'd Known," which I have since recommended to each of my children as they approach high school age, and have often recommended to friends. As I heard about more Paul Graham essays, I learned to browse around his personal site and at some point followed a link to "News," which links here. At first I only lurked on what was then called Startup News, but by November 2008 I had an account here, which has become quite active. I was drawn here by Paul's interest in education policy, a passionate interest of mine since 1972, but I have found other interesting topics to discuss here.

What brought you here? What do you like about Hacker News?




Hacker News was key for me to feel comfortable moving away from San Francisco. I realized that I was getting most of my Silicon Valley news from a source that I could read from anywhere.

The comments here are so good that I often read them before or even instead of reading the article. HN is a superb collection of items well-aligned with my interests in startups, business strategy, and major technology trends.


This.

Slightly different though.

HN has made me a lot more comfortable with the fact that I have chosen not to move back to the bay area yet.

I did an internship at Yahoo out there before I finished school. I'm in Austin, Tx now and thinking about moving to New York


It is so far as I know the biggest concentrated population of people starting or working on technology businesses. It's also historically our best hiring vector†. It's a lot of other things I don't like so much, but you take the good with the bad.

† We are always hiring; http://www.matasano.com/careers


Practically none of my friends are interested in tech/startups and I don't have co-workers. HN is one of the only place where I feel amongst my peers in that respect.


Until I read Paul Graham I had never heard of another entrepreneurial programmer who liked Evelyn Waugh and Wodehouse and placed such an enormous value on doing hard things. I came to news looking for other people like that.

My experience here has been quite positive; I have learns a great deal from recommended books and programming languages. I also discovered Richard Hamming's famous speech which changed the way I work in several ways.

Unfortunately, I absorb more than I contribute and sadly realize I am of the generation that dilutes the vision and modeled behavior of this community's best members, reducing the ability of those following me to even notice what I saw and did not emulate. I hope to do my part to increase the quality of posts by adding to the site rather than shouting down low quality.


Slashdot, some time ago, had a link to an article "A Plan for Spam" that led me to Paul's essays, and thence to here. That led to meeting some folks and actually a gig.

The articles and commentary here have a depth and quality in topics that I am interested in that cannot be found anywhere else. There are a large number of friends that I now have that can be traced back to making connections here on HN.

And like most things that are truly interesting, it is reasonably difficult to get to the bottom of it.


Predictability. Not a lot of randomness. I don't have to worry about being sucker punched with porn etc.


There is a lot of fresh thinking shared at HN, and I check New Links and comments here more often than I check any aggregated news sites or NYTimes or Merc.


I like that stupid comments are consistently voted down.


Show HN. Love seeing / sharing / things we build, gives me a good feeling :)


pg remains personally invested (in the sense of interest and care).

Lacking such leadership, projects seem inevitably to turn into "Lord of the Flies".




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