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Oh shut your dirty trap, you whiny moron.

</sarcasm>

I still find HN to be a friendly, positive environment. Let's keep it that way!

Edit: Wow. Either starting your comment with a joke is somehow no longer OK, or nobody else agrees with me that HN is still friendly and positive. I've been reading HN everyday for a very long time. I think these negative trends are mostly just an illusion due to the novelty wearing off for newer users. "If your account is less than a year old, please don't submit comments saying that HN is turning into Reddit. (It's a common semi-noob illusion.)" (http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html)




I'm at a year and a half. Hacker News is turning into Reddit. It's following the exact same path, albeit thankfully slower, and the causes behind that path—influx of users, need for attention, karma lust—aren't causes that Paul is looking to fix.

Reddit's not the worst thing in the world, but make no mistake, we're headed there.


Every online community is naturally inclined to become 4chan. It happened to 4chan, it happened to digg, it's definitely on the cusp at reddit and I expect it will eventually happen to HN.

I'm not happy about this :/


Every open, unfettered online community, anyway. Hacker News could save itself with harsher mods and possibly restraints on registration. I think it'll happen if we slide too far, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.


Agreed.


So what about metafilter and specifically ask.metafilter? Are they heading that way? Very honest question as I agree with what you wrote.


Metafilter's always the example I bring up; I avoided saying it here because I think I've mentioned it a dozen times in the last week and I don't want to seem to be recruiting. (Not that I'm a MeFi poster, just a reader.)

Metafilter did a smart thing by forcing users to pay to join. It's also got the most anal modding of any civil site I've ever seen. Cortex will remove entire discussions if he doesn't like them.


This is how the SomethingAwful forums remain, in my opinion, rather high quality despite being affiliated with an offensive comedy website. $10 and strict mods seemingly breed compliance with whatever regulations you care to enforce.


SomethingAwful's the perfect example. They're the best at what they do, and their forums, while a bit immature for my tastes normally, have hands-down the most talented people there than I've found anywhere. I'm astonished at the artistic and entrepreneurial visionaries I see posting like mad there. I wish some of them would post here too.


They'd probably all get downvoted into oblivion.


Another possibility is to force people to use their real names.


But no community can leverage that well, because Facebook already exists for that. Adding real names to a community of strangers doesn't help much. I'm certain I've trolled under my real name before when my name didn't matter.


Reddit's already there. They are, thankfully, less dangerous than 4chan (i.e., 4chan is likely to firebomb a building for their pet cause, Reddit is more likely to sit and post angry things about it)


I disagree, the recent 'my pastor abused me...' posts on reddit proved just how dangerous reddit can be - they found his personal info and called and harassed him, he (possibly) committed suicide a couple of days later.


Holy shit, I didn't know about the suicide.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the Reddit community - I've expressed this here on HN in the past.


I have my misgivings about Reddit too, but I'm still a fan of the site as a whole. What in particular don't you like?


The knee-jerkiness of the community, and the groupthink. If you think Slashdot has the herd mentality, I'm not sure what you'd think of Reddit. Never before have I seen a group of self-proclaimed progressives be this bigoted and ignorant, yet fast on the trigger when it comes to condemning just about anyone or anything - e.g., Sears, the constant posts about tazers, the giant hate-on for all law enforcement, etc.

Recently there have been some pretty clear racist undertones running throughout the site (anti-Muslim, in particular). Reddit prides itself in being a community of self-ascribed liberals and progressives - but I don't see it at all in the behaviour of its userbase.

Nowadays I mostly only go to the photography subreddits, that are still generally populated by reasonable people willing to discuss as opposed to fight. Niche subreddits may be the only places left on the site that doesn't make me mentally throw up every time I try to read it.


Oh man, because of this HN attitude (Gawd, we can't become like Reddit) I resisted looking at Reddit for a long time. Finally I looked last week, and frankly, I'm just not seeing this. So far, I'm really enjoying Reddit's ability to flag news I'm interested in.

Of course, I don't spend much time reading the threads themselves. But ... I just don't see how horrible Reddit is.

I haven't seen serious discussion like this there, either. But that's hardly enough to condemn the site entirely. (Of course, maybe I'm one of the negative influences here; I do have a tendency to enjoy off-topic posting.)


Wait till you get more caught up in certain parts of the community. I still occasionally feel the need to go to /r/politics and argue my point of view, and there be crazy people.


Well... in my experience, arguing politics or religion is the best way in the world to find crazy people. That's pretty true here, too. It's because this kind of belief is not only close to our sense of identity, it's also where we differ most. That was actually one of the most dismaying things about the period from September 2001 to the Iraq War, in my experience; people I'd earlier respected and liked turned out to be raving lunatics - and they felt the same about me.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not looking for more venues to argue politics, but that I wouldn't find it a good idea to argue politics here, either. (Although I just got 70 karma for doing just that, this week. So plainly I have no idea what I'm doing.)


I've certainly noticed the extremest tendencies on reddit. But one thing I also notice is that it seems to attract them from both sides.

>Recently there have been some pretty clear racist undertones running throughout the site (anti-Muslim, in particular)

This is a good example. You'll probably find as many anti-Israel comments as anti-Muslim.

I'm not saying that's a good thing. But it is a scale that balances in the end. One thing that keeps it interesting is that the reddit community doesn't seem to have run for the middle as part of its groupthink, instead it runs for stark polarity.


http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=920110 <-

I wouldn't mind subscribing to your whitelist.


One thing I find interesting is that people will read posts on discussion groups, read articles on blogs and web pages, watch television, listen to music, and over time, they will begin to connect with the person with whom they believe they are interacting. The truth is that the other person that is providing the content for the lurker has no idea who that person is. However, the lurker feels like he knows the poster, the community, the musician, or the actor because he has been involved in a one-way interaction for such a long time. So, the poster may make a small joke that he believes to be harmless because he believes he understands the other person; however, he comes across as a stranger simply telling a negative joke. I have encountered this issue may times. I feel like I have some kind of connection, but that connection does not truly exist unless you actively engage with the target of your interest.


I've received that exact same reception here. I've lurked HN for about a year. And I get challenges like "your karma/post count/profile length/fame level is too low for me to take you seriously".

Sorry, I don't measure a person's worth, or the quality of their statements by karma score.


>"If your account is less than a year old, please don't submit comments saying that HN is turning into Reddit. (It's a common semi-noob illusion.)"

Sweet. Only 8 more days and then I'll be able to voice my opinion without the "noob" stigma.


I don't notice HN being that negative at all, although I'm relatively new, so I don't know if I know anything yet. What I do notice, however, is a bit too much self-seriousness, and it can come across as cold or negative at times when you're not used to it.


Oh come on, -3 points? It was a joke, people! I upvoted because he beat me to it AND because I agree with him. I'm not seeing the negative downturn.


You're not as funny as you think you are.


Perhaps I was too terse, and it appeared I was trying to make a (meta) joke. I was not. If you ever find yourself thinking "It's just a joke!" you have to consider that the problem is with you, not the reader. Most people amuse themselves, but few people are actually funny. Your jokes will generally not be appreciated by others, particularly when you go for the obvious, aggressively ironic one-liners.

Such things get downvoted as part of the noise.


True. One of the things I like about this place is that one-liners are frowned upon, even when they're somewhat funny.

I feel that policy should be extended to sarcasm. Sarcasm doesn't work very well on the net, and is often rude and dismissive.

What I used to like about Slashdot was that you could give the +funny modding a -1 weight. This improved Slashdot discussions quite a bit.


Uh oh. I did the same before seeing yours. Maybe sense of humor is the real problem here.


Disrespect is never funny.


I got downvoted one time by the same reason, but getting back to the subject, I really like the feedback guys receive when "asking HN", the community is always there to help who needs, I can't see this bad environment here (maybe few guys with bad sense of humor).


Sometimes, humor is not rewarded here. Even if during the process it is making a point.

I've met quite a few hackers/cs guys who take themselves WAY too seriously. Maybe that's why they don't have girlfriends.

Sometimes it feels like the vibe here can lean towards "I'm a super serious hacker who knows his/her shit and I'm going to be a millionaire with my start up, so I'm going to ignore the SPIRIT of your post and pick it apart like a trekkie at a convention."

In the end, we all need to just get over ourselves.


In what spirit should calling someone a 'twit' be taken? Should we pretend that it's an insightful social commentary? Or accept that it's a cheap attempt at humor based in disrespect for others?


Theres an important difference between being a sarcastic jerk at someone else's expense and pointing out the irony in situations that results in humor.

Its been my experience that either type of humor isn't tolerated here very well.




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