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This seems like a rather hostile change to an already hostile community. HN has never felt like a welcoming place to me, and I don't think this will help. Maybe PG prefers the community to be small, so he's trying to trim it down? Because I'm fairly certain this will drive users away, and not just the ones he wants to keep out.

Please noble 1000+ers, free my humble comment from the depths of the low-karma peasants. For I have but 522 karma, thus I deserve to be spat on and excluded from the flawless utopia which is the HN comments section...

I have to agree with you that this looks like a hostile change. There are, of course, many here who would prefer a smaller community. That's an elitist group, imo. I've always felt that the quality of discussion here has remained top-notch, even as the popularity of the site has grown.

> Because I'm fairly certain this will drive users away, and not just the ones he wants to keep out.

Absolutely. One of the benefits of the size and diversity of the HN community is that there are lots of subject matter experts in a myriad of niches that can provide useful commentary.

If it becomes dramatically harder to have a comment be seen, these people will simply stop commenting here. The idea might be that infrequent but insightful commenters will get endorsed, but not every comment a valuable commenter makes is necessarily going to get endorsed. That's going to be frustrating enough that many will decide not to bother, and the discourse will be poorer for it.

Exactly my thoughts. I know if my first comments had been voted off the island I would have swam away.

I think it does have this risk, not in the sense of deliberately driving users away, but simply the fact that the cost of posting would be much higher and engagement would drop as a side effect.

The goal of HN isn't to become large and popular. It's to be a useful forum for discussion. See the Guidelines and FAQ links on every HN page for more on this:


As for gaining points: given time and quality contributions (as well as winning the front-page lottery a time or two), it's possible to gain 1000 karma in a year or so, pretty easily, if you want to (and quite possibly faster). Which is as it should be: you need to make your bones.

I'm not fond of the idea, but at the same time, playing the victim like you are here doesn't exactly do much for comment quality.

HN really loathes humour, doesn't it?

In my opinion this is a feature of HN discussions and one of the things I detest about reddit discussions.

Slashdot had the ultimate solution for our different tastes: you could configure a comment type (informative/funny/etc) modifier/threshold. You could say you wanted to see more funny replies and I could say I did not want to see them. It was a tiny bit complicated initially but I think the big impediment to adoption at other sites was the clunky UI. There is not a simple/unobtrusive way to display so many feedback options for each an every comment.

You have to be clever, topical, and insightful. Or just damned lucky.

Like comedy anywhere else, really.

eogas is referring to my profile commentary. What eogas isn't recognising is that just because something has the trappings of humour doesn't also mean it's not crap.

HN has thankfully opened up a little in regards to light humour; that part of my profile was written quite a while ago.

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