Where have all the Hacker News old-timers gone?

August 5, 2010

[This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
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Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. As slashdot slowly loses its relevance and digg heads for a more general audience to head off competition from Twitter, loyal readers of uber-technical news aggregator Hacker News wonder if it’s heading the same way. Seems like the long-standing users aren’t posting links to deep, interesting articles anymore, and are instead being drowned out by swarms of new users with more of a social media agenda. But is there any reality to this perception? An analysis of posting rates by new and longtime users published at the R-Charts blog (and done, of course, in R) indicates there might be some truth to it:


The Y axis is a count of users, not number of posts, and as R-charts notes:

The chart does indicate that – as of [late July] – a a given user who posted was more likely to be someone who signed up in the last year or two than a veteran.

You can update the chart with the latest data from HN by running the R script at the link below. 

R-Charts: Hacker News User Base Changed?

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