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Hacker News (wikipedia.org)
49 points by eru on April 28, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 46 comments

Ooooh. Why gaze at our own navels, when we can ask other people to make a collaborative fingerpainting of our collective navel, and stare at that instead?

The link here is older than the article at Wikipedia itself.

Best of luck to proving notability. From what I can tell, the requirements for not getting hit by a speedy deletion for not being notable get more stringent every day.

I would argue that Hacker News is at least as notable as Digg or Reddit.

In other words, absolute notability may be hard to establish, but in this case relative notability is a cinch.

>> "I would argue that Hacker News is at least as notable as Digg or Reddit."

Notable to us, sure. But notable to the world? I'm not sure.

I think this submission is an abuse both of Wikipedia and of Hacker News.

I don't understand. Surely the exposure of being on here will result in the article being improved.

In fact, I don't understand why there is any opposition at all. I am positively baffled.

First, WP has a thing about coordinated editing strikes on articles, especially when there's a WP:NOT question, especially when the subject of the article is coordinating the edit. It's true that WP people are always on the lookout for any perceived slight, but they're consistent about this one.

Second, stoking a minor controversy by creating a WP article about HN that immediately gets flagged NN --- an article with virtually no content, on WP, an article itself inferior to almost any navel-gazing HN debate thread about HN --- and then requesting that HN come in and fix it... that's also an abuse.

And hey, it's just my opinion. I didn't flag the article.

But it's a new article. How should it be improved if not encouraging people to edit it? Isn't that the whole idea behind Wikipedia? There is no need for this process to be contentious. All it needed to be unflagged not notable was some references. I went and Googled up 5 articles; it was painless enough. Where is the abuse?

The article had no content because it was just made; it started with the opinions of one person. That's why it was requested for people to improve it. That's what Wikipedia does, it writes and improves encyclopedia articles by crowdsourcing. Saying it's an abuse because the article is bad is ridiculous. That's the whole point -- to fix the article. And no, it is not abuse. It's an intended use of the system. You are saying it is an abuse because it is controversial? That seems inconsistent, this site thrives on debate and in this case such debate can only improve the quality of the article.

I still don't get it. I went and reedited the article, I would encourage you to give it another pass.

I don't think any less of you for disagreeing with me. And I don't think we should be using HN to organizing WP editing drives.

Folks around here are always on alert for abuses of all stripes, real and imagined. It's part of the charm.

Flag it then?


Sure... From my experience of Wikipedia though, it'll likely be deleted within the hour.

Deleted my last comment by mistake. Here's what I said:

"I think he meant the submission to Wikipedia, not the meta-submission on HN. Now if the Wikipedia page had a section about the HN discussion of the submission to Wikipedia, things would get more interesting."

I hope the wikipedia entry is deleted, it doesn't quite capture the essence of HN.

Why would we need an article? It would be about a paragraph long. I don't think this is really appropriate for inclusion in wikipedia.

There are several things you could write about --- with sources --- in the article. E.g. Paul's experiment in social engineering to keep the quality up.

Indeed - unless anyone can put forward a convincing argument for inclusion then I will flag it not notable.

I continue to be dumbfounded the the deletionist philosophy.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mergism )

If Hacker News is not relevant to someone, they'll never search on the term or look for a definition.

If Hacker News is relevant to someone (they overheard a reference to it, or saw a link, or checked out the website and still don't get "what it's all about", or "who started it") then an article is quite relevant.

If we're talking about a non-searchable Borges library, then I understand why people might want to winnow the books, so as to increase the information density of what's left.

...but in an age of infinite storage and effective search, what's the theory for deleting information?

I've never heard an argument for why deletionism provides more utility than alternatives.

I generally agree with you. However, suppose there are good reasons behind the deletionist philosophy. What might they be? Some possibilities:

(1) Inclusion in Wikipedia is a statement in itself. It says, "This is notable." In the case of non-notable subjects, the statement is false, and so the problem is one of inaccuracy.

(2) Information on a non-notable topic is very difficult to check for accuracy, update, etc. Thus, the proliferation of non-notable topics would lead to lower overall quality.

(3) Pages on generally non-notable topics would tend to reflect the viewpoint of perhaps just one person who considers the topic important, or, similarly, one company. They would thus be prone to excessive POV stuff, advertising, etc.

In summary, every argument I can think of boils down to lack of notability -> poor quality.

And perhaps that does mean that there should be a notability standard on Wikipedia. On the other hand, I think it is clear that a large number of those people labeled "deletionist" have a notability standard that is significantly too high. (I also think it is very clear that HN is notable enough for inclusion; I'm rather baffled that anyone would think otherwise.)

Honestly, no, there are no good reasons behind the deletionist philosophy as currently embodied on Wikipedia.

The problem is that, although Wikipedia has policies for maintaining quality and relevance, they have fixated on something which is not a policy (notability, which is merely a guideline) and given it a status so far and above all other policies that it's hard to see as anything other than irrational extremism.

A good first step toward improving Wikipedia would be the utter abolition of the notability guideline, replacing it instead with the much more useful and relevant question of "does this article present information which can be verified by consulting reliable sources?" (see policies: WP:V, WP:RS) This maintains quality and relevance (since now the criterion is not "I've never heard of it/it doesn't have X results in Google/etc.", but is rather "no sources can be found to corroborate these claims"), and does away with the endless wanking over what is and isn't "notable enough" for Wikipedia.

I can prove who I am and have acres of relevant links and sources to the bits of software I have written and the sites I maintain.

Do I deserver a spot there? I doubt it.....

Notability guidelines were always important in my WP time. I would say 90% of the articles I cam across doing clean up tasks were just grime that cluttered the place up. There is no point having useless stuff there - it reduces what relevant stuff you can find!

I still just don't see what harm it does to have not-notable-enough-to-you, but reliably-sourced, verifiable information in Wikipedia. What is the problem that deleting solves in this case?

(of course, the flip side: I have, I'm told, for a while been hovering just near the bare minimum criteria to be "notable" enough for Wikipedia, and the thought of having to endure the endless stupidity that is having an article about one's self frightens me to no end)

I don't agree at all with deletionist philosophy. I want that ended myself.

But the arguments typically center around the mission of Wikipedia. If the organization has to fund storage, bandwidth, etc, then they'd like it to be worthwhile content .

In other words, people argue that it's simply not Wikipedia's mission or charter to document every trivial fact. It's meant to be a reference for "important" and "notable" things.

To reiterate, I don't agree with this. I would actually donate more than I already do to Wikipedia if they changed their policy and were less deletionist. I would like to see more "underground" topics covered on Wikipedia that they delete quickly.

Well because you start to lose the signal in the noise then.

Wikipedia is an enyclopedia not a directory. Mentioning HN would be more appropriate under any Ycombinator or Paul Graham article. You'd still get it then in a search for information.

It isnt suitable for it's own article because this is mostly a new streaming site and so hasnt "achieved" anything worth talking about :)

A paragraph long? You can't think of interesting people, comments, events, arguments, success stories that have featured here?

I don't know if it belongs on wikipedia, but it'd be nice to have some history/commentary somewhere.

Well, I made the article. It's pretty small, but maybe somenone wants to expand it?

Thanks. The first expansions already happened. Perhaps more people want to improve it?

Sorry to say, but I believe that our name is holding us back. We joke about it, but to the other 99%, there's nothing funny about "hacking". With another name (Programmer News? Coder News?) we could have a more mainstream presence.

Then again, maybe this is exactly the way pg & friends want it.

Maybe we can control the traffic dynamically. When traffic is low we can switch to "Coder News". As the server load grows larger the title can switch to "Disco News". As we approach redline, we'll see "Accounting News".

"With another name (Programmer News? Coder News?) we could have a more mainstream presence."

But isn't "mainstream presence" a bug and not a feature? e.g. PG has explicitly stated that he wants HN to remain small and focused.

Mainstream presence is the last thing I want to see. Sorry to be an elitist about it, but I hang out here to get away from the mainstream.

Erlang News

Innocuous News.

Gents if were going to edit the article can we PLEASE attempt to stick to content guidelines.

Words like "strive" are weasely and should be avoided (this is an encyclopedia). Report on what was said (and if PG said "I strive" then say something like "Graham has said he strives to").

And umm... some of those references make very little sense

This link for example: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2009/mar/10/apple-...

It is interesting information but ONLY relevant if there was any particular effect from the HN crowd (aka meaning it deserved mentioning in the article - which it doesnt as far as I can tell). Indeed the best place for that to be mentioned is Woz's article.

Im editing and removing some stuff now - dont kill me :)

There are plenty of commercial blogs that have covered Hacker News but I don't think that's enough anymore... has a newspaper or magazine or tv show mentioned hacker news?

I added some links, one of the things I love about Wikipedia is that someone will fix my citations. :D

I'm guessing if Huffington Post covered Hacker News, it would be considered notable.

It is stupid that blogs like Techcrunch and Mashable aren't thought of as being creditable enough to get something on Wikipedia. If Wikipedia keeps up that mind frame in 2-3 years, they will stop adding articles, because there will be no more Newspapers or Magazines.

Some famous users of Hacker News include David Heinemeier Hansson[3], Joel Spolsky[4], and Michael Arrington.[5]

DHH has posted 25 comments and Michael has made 1 post and 3 comments.

Are there any "famous" people in, say, the top 50 percentile of activity? :) (Update: I've removed my reference to Joel as he seems to be an active user - awesome!)

We do not have a Wikipedia article, yet.

Who's ready to prove notability?

Wikipedia is such a disgrace, I don't think HN ought to be on there.

They DELETED the article for the Snoopy Calendar!

Wikipedia ought to be deleted.

> They DELETED the article for the Snoopy Calendar!

I always wondered if that was a widely circulated bit of ephemera or not... My first exposure to a computer was in Kindergarten during a field trip to a military base. The sysops kindly printed off a late 70's sheet for each student. I never saw or heard of the program that made this until late college and only in asides. (And Google doesn't seem to have much info, besides the infamous "nerd purity test" question.)

The Snoopy Calendar http://www.users.on.net/~farnik/wikicgi/wiki.pl?SnoopyCalend...

is what Real Programmers http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/real.programmers.html have taped to the wall . . .

Seriously, Wikipedia has become DAMAGING . . . why? because I am intimately acquainted with a certain topic (religious) and - after scouring the web for months - I finally found THE, THE definitive informational resource for said topic, in the form of a website, I proceeded to add links to the website to the existing related articles. I had never contributed, as I felt that what I had to contribute was not truly worthwhile . . . until I found that site, and realized I could contribute something of high value. What happened? The FREAKS DELETED ALL I CONTRIBUTED. Links to a site that had no ads, no commercial links, ALL FREE, all accurate, all simply priceless, as there is a serious lack of accurate info on that religion . . .

From that moment on, I wonder HOW MANY, JUST HOW MANY great sources of information I will never know existed after using Wikipedia . . . the thing is a cancer, a black hole, a false sign, an utter failure if you ask me, because (and this is the kicker) links that lead to 100% erroneous information in the articles I contributed to, those, why, THOSE didn't get deleted! Bunch of ignorant, arrogant, little thugs running that site . . . it's a travesty.

are you by any chance a Scientologist?

No, I am not. Not by far.

I know you did not ask, but I am a Vodouisant, as in, the Vodou (oftentimes spelled "Voodoo") religion is my religion. I am also - at the same time as if often the case - Roman Catholic (no relation to my username either BTW :-) ) as I was raised Roman Catholic.

Am I militant about my religion? No.

Do we aim to "convert" people? No! Newcomers are a PITA if you ask me.

Am I tolerant of all other religions other than Islam? Yes.

Is my life dominated by religion? Not at all. I keep things in perspective.

Are there reliable and accurate sources of information for Vodou? Hardly. I can count the online sources in one hand.

The whole thing with Wikipedia was just horrid, I truly do think it was partially motivated by plain racism, as Vodou is basically a black people's religion, although it is open to all races and sexual orientations.

A-ha! Another racist and/or religiously intolerant character just downmodded me . . . unbelievable.

Well, here's the thing folks: HACKERS simply don't do that . . . there are way too many people here that simply don't belong here, and need to scram like pronto.

Edit in reply to comment below:

Mayhaps I should have stated that I disapprove of its tenets of violence, among many other aspects of it, instead of saying I am not tolerant of it. Since I refuse to act (such as downmodding you or anyone who disagrees with me) on my opinion I guess I am tolerant of it in spite of the sheer loathing I feel for it and its practitioners.

Anyway, I hereby leave the discussion, any who want to take advantage of this go ahead and ridicule yourselves.

"Am I tolerant of all other religions other than Islam? Yes."

I think people might find this somewhat offensive. Islam is a diverse religion spread over all parts of the globe. Your comment seems to dismiss it entirely.

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