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Don't introduce people to hacker news, let them discover it by themselves
6 points by iamjdg 998 days ago | 5 comments
i love hacker news. its interesting, its innovative, its dynamic, its' unique. i discovered it years ago on my own just randomly seeking knowledge on the internet.

i never forward/tell anyone about hacker news because I don't want it to become some bastion of pop culture. the only people i want here are people who discovered it themselves by perusing the web for interest/knowledge.

i find the knowledge I extract from reading hacker news gives me an advantage over competitors who do not know about hacker news.

anyone else feel the same and practice this "don't lead the horse to water, let them find it themselves" principle?




The site is run as an experiment in internet social behavior. The idea is to see how to keep a growing community feeling small over a long period of time (without actually stagnating). The mod points and submission guidelines http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html aim to prevent the site being overwhelmed with "noise" even though traffic is quite high. Trafic is almost certainly higher than you think. New users get modded down until they be quiet, leave, or learn to stop making jokes that "belong on Reddit". I remember it took me a few months to learn how to write comments that got upvotes, now I'm #51 on the top karma list.

tl;dr I don't think it's a big deal, the site has kept up with new users just fine so far.

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ahh hacker news never fails, great feedback from all, which further proves the quality of contributors here...

i don't agree it is with luck that people find hacker news, sure some percentage do, but do these people recognize the tremendous value of hacker news when they come across it?...probably not most.

if ones does enough reading/research on the web about things related to computers, programming, science, engineering, or technology, they are almost certain to stumble across hacker news and recognize its value...so it is more statistics related to the time a person spends trying to innovate and learn using the web...and these are the people I want on hacker news because selfishly I learn the most from them..and I hope vice versa...

elitist? The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources? I do not think hacker news readers/contributors deserve special/favoured treatment. I do think hacker news readers/contributors are in the higher percentile of intellect, but not necessarily in social status or financial resources.

private? Am I excluding people? No, I just choose not to advertise it, I prefer they find it on their own and recognize its value because I feel it provides a litmus test to the type of people that make this forum so great. But I would never shun or try and forbid anyone from advertising Hacker news...I was just interested in peoples opinion on the matter...so thank you.

i mean how did reddit get so bad, that place is horrible, i would hate it if this happened to hacker news...but then again i would probably keep using the web to learn, innovate, and grow and more than likely stumble onto the next hacker news...

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Seems a bit elitist, no? So you only want the lucky few who stumbled across this little oasis in the vast nightmare of the internet to benefit from the knowledge here? Knowledge that is shared freely, which you then claim to gain a "competitive edge" from?

Seems like you want to keep HN private so you can reap rewards from the knowledge of others, without being forced to share it with the common plebe.

And here I was just wishing people who posted on HN used proper punctuation...

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The YC philosophy that it is better to include a winner than to try and weed out possible failures might be appropriate for HN as well.

Most people won't find HN interesting as an aggregator. Of those who find it interesting, few will be inclined to participate. Only a subset of those will ultimately make significant comments on a regular basis.

The leader board is a select place, but who will make it can't be accurately predicted at the widest part of the funnel.

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I only recommend it to people who I think could really benefit, but urge them not to sign up. I lurked on HN for quite a while before I signed up. (Somewhere on the order of weeks or months.) I think that if you take a bit of time to read other people comments, you'll get a good feel for what to say in your own.

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