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Hey folks,

Today marks 8 years since Lobsters launched.

In that time our community of 13,021 users have submitted 67,635 stories, written 264,483 comments, and cast 1,753,579 votes.

Those numbers have gotten pretty big over time, so as a birthday present I’ve added a stats page graphing them.

Previously: 2013 2016 2017 2019

What were your favorite comments and stories this year, and why?

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      Many thanks to @jcs, @pushcx, @Irene, @kyle, and @alynpost for their work on establishing lobsters and keeping this running.

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        I really appreciate the work put forth by the admins and those who run the place.

        A sincere thanks.

    2. 18

      Wow! My single favorite site on the internet, and that’s in a strong field. Well done, lobste.rs, for keeping me excited about tech over the years! ❤️🦞❤️

    3. 16

      I really liked I Took a COBOL Course and It Wasn’t The Worst because it took an honest look at what is considered to be a dead technology and found that, well, it’s just as quirky as modern development in many respects. I think revisiting what we consider to be “old junk” is something the software development industry is really bad at.

    4. 7

      Thank you @adamnemecek for the invite a while back on HN. Lobsters has been a favourite site of mine for years. I love the fact that there’s so many BSD developers here. It’s a nice balance to HN’s linux startup full stack devops focus.

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        Its kind of funny that you say that about BSD developers. I showed a friend of mine a recent active thread that was kind of pro default javascript vs. anti default javascript on the web. She said “so that is where all the BSD people went”. :/

        I love this site because it is so clean of politics and generally the more disagreeable trolls aren’t around.

        1. 5

          “so that is where all the BSD people went”

          “Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult.” - Bob Barton :)

    5. 7

      I love that I can find a goldmine of knowledge almost every week here. Most recent comments/threads I liked were these two this year.

      1. I loved the comment on statistic control charts by kqr. Learned about a great concept I did not know existed.
      2. The recent thread about the book Philosophy of Software Design and associated comments.
    6. 7

      During this last year I bumped into someone on lobsters who significantly changed the direction of my life. I’m really happy about this place.

    7. 6

      Thanks for the invite @pushcx, and happy bday. A nice little community.

    8. 5

      Out of curiosity, how many of those users were active in any way during the last month? Be that submitting stories, voing, commenting, flagging posts etc or simply being logged in?

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        2,132 according to:

        select count(distinct user_id) from (select user_id from stories where created_at >= now() - interval 1 month union select user_id from votes where updated_at >= now() - interval 1 month union select user_id from comments where created_at >= now() - interval 1 month) active_users;

        We don’t track last login or pageviews in the database, so that’s not included. In April (last time I checked), we saw around 300k unique IPs. Maybe someone who looks at web analytics a lot can give a rule of thumb for estimating unique visitors from that.

        It’d be great to add active users to the first chart if someone would like to PR it.

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          Eh, prompted by this and discussion in the contemporaneous policies meta thread, I added a graph for this. I tried to add it to the existing user graph, but they operate on different scales.

    9. 5

      I came to know about the site a few years back via GitHub traffic graph. I checked out the site, thought it was just another forum like reddit/HN and didn’t join. I wish I had read https://lobste.rs/about, might have changed my opinion.

      In May, I saw Experimental search engine for developers - don’t remember how I ended on that link. I lurked for some time and then finally decided to join. Liking it so far :)

    10. 5

      It’s 1000 years old in binary!

    11. 4

      I’ve been here for about 2 1/2 years (and have been lurking for 2-3 years before that) and that’s something I’ve never managed before. I usually frequented a site for a year then moved on, with a kind of disgust or disapproval of the community I used to want to be a part of. For whatever reason this was never the case with this site, and while it might help me procrastinate from while to while, or I am too attentive to karma-wars, I’m always glad there’s no infinite scrolling or other addiction-based systems.

      So thanks not only to the maintainers and administrators, but to the community that makes the site worthwhile!

    12. 4

      Oh wow, have I been lurking for eight years already? Whoa!

      I only recently got an invite – but I did use lobste.rs as a news source for a long time, and I occasionally read the discussions, too. Then at some point I actually had something to say in a topic and @varjag was kind enough to offer me an invite, rather than relay crap over IRC, and I was pretty happy on that day :)

      It’s hard to pick a favourite comment (I don’t bookmark comments and they’re pretty hard to find given how many of them they are now…) so I’ll just say that I definitely should have bookmarked lots of stuff from @david_chisnall (I definitely tried WSL2 after reading something he posted, though God knows what by now, and committed Linux apostasy as a consequence), @crazyloglad and @Irene and leave it to the dedicated reader to find out exactly what. Please message me when you find it so that I can bookmark it, yeah? :)

      As for stories: https://lobste.rs/s/24iut7/commodore_never_made_amiga_workbench sticks out, I guess? There’s lots and lots of ’em but I just finished cleaning my old Amiga so yeah…

    13. 4

      has anyone gotten a blue lobster yet?

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        It seems certain given our volume of traffic, but I don’t check the logs for it and they get logrotate’d out after a week or two. Might be fun to add a cron job to the Lobsters repo to grep for them.

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          you should make it so the person who gets the blue lobster gets a blue lobster hat

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            While I love the idea or a blue lobster hat or even a listing of who & when saw the blue lobster, this however could lead to some people trying to abuse the system to get the achievement and by the nature of how this would go, that process would generate arbitrary load on lobsters.

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        rain1’s profile pic was a blue lobster.

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      I always perk up when old platforms are discussed (C64, Amiga, etc). That, or anything ASM related. I’m happy to see a slow but steady influx of those submissions.

      I’m also thrilled to see that despite the pervasive push to needlessly politicize every facet of every other web experience, Lobsters has stuck to its mission and provided an excellent platform for all of us to discuss the wide world of nerdly pursuits. The signal to noise ratio is what keeps me here.

      And may it last forever, or thereabouts :)

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      As a recently-anointed member of the crustacean group, thanks for the service. (Gotta post a story one of these days…)

    16. 3

      I joined Lobsters after reading about it first Brett Slatkin interview on Real Python. It’s been four months since I joined. But those are really great months if you ask me, learning so much not only from shared articles but mainly from those comments / conversations that you mentioned.

      Kudos to @jcs for taking this initiative for making it happen. Hoping I will contribute to this site in one way or other to keep it running better and better!

      Thank you!

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      Does anyone know what the spikes in user sign ups correspond to?

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          TIL about the invitation queue. Someone should build a site map for the site that details all these pages :-)

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            It’s been disabled for years, though the code exists for sister sites.

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        The other two are mentions on high-volume sites and people bringing in their buddies. An example of high-volume site that probably feeds over here is Hacker News with 20 million hits a month. We had a bit of cross-posting and shared users which increases exposure to both sites.

        I’m sure some comes from sites posted here whose members end up here. Perhaps a Lobster comments on their site saying they saw it on Lobsters. Traffic follows. I know it happens but don’t have data on what it generates.

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        Probably when the site is mentioned/promoted somewhere else.

    18. 3

      I probably wouldn’t have the career I have now if it wasn’t for lobsters and the community’s support. Happy belated birthday!

    19. 3

      Mhh. Thanks to an invitation of @skade, I am around here since as early as 2014 and even though I am probably part of a minority here (I only code for hobby as I studied Law) I do enjoy reading lobste.rs every few days. The quality content found in the comments is still astonishing.

      Happy birthday, lobste.rs!

    20. 2

      Thanks and happy birthday!

    21. 2

      Happy birthday, Lobste.rs. I still read you every day. Here’s to the next 8 year. :)

    22. 2

      So it’s the 010th anniversary?

    23. 2

      wow. 8 years.

    24. 2

      Happy birthday Lobsters! And thank you to all the mods and everyone else who makes this place far and away my favorite technical community ever.

      Favorite stories? Wow that’s super hard. I love pretty much everything that comes down the pipe in the history, unix, networking, art and games tags :)

      But if I had to pick a couple I’d suggest: 10 Mostly Dead Influential Programming Languages and orb.farm both because it represents a beautiful fusion between art and tech that I’m keenly interested in and because it’s incredibly representative of the richly talented and highly creative community we have here.

      This place has helped make me a better technologist and also fanned the flame of my curiosity for just about everything, and for both of those things I will be eternally grateful :)

    25. 1

      🎉 Hooray! 🎊 Where’s my gift for this celebration?

    26. 1

      Thanks for existence, lobste.rs!

      I don’t participate in the comments section as much, but it’s always a pleasure to read reasonable people having reasonable discussions. And the fact that politics is of the board… Love it!

    27. 1

      :) Happy birthday! Like some, I came here as an alternative to hackernews. I ended up at hackernews when reddit because what it is today.