I have noticed that when I use a mobile app to browse HN, I'm far more willing to keep going past the front page, if only because it doesn't require clicks to do so.
I'd suggest an option for forever-scroll presentation for the article list.
EDIT: A quick Google search turned up this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4484616
EDIT2: Sadly broken, scrolls once then I get an error in the console. I may end up fixing it and forking.
I wasn't aware of that…
My own HN submissions never made it to the front page without gathering two upvotes first. Those are pretty hard to get without a voting ring (err, two friends). There's the "new" page all right, but new stories come so fast there that it never lasts more than an hour.
Once you get past the "front page" threshold however, points tend to flood in. The second vote is probably worth several dozen votes on average.
Reddit sub-forums however lets new submissions land in the front page directly. Unsurprisingly, this makes voting pattern much more predictable (at least on r/programming and r/crypto, which are basically the only forums I go to).
Then have 1000 euro/month pro accounts to bypass having to work for your precious.
As long as it's optional - if I get to the bottom of the front page, that's my trigger to stop wasting time here and get back to work. :P
I have never seen anything on the homepage with < 3 points.
As long as it's off by default. Infinite scroll is a major time sink.
This is to be expected if HN has a larger userbase now than in the past.
More people voting means more points are given to popular posts.
My theory is that it's because there's a limited supply of good-for-HN articles out there. But really we don't know. Also, those numbers are raw total submissions, with no attempt to control for dupes.
I also see a ton of upvoted stories on the front page with no comments. I always thought the focus of HN was the thoughtful conversations that took place around topics, not the accrual of fake internet points.
Is this not normal? It seems to be the default for me. I was reading HN for a while before I even realized there was a different 'front' page. 'front' doesn't appear as an option in the menu.
Apparently, ranking is only a function of the time since submittal and the # of points. From https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html:
> The basic algorithm divides points by a power of the time since a story was submitted.
If you read the very next paragraph, you'll see that it's based on other factors too:
> Other factors affecting rank include user flags, anti-abuse software, software which downweights overheated discussions, and moderator intervention.
> Sudden dramatic 50% increase from 2016 — 2017
I've felt that. I write a bunch of tech articles on HTTPS, nginx, HAProxy, CSP, EV verification, Brotli, TLS errors, and other HN-worthy topics (https://certsimple.com/blog/). In 2015-2016 I'd continually get on the front page simply by writing about something useful regarding these topics in a relatively straightforward way (maybe with some Sketch diagrams and other useful graphics). These days, while I still get a bunch of traffic from Reddit and Google, HN frontpage doesn't really seem to happen for my content.
Sure, to some extent (devops still means you need to design networks, it's just that individual server instances matter less) but that didn't change suddenly between 2016 to 2017.
How do you know? The availability of AWS didn't change much between 2016 and 2017, but maybe 2017 was when people started using it en masse.
In business school, they play the beer game ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_distribution_game ) to emphasize that a change at one end of the supply chain has weird, lengthy effects on the whole thing. You don't just switch seamlessly from the old state of affairs to the new; there's a big, massively awkward transition period.
That is, if I see something with 800 points and read/enjoy the article, I'm less likely to upvote than if it has only 200 points. I have similar feelings about photos on FB, which I'm more likely to "like" if it has only a few reactions than if it has over 100 already.
I don't know if others have similar feelings about when to upvote things, but if my thought process is not uncommon then it could dampen the impact of a growing user base. It's sort of like the bystander effect, but for internet platforms.
Like the phenomenon you describe, this suggests that a lot of people are trying to use their vote to move the total vote towards what they think it should be, rather than purely expressing an up-or-down opinion independent of the existing vote.
I definitely do this on reddit, and probably on HN too. I don't know if such a thing exists, but I would use a widget that gave me an 'upvote iff karma < 1' button.
Since there is no 'karma rent' or anything, of course the over all karma over time will increase
All the default subreddits suck.
I feel like me or the web has changed significantly over the past years. I'm just not sure if I'm different and have seen it all or if everything became more professional and commercial and at the same time less interesting to explore.
A lot of handwaving indeed. The value of a point is surely a function of clicks. If there's more visitors today than 2011, then you could reasonably argue a HN points are worth more.
One might say "but there are more stories being submitted too" -- but the unique number of these wouldn't go up linearly as the number of readers goes up, since they're pulling from roughly the same universe of possible stories-of-interest.
EDIT: paragraph about "more stories submitted"
Could just be a phenomenon of:
1. lots more submissions
2. larger user base
3. user base with wider interests - and limited front-page slots to fill in
Lets set up a stock exchange for articles and with a stock exchange I mean a gambling platform. Have all the fun mechanics like hedging, shorting, double or nothing etc
That said we the association of comment manufacturers deserve better marketing and higher margins. Something for nothing is a terrible idea. Our time isn't free. Lets make opening a page cost micro points per comment posted and introduce cheap mega-downvotes.
That way old people can finally talk about the zx spectrum, the commodore 64 and IBM mainframes without disrupting the more interesting hipster conversations.