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Ask HN: What are some alternatives to HN?
199 points by _vya7 on Feb 17, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 186 comments
Specifically, sites where you can post links and comment on them, but with a focus on technical topics.

EDIT: it's okay if it's not a popular (yet) site, just looking for all the options

EDIT2: this isn't a complaint about HN, just asking

EDIT3: please post them in auto-link format, thanks a ton

With the requests pinging around here, I'll say it explicitly - I'm a member, and I'm happy to send an invite to any active HNer.

Hey everyone, I'm still working on this. Work, life, HN being down, etc, but I'll get to everyone eventually.

Hey, I'd like an invite too if it's not too much trouble. My email is in my profile as well.

EDIT: I see that if I were to get downvoted you would be punished in some way on lobste.rs? You may want to checkout my comment history and make sure it isn't likely to get you kicked off the site ;)

Hey! I had to write a FizzBuzz routine for my lobsters invite.

I was on that Reddit thread too. I wrote one even after the guy giving them out said you didn't really have to.

Thought about doing it here, but, this being HN, I'd probably start getting FizzBuzzes in something unreadable like Brainfuck or Perl, plus 20 other languages I've never heard of.

Reddit's so big and diverse, I don't know that I'd accept somebody into Lobsters just based on reddit history, but a decent HN history/karma seems good enough for me.

Hi, would love an invite too. I've been lurking lobsters occasionally till now.

Thanks ufmace!

I realized I made the same mistake as spf13, but you took the time to find my email from one of links in my profile. I really appreciate the effort you took :)

I've been trying to get an invite for a while now. If you have the time/invites, I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks :)

Thank you in advance. If you send me an invite to the e-mail in my profile I'll be happy.

If you still have invites available, I'd be happy to take one off your hands :-) Thanks!

Sure, just need an email address - can't see one in your profile

I'm sorry about that. I didn't realize that the email field in our profiles was private. I have updated my profile for you. Thanks again!

Lots of requests I know, but I'd also like one please. haydendotsa@gmail.com if needed.

Ok, I am curious what resides in this walled garden. Invite me too please.


I bet you didn't anticipate such a response.

I wouldn't mind an invite too please :)

Wow, yeah, this'll take a few minutes to go through. Half think I ought to write a program to do it.

I'll take an invite if you're still dishing them out. Thanks!

I'd appreciate an invite and my email is listed in profile.

Please send me an invite) it would be great) email in profile)

I would like an invite too please :) personjerry@gmail.com

Thanks so much! I would love an invite. email in profile.

No, your email is not in your profile. In fact, your profile is empty. Your email is in the email field, which only the admins can read.

Ooh, I didn't realize that either

Would love an invite as well if it's not too late.

I would really appreciate an invite! Thanks

EDIT: p4checo [at] gmail.com

I wouldn't mind one. My email is in my profile.

Sure, just need an email address - can't see one in your profile. The normal email field is only visible to site admins, I think.

Oh, I didn't realize that. hfuller at pixilic.com

An invite would be great. My email is in my profile.

I would also like an invite, please and thank you.

An invite would be great: balaclark @ gmail . com

This looks intriguing, I'd love an invite!

Do you still have invites? Thanks either way.

I’d love an invite if you’re still sending them out.


Could you also send me an invite please :)

I would love an invite, leeolayvar at gmail ty :)

Done, ty!

Yet another request for invite... please?

Thanks ufmace; raiph.mellor at gmail.com

Me too pretty please! Email in profile

I would also like to get access. :)

Me too, please. (Email in profile)

I'd love an invite - thanks!

I would like one as well please.

Yes please, invite me as well :)

Woohoo! Me too, pretty please?

I'd appreciate an invite.

An invite would be awesome!

That sounds nice...

Do you need information?

I'd like one please.

Can I get an invite too?

Sure, just need an email address - can't see one in your profile. The normal email field is only visible to site admins, I think.

I would love an invite.

Invite would be great!!

Same here, thanks!

Me too please!

One more.

Why hello there.


please send invite.

yes please!

I really wish HN would have tags, that's the killer feature of lobster for me (Someone posted http://newshack.io/ a while ago, which is an interface for HN with automatically generated tags, but I don't find it as good).

I've mixed feelings instead toward it being invite only - From one side, the fact that your account is something "precious" can encourage smart/intelligent discussions, and it's also hard for trolls/spammers to get in (and easier for the moderators to ban them permanently).

On the other side instead I like open communities, where the barrier to entry is very low (for example HN, or the always hated 4chan). Not that I can have a strong opinion about the lobster community, as I read it from time to time, but don't have an account on it.

Lobsters has an invitation queue that you can enter. That's how I joined. I got an invite in about an hour.

Your HN comment history shows you’re not a spammer. I’ve sent you an invite, to the email address in your profile.

I'd like one too! ;-) (My email's in my profile.)

... thanks!! ;-)

I'm also creating a hackernews with tags (but more for SMB and personalisation (eg. news,interests, ...))

I really like the way Lobsters works. It allows very interesting discussions without flaming or useless posts. However, it's also the reason why I can't join them, unfortunately. It'd be a joy to participate in such a community!

Judging by your comment history, I can't spot a reason not to risk sending an invitation. My email address is in my profile, ping me if you're interested.

At the risk of being 'that guy,' any chance you could spare an invite for me?

The inviter needs to know your email address to send you an invite. I suggest just putting your email in your HN profile (https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=untothebreach). You can obfuscate it if you’re worried about harvesting. Or if you only want to share the address temporarily, for this thread, post it at https://onetimesecret.com/.

You comments seem fine, so I would invite you if I knew your email address.

Added my email, thanks for letting me know.

Why can't you join them?

They are invite only.

People who might like a Lobsters invite should make their E-mail known in their profile.

(Having some contact info in your HN profile is probably a good idea in general. I think the likelihood of spam is pretty low.)

If you can, can you invite me to lobste.rs? It seems like a community that I would be proud to be a part of. Thanks in advance. You can invite me through ygtckr()gmail.com

A lobster invite would be nice. Thanks in advance.

My email is in my profile (human readable)

I really like lobste.rs' tagging system, and appreciate that it lets me focus on what I am interested in at that moment in time.

I can invite interested people to lobste.rs. Need your email for it.

"Invitations are unlimited, but persons you invite will be associated with your account in the user tree and you may be responsible for them if they cause problems. Please use your discretion when inviting persons you don't personally know."

You don't personally know me (yet), but I'd much appreciate an invite! I'm not a spammer. Use your discretion. :)

Invited. Welcome.

An invite would be welcome :)

I need your email address to invite you.

it should be in my profile

Has anyone used the code for a private discussion board? I am looking for one for a community college and the tagging and invites look nice.

This seems great but I can't register, if someone could send me an invite, that would be awesome !

I am also willing to send out some invites. PM me if you are interested.

Just realized that HN doesn't do PMs. If you want an invite, shoot me an email. You can find it on my Github account (linked from my HN profile).

I would so very much appreciate an invite. Thanks regardless!

I'd also appreciate an invite. Thanks!

I'd like an invite to lobste.rs if someone has one.


does anyone have an invite for my for lobste.rs would be great, don't get why it's a closed community.

... don't get why it's a closed community.

I believe the idea is that people get in by invitation; if a member ends up being a problem (i.e. gets down-voted too often or something) then not only are they booted but so is the person who invited them.

This being the case, people need to exercise some care before sending an invite since that person's behavior will be reflected back on them.

It's an interesting approach to growing a community.

> then not only are they booted but so is the person who invited them.

I understand why this was put in place there but that's the reason I don't really invite others. I have no way of knowing whether he or she will be down-voted.

Still, it's better to get kicked out and know that, than being shadow-banned and not knowing what attracted that.

It's better... but I still think it's a bit fascist. To each their own, though.

I actually bookmarked your post on vi mode in bash a couple of months ago. That'll do as proof you're worthy. :-) My email address is listed in my profile. Ping me for an invite.



try not to enjoy yourself too much

Ugh, /g/ is pleb-filled unfortunately. The majority of the threads illicit facepalms because the crowd there, while not as bad as Redditors, politically, are quite shallow in their expertise. Simply put, a lot of nerds who don't really know a lot, especially when it comes to what hackernews specializes in. It's likely due to it being the only place on 4chan people feel their desktop/tech support thread fits on.

Still remember proggit was shit and people created r/coding.

Moderation changed that.

There's barely any blogspam anymore on proggit, and if some manages to get through, it gets the customary tar-and-feathers treatment which even good submissions receive, only with more abundant, and hotter tar.

The old classic: http://slashdot.org/

The alternative Slashdot movement has gained steam in the past week or so: http://soylentnews.org/

Good news for me: I improved from a 4 digit slashdot id# to a three digit number on the new site. :/

http://lesswrong.org "Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity.."

Less Wrong is an online community for people who like misogyny, discussion thereof, and oneupmanship via the wide array of in-references.

And according to their own surveys, they aren't very successful at debiasing, either.

Brilliant! Thanks

I made a multi-reddit out of most of these and some more mentioned in this thread in case anyone wants one.


An alternative, 100x uglier version:


Maybe someone would prefer it linked this way, though.

lol, I didn't know that you can practice algebra with Reddit!

I made a redirect from http://hackynews.crabdance.com, if anyone wants a more memorable URL. :)

(Or make your own at https://freedns.afraid.org !)

Perfect, thanks for sharing. Now if only we could subscribe to multi-reddits.

The "create a copy" function is probably as good as it gets.

I think it would be awesome if reddit were to blur the lines between subreddits and multireddits. Many defaults have huge lists of dedicated subreddits for stuff banned from the default in the sidebar. If the defaults were multireddits newcomers could incorporate or exclude these specific subreddits into their version of the default multi.

Of course, I'm almost certainly underestimating how impossible it would be to integrate the two like that. Still fun to consider though.

I've always wondered, do subreddits with fewer posts get boosted on the front page and in multi-reddits, or are they simply drowned out by the bigger subreddits?

I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it's definitely weighted somehow. A hot topic on a quiet subreddit is likely to end up on your front page, even if you're subscribed to many noisier communities.

Ah, this was a surprise since OR doesn't appear all that often on HN -- and I haven't sub'd to quite a few of these. Thank you!

Also, r/cpp, r/lua, r/opengl, r/gamedev

sites which appear to be using the actual HN code:

(http://coinspotting.com/) [Coinspotting | Hacker News for cryptocurrencies]

(http://www.datatau.com/) [DataTau | Hacker News for data scientists]

(http://firespotting.com/newest) [Firespotting |Hacker news for ideas]

(http://www.medtechnologynews.com/) [Med Technology News | Hacker News for medical technology]

other layouts:

(http://inbound.org/) [Inbound | Hacker News for marketing]

(http://pullup.io) [Pullup.io | Hacker News for people who can contribute to a Node.js codebase]

(http://www.producthunt.co) [Product Hunt | Hacker News for products]

(http://news.makerland.org/) [Maker News | Hacker News for DIY/Making]

(http://lamernews.com/) [Lamer News | Hacker News with... lameness I guess]

(http://www.woodspotting.com/) [Woodspotting | Hacker News for wood]

Oh, thanks. When I posted it all it got auto-killed.

Yeah, I had to try a few times and I still don't know why it finally worked. I even tried to find out which site got it killed but I have no idea.

Not quite what you were looking for, but a damned interesting site nonetheless - http://www.aldaily.com/

The Digg technology tag is actually pretty good.


I used to love Digg around 6 or 7 years back. Then it quickly descended into a childish load of name calling nonsense. Is it back to being normal now...?

>Specifically, sites where you can post links and comment on them

Digg does not allow commenting, as the OP desired.

Subreddits aside, I have taken a liking towards Designer News -


I'd love an invite if anyone has one. One of my open source projects appeared on there in the past, a lot of people were asking "can it do this?", "how do i do that?" type of questions. It was super frustrating not to be able to respond to people with the answer they wanted because I didn't have an account

You can register at specific times without an invite (like right now) https://news.layervault.com/users/new

Otherwise if you click the sign in link you get: Designer News is a place where the design community meets. Registration is open 12PM to 3PM Eastern or until available accounts are exhausted.

Amazing, thanks for the heads up. I now have an account.

Do you (or anyone else) happen to have an invite you could spare? Being in a different timezone, I always forget to sign up within the time window when it's open. I promise not to shitpost (or you know, not to shitpost too much).

If you add your email to your profile I'll send you one

Would it be possible for you to send me an invite? This is the first time I've come across this site, but it seems interesting. I'm a developer, but I've liked the discussions I've read here so far. Thank you!

I like DN as well and browse it almost daily. However I'm not a designer. Is being a designer required for an invite?

Not as far as I know, If you're interested in the stuff that gets posted thats enough I think. Its obviously attached to layervault the PSD version control tool, and there are benefits to linking your account but that's it. Would you like an invite?

Yes please! My email is in my profile page. Thanks!

Someone already responded thanks though.

This isn't an existing site, but it's an idea for a new site.

It always seemed to me like the list of up/downvotes forms a graph not unlike hyperlinks the web; I'd be curious to see a site that tried to apply a PageRank-like algorithm to that graph rather than a pure "one vote = one point" system like reddit.

Of course this would probably lead to SEO-like techniques and attempts to game the system, and high-karma accounts would probably end up being sold for cash, it might encourage groupthink, etc, but it still would be interesting to see how it rolled out.

You may be interested in reading HN's source: http://arclanguage.org/install

http://boingboing.net is a rather interesting, if somewhat alternate, source of tech and other news.

You should check out http://business.snapzu.com or http://tech.snapzu.com (same service, different categories)

It's a more visual approach, and new submissions start small and get bigger as they get more popular (amount of votes) on the grid.

Simple python scraper for all the links:

import requests

import lxml.html

dom = lxml.html.fromstring(requests.get('https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7254884').content)

[x for x in dom.xpath('//a/@href') if '//' in x and 'ycombinator.com' not in x]

A few weeks ago I launched http://thecurrency.io/, which is like a HN for cryptocurrencies and the future of money.

Feel free to give me some suggestions.

Going outside.

I'm not a fan of their commenting system: it's not very easy to read the scrollback after a few days.

Also, someone installed the "polar vortex" mod and we've had temperatures going from -25F to 38F and back with some nasty winds. By the way, the driving in a -F day after a 32F+ day is seriously a pain.

The moderators are dicks too, sometimes hellbanning you for many, many years without reason.

Lifestyle / small business stuff:

http://lifestyle.io/ - Appears to be down though :(

http://www.reddit.com/r/entrepreneur - People who have made it complaining about people who haven't

http://www.reddit.com/r/smallbusiness - More brick and mortar

http://www.reddit.com/r/startups - Lots of 'startups' where people have built a website, with the occasional actual business

Work, doing something productive instead of hanging out in all these places (that's intended for my own self, hear that?)

For Russian-speaking crowd there is https://develop.re/

http://www.echojs.com/ is Hacker news for Javascript

Like there is not enough of this stuff here on HN.

http://www.echojs.com/ - a JS-related Hacker News

news:comp.misc is active and interesting http://squte.com provides a moderated interface to newsgroups (it will be familiar if you have ever been to slashdot.org) http://soylentnews.org

I cannot divulge what I am working on just yet, but this thread and your post have certainly helped to make it great. Thanks!

Don't forget to divulge when you can.

https://techpost.com (early dev. version)

Are you compiling a seed list for an aggregator/machine learning type project?

Nope, just looking for a community to join that never gives me the cryptic message "You're submitting too fast. Please slow down. Thanks".

Reddit is my go to since there is a subreddit for almost any topic.

And shadow bans , and manipulated voting , and crazy mods , that somehow control 100s of subreddits. Seriously , take a look sometime at the mod accounts and notice how much of reddit is completely controlled by the same people.

The place is really controlled by mods not by the voting , the voting is an illusion and is easily manipulated. Ultimately the mods and admins have final say on what you see no matter what the vote count.

I am not a fan of reddit and hope for something better.

...so basically it's like HN?

Quora is great for finding interesting startup and tech tidbits.

Are there any Newsgroups recommendations?

For instance - comp.misc ?

supplemental, not an alternative to: http://techendo.co/

news.layervault.com, producthunt.co



Get off your computer. Go outside. Read a fucking book.

Wasn't that a little unnecessarily hostile to a stranger you know nothing about?

That's when it's most satisfying, when you don't know them and they can't see you. Think of all the times you've been flipped off by someone in a car because you moved a fraction of a second too slowly; those people must really like flipping people off.


I'm looking for something a little less moderated.

Thug life?

Alternatives are irrelevant. Resistance is futile.

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