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Ask HN: What motivates your participation on HN?
7 points by llambda on Dec 7, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments
Due to some recent discussion regarding the quality of socialization in Internet communities, I'm curious how HN feels? Why do you participate and how do you feel about that participation? Are the motivators that cause you to engage mostly positive or negative? How about the net-result of that socialization?

The quality of the socialization has a lot to do with the rules, so my comments are mostly about those.

I can participate anonymously save for my IP address without using any special software.

I'm lonely, sad, lost, burnt-out, angry, and confused. Every time someone upvotes one of my posts I feel a bit better. I want to get up to 500 karma so I can downvote people too. Then again, the existence of internet karma and the karma leaderboard makes me want to throw a bucket of water in the world's face.

It's nice that insightful and polite comments are rewarded. I think I still like Slashdot's tag-based moderation system better, I'd like more details than up/down.

There isn't much of a coherent community here compared to most forums (eww, fora?) I've used in the past. Once in a while I recognize a name or two. Then again, the lack of community probably eliminates most of the drama that gets so tedious on internet forums. It feels more like strangers responding to strangers, so in that sense is pretty democratic.

I wish stories could be tagged by topic and then filtered.

I would like to see the total number of upvotes and downvotes on comments and stories, because +50 -51 is a very different story from -1. I would like some mechanism to downvote stories that isn't too punishing.

I feel like I'm sinking into a pit of nothingness every time I see a hellbanned user post a perfectly valid comment, and then I check their comment history and see that they have been doing this for a very long time without any awareness. Maybe users can earn the right to become unhellbanned via upvotes. I would like to be able to not have user's posts greyed out - the greying out just feels mean to me.

I wish there was more interesting technical stuff posted. I wish people would share their startup ideas. I wish it was a bit more fun.

I think computers undermine the quality of local relationships. My girlfriend hates all of you equally.

At the end of the day, I wish I felt like doing something more than reading Hacker News and I loathe myself for even posting here. On the other hand, it's nice to have something to read besides Boing Boing and to practice writing and to get thoughtful responses sometimes. The comments read like they're generally written by young men trying to impress other young men, but maybe that's just how I use them personally. This time I'm just seeking validation I guess.

I used to come around because the commentary was top-notch. There was a reasonably high likelihood that a true subject expert would chime in for nearly every topic on the front page.

Now I come for the links and mostly avoid the commentary, as it's largely opinion based and/or a series of pedantic grammar corrections.

Correcting someone is a powerful motivator. It's the root of all arguments.

Some of my participating is of the "correcting" kind, but I also genuinely try to wait for opportunities to contribute helpful and interesting things from what I have learned in my life thus far.

I read HN because it motivates me to be a more well-rounded and self motivated person. I like reading about all these successful people. I also read it because I'm not a CS person (I have an ECE background), and I like applying CS-domain ideas to ECE applications, like VHDL and embedded design.

I don't actually know why I returned recently. I have been asking myself that here lately. I don't have a clear answer, at least not yet. I think probably the answer is rooted in "I have stopped bleeding to death, so my brain is probably functioning again. Thus, like it or not, I need an outlet."

Historically: I originally joined to ask a specific question. I stuck around to get some of my intellectual needs met. I ended up feeling super burned by some things. I go on haitus periodically, usually not something I plan. I just get busy with other things I guess. I had some conscious reasons for my most recent hiatus but, looking back on it, it roughly coincides with a timeframe where I was bleeding profusely and my brain was just not working. I have health issues. Sometimes hn is just too much. (shrug)

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