Hacker News is a social news website focusing on computer science and entrepreneurship. It was created by Paul Graham, a co-founder of Y Combinator, which is a prominent startup accelerator. The website’s users can submit stories (or links to stories) and the community can upvote these submissions, similar to how Reddit operates. The highest-voted stories appear on the front page, ensuring that they get the most visibility.
The site also supports comments on each story, where a lot of insightful discussion takes place. In terms of content, Hacker News tends to focus on technology, startups, programming languages, computer science breakthroughs, and broader societal implications of these areas.
The community that frequents Hacker News is typically tech-savvy, with many of them working in the tech industry or related fields. The demographics often include software engineers, tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, digital nomads, data scientists, and more. A significant number of users are also interested in or associated with startups, given Y Combinator’s pivotal role in the startup ecosystem.
There is a strong culture of insightful commentary and discussion on the site. The users are generally very knowledgeable about the topics they discuss, and the level of discourse is usually quite high, albeit with the inevitable disagreements and debates that come with any online community.
In terms of behavior and etiquette, Hacker News places a strong emphasis on respectful, thoughtful discussion. The site’s guidelines ask users to refrain from name-calling and to respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, rather than attacking weaker interpretations. This aim for constructive dialogue is part of what sets Hacker News apart from many other online communities.
It’s important to remember, however, that like any online community, Hacker News doesn’t represent a single unified perspective. There’s a wide range of viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds represented in the community. So while you can expect a focus on technology and startups, you’ll also see a diversity of perspectives on these topics.