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Ask HN: Did the HN ranking algo give more weight to 'Show HN' submissions?
51 points by KhalPanda on July 4, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments
So, it seems for most of today about 70-80% of the front page have been "Show HN" submissions... nothing wrong with that, I enjoy seeing what people have built and am more-than-happy with the new 'Show' link and page in the header.

But did the algo change to give more weight/life to Show HN submissions? Or is this extra exposure purely down to how easy the Show HN submissions are to find now? (And that the announcement drew attention to that fact?)

No - just the announcement triggering a lot of amazing people to share and support.


This is correct. If you look at the vote counts you'll see they're there because people voted for them.

I don't think so, but in my opinion it would be better if they're weighed down (instead of up). That way anyone interested can go to /show and the good stuff still makes it to the front page.

Or like muppetman suggested yesterday (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7986578), make it a profile option whether to show them on the front page. Or perhaps add a weight field as a profile option? That should make everyone happy I think.

Not that all entries of Show HN are shining, but I'd rather read about people's creations, rather than "Can we guess which teenagers will binge drink" and some of the other popular garbage that shows up on HN.

We need more news that connects us and lets us know how we can help each other via our creations.

Isn't that what /show is for? I personally just don't have the time to play with and use all the products that people around here make, I'm on Hacker News for the general (hacker) news; not hacker productions. I agree that the drinking teenagers link isn't too interesting and I haven't read it (but I saw it too), but it still is closer to the kind of news I'm looking for than all the Show HN's.

I see what you mean and there sure is an audience for connecting hackers/makers with each other, but I think /show does that better than the front page. Of course if I'm wrong, the show stories will be upvoted enough and I'll need to find another website for my news. Nothing wrong with that. I just think that the current amount of Show HN's is a bit too much and, since we have /show now, maybe we should weigh them down or make it an option field (even if the current volume is only due to the announcement).

For this to work, it has to have at least a specific community volume, and it won't have that volume if it's buried as a link in that obscure menu up there, while the homepage of HN is "regular" news.

Power of defaults, and so on.

A better deal would be a portal home page showing some news, some Show HN entries, and maybe other sections that can be added.

How about an option to not show them at all then?

I mean, I enjoy seeing a few of them a day show up on the front page, but when more than half the front page is nothing but Show HN that detracts from my experience, though it may not have the same impact for you.

If the default is to show them and to allow them to whiteout the front page, I would rather have an option to not see them at all personally, which I do think is unfortunate but that's how I feel. I enjoy HN for the news and light sprinkling of Show HN, not the other way around.

Edit: fixed typo

Give it some time, it'll pass.

There's the Erlang days sometimes or whenever Apple releases something I don't want to read HN for a couple of days either.

The combination of this being a new feature and the "Show HN" posts now having a dedicated page simply gave them a big boost in exposure.

I doubt it has anything to do with the algorithms. I will, however, be interested to see how things settle once it is no longer a NEW feature.

With dedicated pages, it's giving the appearance of "subreddits" in a way. What I'd really like to see in those terms:

1. News 2. Technical 3. Show HN 4. Ask HN (maybe)

There is already /ask, which shows stories that don't have a URL.

This is exactly right. And we'll wait for things to settle before making any changes.

I think more people created show hn posts to capitalize on the novelty of showing up on the new list.

And also the increased visibility on the new list may have made them gather more upvotes?

From an engineer's point of view, it was probably either change the algorithm or increase exposure. I don't think they've done both, so I would say it's just the extra exposure.

An increase in "Show HN" could be partially explained by the recent closure of Freshmeat (Freecode).

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