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What makes Lobsters great compared to other websites so we can work on keeping it great.

Personally I love the density of technical and educational content and I am almost always able to find something interesting to read. Reddit these days seems to be filled with fluff posts and mailing list drama making it feel more like browsing facebook than finding something interesting to read and Hacker News has a large amount of California/American news which is irrelevant to me most of the time.


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    I’m only new but the lack of political posts and NYT click-bait articles is nice compared to HN.

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      I have noticed that a lot of content that is highly upvoted on reddit and sometimes hacker news is a very bait-y headline but when you click through to the article there isn’t any actual information or facts and often the title is a massive misinterpretation of what actually happened. For example there was news a few days ago that Mapbox was “Hacked” when what is almost certainly the case is someone just renamed a city in the OSM editor. It’s like calling wikipedia hacked when someone changes an article to an ASCII dick. Problem is the article will be highly upvoted and shared because saying something was hacked is more interesting and shocking.

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        Watched site after site ruined by political nonsense/virtue signaling/buzzfeed top 10s as I fled to greener pastures. Slashdot, digg, Reddit, HN and others. It’s human nature. Combination of internet point euphoria and tribalism.

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          That seems to be the way of every good website. Starts out with a core group of good members and starts to grow as more and more people find out about this place where all the good content is. The problem is, to keep the content above average quality, you have to keep the member base above average. And an above average member base can’t be the general public because then it would be average, which compared to this place is pretty low. Maybe the invite system will prevent the userbase growing too quickly, or maybe it will not. The thing that seems certain is that there will always be a place where high quality content and discussion is shared even if it isn’t this website, there will be new websites just as good.

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        Nicer community, better quality posts, and 0 click bait.

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          Like others have said, I really appreciate that Lobsters is more or less purely technical, and even within that sphere it seems like the community does a pretty good job of filtering out fluff and upvoting deeper, more technologically intricate and interesting articles.

          I’m newer to the community — longtime lurker — so I don’t have a lot of experience there; it’s nice that there seems to be a lot less haterade than on HN, though. Not to bag too much on HN, it has its own unique value; the community is (much) more aggressive and gladitorial, but on the other hand it’s so huge that on most posts about a particular piece of technology, one of the authors or maintainers shows up and offers interesting commentary.

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            People read the articles before commenting.

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              And generally seem to read the article before submitting.

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                And the articles usually have content worth reading because it wasn’t upvoted based on the title.

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                The invite system. Regularly someone pops into #lobsters and is like “hey, can I get an invite?” and the follow up generally is “show us some of your stuff”. There is a sense of responsibility in the inviting, which I think is really what keeps the site on a nice trajectory. Additionally, since there really isn’t any benefit (that I am aware of) to inviting outside of growing a community full of people you like – it works.

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                  Indeed, this is also the thing for me. It seems like everyone is in a closed knit group, one or two branches away from someone else. Everyone working on something, lots of cool projects going around and you can talk to the authors directly.

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                  I answered here on HN when trying to tell them what’s different about us. Quite a few there liked it. Of course, those votes couldve been Lobsters on HN for all I know. It’s my goto link now for explaining that.

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                    I like the quality of the links, but also the quality of the comments. The comments are generally pretty good, and the downvotes are mostly on target. I also like that there is a community effort to maintain this standard of quality, eg via @friendlysock’s comments. I think that without comments which flag low-quality or off-topic links and educate people about what’s appropriate, the quality would go down.

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                      The one thing I think could ruin this site is if too many users join. The voting system favours content that most people like. And most people tend to upvote only content that they can understand from just reading the headline which would ruin the quality of links. This is why highly technical posts on reddit dont go anywhere but a post with a title people already agree with will hit the top.

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                        I feared that several years ago. Overall I think things have held up well. People still have a relatively clear idea of what does & doesn’t belong on the site. The retention of the invitation system is also a positive force in my opinion. New users generally join as wallflowers and gradually participate more, or else they already have an idea of what Lobsters is for. If they want something different, well, there are other sites that are easier to join.

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                          People could get front page upvote tokens at different rate than comment upvote tokens. There could also be a heuristic to determine if they actually read the article.

                          People upvote things for lots of different reasons, it would be nice if we could determine what those are so they don’t cause noise.

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                          • Insightful comments.
                          • Higher ratio of technical links (as opposed to startup news, politics, etc.).
                          • Small enough to recognize most names.
                          • More tools to improve the experience (filtering tags, etc.).
                          • Invitation system.
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                            The type of discourse is so different from HN’s. That most likely stems for the invitation system, but comments are thoughtful and disagreement is respectful. You can assume that the person who disagreed with your viewpoint is a smart, cordial person who may know more than you do. On HN, they can be anything from a troll, a spammer, a bot, a world-class expert or a teenager pretending to be one.

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                              I like the interesting links people post. Other sites like reddit have much lower quality of links, lot of rubbish to sift through.

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                                Yeah, sometimes I look at reddit for stuff to post here and realise I can’t find anything worth posting most of the time.

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                                Lack of medium posts… It pops up from now and then, especially those with custom domains that are actually on Medium. Reddit is full of those, they are often on HN, here not so much. And I like it’s OpenBSD community based. I am not so much in OpenBSD as much as in FreeBSD and illumos, but I am glad it’s not Linux-centrict community, it feels it’s UNIX community instead which I appreciate a lot more.

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                                  These days what I like the most about lobster.rs is the #lobsters IRC room and the people on there. I’m moving away from programming as a profession, so the articles shared here are becoming more and more irrelevant to me.

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                                    Hack news had a “Should we notify on replies thread” and I suddenly realized why it seems a worse place than lobsters.

                                    No engagement, it is sort of like twitter, just a collection of snarky comments rather than a conversation.

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                                      folks seem to be rather nice here.

                                      I’m also here because this website is less about start-up culture, than others. *coughs*

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                                        In addition to all the other comments: you can open 10s of tabs (from bookmarks, feedly, pocket, whatever) and you will not be banned like on HN ;D

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                                          I feel out of the loop. What is this referencing?

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                                            I currently have a bunch of HN tabs open right now since I haven’t got around to moving them off mobile. People have been banned for that?

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                                              OP probably had many HN tabs open, browser crashes or session reloads. All those tab loads come in at once and HN will blackhole your IP for a bit. They are pretty strict about crawl rate as well. Even at much less than a regular browser session and you will be banned.

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                                                What a curious way to deal with scalability! While developers are usually too quick to jump onto technical solutions, in this case there seems to be an inordinate amount of persistence in the opposite direction. It’s especially amusing in the context of a text-only site for a developer audience. Perhaps it’s more of a statement.

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                                                  That’s what I suspected. It would look like a DOS by a scraper or attacker. I wasnt sure about the threshold. A regular session, huh? Well, Im still not banned so maybe it’s profiled by user (post rate and/or karma).

                                                  I think Ill try to play it safe just moving five a day oldest to newest until I get them cleared. Oldest to newest means Ill hit their cache eventually. That might reduce risk if the mitigation counts expensive, dynamic reloads instead of faster, cache hits. Appreciate the tips.

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                                              I quite enjoy the PLT community here. Plus, I always learn new things in the comments.

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                                                I had a discussion recently with an old friend about this recently when we met in France. He much prefers hacker news, and criticised lobsters for being too technical. I’m the opposite, I love lobsters because of the technical content.

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                                                  • A high signal to noise ratio, (unlike reddit and even HN, and very much like LTU)
                                                  • Focused discussion (no jokes and low effort posts unlike reddit and /.).
                                                  • Small and polite community
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                                                    I like the highly technical nature of posts and the great community which tends towards useful comments that actually go into detail about topics instead of just posting a quick gut reaction. And I also like the fact that the update frequency is rather low, you don’t get this “attempting to drink from a firehose” vibe that you get with certain other websites.

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                                                      Comment quality is a big one. I always have to stop myself if I go to make a comment before reading the linked article. Its a bad habit from using reddit where the linked article usually has no content.

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                                                      1. tags
                                                      2. less pedantic arguing for the sake of arguing
                                                      3. I got art added as tag and it is nice to come back and see all the art related content.
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                                                        I like the rate of posts, plenty of interesting stuff to read but you can keep up checking in once or twice a day.

                                                        Also I like that when I submit my own posts I’m likely to get high quality feedback and probably be on the front page for a bit and it’s no big deal, whereas being on the front page of hacker news is like getting in a dunk tank.

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                                                          High signal to noise ratio, usually including the comments.

                                                          Most other sites are much lower signal to noise.

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                                                            Getting downvoted for speaking the truth

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                                                              Note that the post title was not “What axe do you have to grind about Lobsters?”

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                                                                I know. I like getting downvoted. It’s entertaining