Techmeme vs Hacker News

My two favorite tech news aggregators are Techmeme and Hacker News. I visit both multiple times per day for a quick scan of what is going on in techland.

They are very different and you can see that in action this morning. 

Here is the above the fold Techmeme right now (9am eastern):

Techmeme above the fold

We might as well call Techmeme many days. Or or or Techmeme is obsessive about the top companies and top stories of the moment.

Here's the above the fold for Hacker News right now (9am eastern):

Hacker news above the fold

Way more stories above the fold. Way more diversity. Very geeky. But you get plenty of stories about non tech stuff and the stories move rapidly through the system. And not one story about Apple or Facebook in the top 20 right now.

I use both multiple times per day, but I really love what Hacker News is doing and I struggle with Techmeme which feels a bit like an echo chamber on many days.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jfccohen

    Hacker News is cool…love seeing how people in that community see the world and how they bridge gaps. Great inspiration for implementing their connection structure to our own worlds.It would be awesome to see a list of what sites/blogs/twitter feeds/etc you look at every day. I have my 10-12 that I check religiously (this one included)…it would be a fun exercise to compare to your list and learn about new sources of info that may be interesting, if you are willing to share.

    1. Shannon Ferguson

      second that…and also how you consume/digest. Do you rely primarily on Twitter? Can’t imagine that is the case as you don’t favorite often or have lists that aggregate the news sources/bloggers you follow. Do you use a feed reader like feedly or clip things using Instapaper/Evernote? What’s your news pattern consumption over 24 hours re: frequency, time spent etc. Do you catch news mostly on the go (mobile) or at a “desk”? Inquiring minds want to know…

  2. Carl Rahn Griffith

    i’d love some stats on our industry and the ratio of journalism (amateur and professional) and news items/discussions in proportion to the audience reached and market segment value.Compared to other industries that touch our lives every day – eg, film, music, architecture, art, science, engineering, et al – ‘IT’ seems to have extraordinary levels of coverage/discussion… Or is it just my perception?Guess it says a great deal about how what was once sterile ‘IT” has now become such an emotive topic.Friend’s 89yo grandfather just got WiFi configured at his home. For his new iPad.Amazing times we live in.And it’s only just begun…

    1. JamesHRH

      Carl – just got my 87 yo Mom onto Skype. My 5 yo opens his iPod Touch, opens Skype and says ‘Grandma’s not there. I am Skyping Grandpere……..’.Grandpere – my wife’s Dad – is on 67, he has his laptop on all the time……Best part of story, tech does not change how 5 yo acts. My son Skypes Grandpere, but then just looks at him and won’t talk for the first :30!

      1. melissatran

        So… it took a few tries to learn how to get our niece and nephew (4 & 2) to readily engage (and keep them engaged) on Skype, especially w/ my husbands parents who speak Eng as a 2nd language. After trial and error, we’ve learned to plan the same kind of interaction we’d have if we were in the same room. “What song shall we sing?” “Let me show you what I found on my walk today” – hide and seek by leaving the frame and coming back in from different angles etc – works like a charm. They’ve never been able to resist that for more than a minute or two and now love to “play” with everyone on the computer.

    2. RichardF

      Your right Carl, it is just the beginning. I’m tech support for my parents, praise the lord for

      1. kirklove

        Ha. Same here. Logmein is great for in depth stuff. I also just use iChat and screen sharing for quick stuff and to teach them where to click and go.I love that they are 75 and 80 and email, Facebook, and even have a Tumblr.Awesomesauce.

        1. RichardF

          a Tumblr – I’m impressed!Services on the internet for the ageing population is a huge untapped market I think.

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Indeed.Just as the Wii opened up a whole new hitherto console-oriented gaming demographic, so increasingly typical high-speed home WiFi and the iPad and such devices will open up new web/app demographics – and the need for new services, apps, UI/UX, etc.

          2. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Absolutely, Richard – trouble is, most services that have explicitly aimed at such markets have tended to be patronising.These people are savvy, awash with life experiences and have grown up with IT/the explosion in personal computing via old-school PCs, etc.They are embracing Tablets/Wii style devices far, far quicker than anyone anticipated – combined with disposable income and leisure time, it’s a powerful market – and one that is largely being ignored.The Zeitgeist is all too often focused on the young and so, so transient, typically…Seeing my wife’s mother – 65yo – explain to her grandchildren the nuances of various Wii games is just yet another example, and one that totally intrigues me as to the potential out there.

          3. ShanaC

            That and for whatever my personal thoughts on the matter -parents

    3. Denim Smith

      It really has only just begun. My father’s mother is 96 and my mother’s mother is 80. The last 16 years of accelerated access, information, knowledge and efficiencies through tech + making our worlds instant and smaller cannot be underestimated when applied to the whole population/ every demographic – which has only just scratched the surface.I am working on an intimacy platform – for both continuity of close relationships over and across generations and one’s most meaningful personal content. For the first time ever tech has allowed us to connect to at least 6 generations (my 96 year old grandmother has a couple dozen photos of her as a child with her parents + she is in photos with my 11 month old daughter —> my daughter’s grandchildren). Our generation has a responsibility at this inflection point to future generations. Quite amazing thought and opportunity and will effectively capture all photos in a family, for example, since the advent of the personal camera as a family *appliance*. Very exciting times indeed – as they all were/ are/ will be. Stay tuned.

      1. awaldstein

        Denim…keep me appraised of the your intimacy platform.My post from a year ago on my mother and social platforms and aging might be of interest.Thoughts on social networks and aging

        1. Denim Smith

          Great blog post Arnold and comments are fantastic also. I will leave one now and I can definitely keep you apprised of the progress – we’re about a month or so away from beta.

          1. awaldstein

            Please do keep me in the loop for your project.I’ve been fascinated for a long time about how social nets forge cross generational ties.BTW….my mom is now finally on Facebook @ 92. Remarkable that span of changes that she has experienced.

          2. Denim Smith

            Wow! That is remarkable. I’ve always said that with the hustle and bustle of daily life in this day and age we tend to forget how old the world is and how far we’ve come in such a short time. As a species, we’re programmed for constant evolution through our brains and with our brains now connected it is just so much more powerful and this has only just begun. However, stopping to smell the roses has never be more appropriate today and going forward. If my 10-month old daughter lives to be 100+, and my grandmother is 96 and has experienced the complete overhaul and rapid evolution of our species over her life, I can’t imagine what will take place over the next 100 years. But we need to be pragmatic. One thing that would benefit the likes of FB and Twitter would be to have a senior citizen (I hate that word) evangelist who is not only using and learning these systems but teaching and promoting them in the right way. Morals, values and character are more important than ever on these platforms and the lack of presence from this demographic potentially could already be creating future problems and challenges that we won’t see until its too late — or ‘the lunatics take over the asylum’ …see Charlie Sheen on twitter. I hope that notwithstanding technological advances we won’t need to remind people to be human – I also don’t want to salivate when my mobile rings.

          3. awaldstein

            Disqus won’t let me respond to your long comment below Denim.I intend to leave the comments open on my post about my mom forever so it might me a good place to add your thoughts and info on your project as the group is small but passionate about the subject.

          4. Denim Smith

            Hi Arnold, apologies for the radio silence. My 96-year old grandma that I mentioned in my above comment passed away ~2 weeks ago and my daughter turned 1 this past Saturday. Real life stuff; which in all honesty is the crux of my product. Where one is on the generational spectrum within a family (born analogue –> born digital) and the importance of curating, sharing and archiving our families’ lives at this significant inflection point of our times is the true *vertical* that I find most interesting and important among the functionality web 2.0/3.0 and mobile affords us all. I didn’t want to leave this message on your blog out of context but will post a comment there asap. Thanks Fred for the sidebar forum and could I get my coffee to go?! [I feel like I’m loitering in your coffee house] 😉

    4. awaldstein

      CarlDo you think these communities are more social than others or is there a series of nich community opportunities to be built?Because, I agree…on IT, on VC there are a few communities. Outside of that, not much.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        $64m Dollar question, Arnold! ;-)The iPad/Tablet revolution – like the Wii – is so relatively new and opening up whole new markets I suspect we need to watch, analyze, learn and apply…

        1. awaldstein

          Carl…You have a lot of interests. Are there any communities that you belong to (besides this one) that work for you?

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Hi, Arnold – sorry for delay in responding – well, without wishing to appear to be blatantly pushing my/our own service, I do use ensembli a heck of a lot – I have some 100+ keywords/expressions/topics in my profile, and it delivers relevant news on them for me, each time I go there.Works for me.An awful lot of serendipity is evident also, as one uses it more and it so ‘learns’ your true interests, etc – which is what we planned/hoped for when designing the engine. Easier said than done, of course…Aside from that I don’t really engage in m/any communities at all – this is the only one I have any meaningful dialogue in – always seems such a stimulating place – and respectful – so lacking in most others, sadly.Of the few traditional home pages I go to, my Safari bookmark toolbar is a good indicator, I guess – currently it is ordered thus:A VC – of course!BBC – naturallyBoing – don’t go there much, reallyCirrusIQ – a start-up I was involved inEconomist – I have subscribed to it for years. Awesome.egoboss – moiensembli – ;-)Facebook – zzzzzFast Company – cool, nice designGigaOM – always goodLinkedIn – zzzzzNew Yorker – cool but I no longer subscribeTechCrunch – unsure, post AOL, but still a must, for now?Daily Telegraph – excellent UK ‘broadsheet’ ‘newspaper’Twitter – of courseVentureBeat – always goodWikipedia – awesomeWired – don’t use much nowadays but the catalyst of so manyCheers!Carl

          2. awaldstein

            Thanks Carl…I’m hearing, give Ensembli a try.I will.

          3. Carl Rahn Griffith


  3. JamesHRH

    Hacker News looks like a place where you can soak your brain for hours, if you have the time.You can, in the one pass you showed, see that it provides the raw data for you, over several iterations, to synthesize a theme as an investor.

  4. RichardF

    Love HN most of what I Instapaper during a day comes from there and then I read it on my Kindle feedly set up does a better job than techmeme

    1. fredwilson

      HN to instapaper is a nice flow

  5. Matt A. Myers

    It’s really just a page layout thing – of course it’s important as you stated.How valuable a page is to you will really depend on how many opportunities you get to get ‘dinged’ by something of interest.Techmeme uses a much larger area to display a single story. As a result you see 3 results at top.Hacker News uses a few small lines in smaller font; As a result you see 20 results. This gives you many more chances in a single quick scan for more opportunities to get ‘dinged’ by one or multiple things of interest.Techmeme’s display is very cluttered too, so not very appealing.Interesting though – Maybe people who get more easily excited need less stimuli to be satisfied thereby ‘3 results’ is enough? And congruently less information processing is beneficial for them because they’ll be overwhelmed by something like the list at Hacker News?And of course the reverse for people who take a bit more of a challenge to get excited – who needs more stimuli and information processing? The Techmeme page makes me kind of want to vomit – but perhaps that’s from overexposure – overconsumption – like eating too much Apple? So perhaps people who aren’t as saturated in the tech, who are occasional viewers that allows for the lesser exposure to be enough for them, whereby people like us live and breath tech and we don’t get excited by all the the Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter news.Sorry if last paragraph isn’t so sensical.Edit: Apparently I was in an analytical mood after waking up. Further thought, it would be interesting to see if you showed one display until knowing someone is a ‘power user’

  6. Nate Kidwell

    Hacker News is so great I only let myself go there once a day. And I might have to cut back on that too…It took me a long time to get control of my internet usage and Hacker News should be proud that they made my list of “sites to avoid” :). Of course they know this effect they have because accounts have a “noprocast” setting.

  7. LIAD

    Hacker news is great – but not for breaking news.I love the diversity and eclectic mix of content. You never know exactly what you will find – but can guarantee it will be insightful and informative. Huge time-sink liability though.Can’t stand Techmeme – have no real knowledge of the content or filtering standard but the design and typography puts me off to such a level I can’t use it.

  8. kirklove

    If you had to make a Sophie’s Choice would you go with Hacker News?

    1. fredwilson


  9. CJ

    Techmeme has been for the last month but so has most of the tech blogosphere. It’s a very shrewd move by Apple, they didn’t participate in the MWC but with all the leaks and rumors they perpetuate around that time they upstaged it.Back to the topic at hand, both sites are App Tabs for me and I cruise both daily but I am starting to favor Hackernews because of the variety and the tendency for Techmeme to become an echo chamber occasionally.

  10. Dale Allyn

    Like you, Fred, I visit both throughout the day. They’re both great resources, but very different. I sometimes equate Techmeme to U.S.A. Today of Tech (maybe sounds harsh, but not meant to be), but I do find it a good place to catch breaking news as Liad mentions. Hacker News is simply more diverse, deeper, and less commercial feeling. We’re fortunate to have both.

  11. William Mougayar

    TM: What has happened.HN: What will happen.

    1. LIAD

      dont mean to burst anyone’s bubble – but I don’t see it that way at all.

      1. William Mougayar

        With a grain of salt, would it help?Pls expand on this otherwise.Point is HN finds nuggets of news that may be insignificant for TM or any big headlines, but it’s emerging stuff that should be paid attention to.

        1. LIAD

          A lot of the top and most interesting stories on HN are not time-sensitive and are relatively time-agnostic.In the UK there’s a saying ‘today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper’ – not so with the stories on HN.A large proportion could be read a month or 2 years from now and would still carry the same insight and food-for-thought.HN, for me, is a crowd-sourced compendium of general tech/business geekery and not a source of general or tomorrow’s news.In the words of Forrest Gump – ‘HN is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get”

  12. jon

    TechMeme’s got huge gender biases, and this #diversityfail probably helps contribute to the echo chamber effect. illustrates a situation where 65% of the stories were written by women, but according TechMeme it was only 16.5%.

  13. jon

    TechMeme’s got huge gender biases, and this #diversityfail probably helps contribute to the echo chamber effect. The example here is a case where even though 65% of the articles on a subject were written by women, TechMeme’s version had on 16.5% by women.

  14. kidmercury

    i’m not a fan of either of them. the aggregator is a commodity; it’s all about the community (or rather, the role of aggregation is to help shape the community). techmeme has no community, hacker news does not have the right community for me.

  15. Horia Dragomir

    Heh. I had no idea Techmeme existed. Now I know I don’t care.

  16. Alexis Madrigal

    A perspective from the content creator side (I run The Atlantic’s tech coverage):1) I love TechMeme for a quick glance at the competition. It lets us see where everyone is putting their resources. It also has a tendency to pick up the most significant pieces written in a given day.2) If you veer outside TechMeme’s narrowly defined areas of interest, it’s very difficult to get a story onto the homepage. 2A) We often veer very far outside those areas of interest, so from a traffic perspective, TechMeme doesn’t help us much in any given month.3) All of our stories that do well on Hacker News share one thing: they are written. By written, I mean that someone took the time and effort to examine individual sentences, to think about word choices, to create transitions between grafs, to describe things precisely. You know, writing! But a lot of what gets posted in the tech blogosphere doesn’t fit this definition of writing. It’s more in the tradition of the wire services, where speed rules over creativity. That the Hacker News community both recognizes and rewards pieces that are written makes me love it. Unfortunately, I rarely have time to sift through the site while I’m running my own.4) So, as a consumer of stories: TechMeme. But as a producer of stories, I’m thankful that Hacker News exists. We respond to traffic incentives, whether we want to or not, and knowing that we can take the extra time to make something good and have that rewarded is really important.

    1. ADRjeffries

      I’m pretty sure Techmeme’s readership is largely made up of tech bloggers who think of it both as a scorecard and assignment editor. Techmeme doesn’t drive that much traffic even when a story is prominent on the front page all day. HN, by contrast, will blow your traffic up.

      1. Alexis Madrigal

        True all that.

      2. fredwilson

        AVC gets 5x the traffic from HN than it gets from TM. i think people use TM to scan news headlines and they use HN as a gateway to interesting posts

        1. Danny Sullivan

          I think that’s a very dangerous assumption to make, based on one site — especially if your site is a favorite among HN folks, which perhaps might be the case.In February, I had about the same traffic from both sites. HN folks spent 40 seconds on average to the site; Techmeme folks spent a minute. So Techmeme readers actually read more, while HN folks just skim? Must be so!Then again, if I look at our story about Google accusing Bing of “cheating,” I see that last month, HN folks spent 6:38 on average reading. Techmeme was about the same, though slightly less: 6:06 on average.So both will read deep, it seems, depending on the story. But if you’re taking only a single data point, you might not get that. So saying people hit TM to scan news and HN to find interesting posts, just on your own site traffic, dunno.Personally, I’m not a HN user. I use Techmeme as my daily paper, to see what stories are getting a lot of buzz on a particular day. Works well for me. HN might work better for others. To each their own.

        2. Werner Vogels

          I can confirm Fred’s traffic numbers. TM doesn’t drive that much traffic, although there is a bit of difference whether you are the leading article or ranked as one of the followers. Hitting the front page of HN will easily 5-10x traffic for me. Hitting the first page on Reddit/Programming will generate 5x the traffic of Hacker News.I check on TM once or twice a day a to see what the Press/Bloggers are working on. HN I visit multiple times to see what my customers and peers are considering important.If there is one channel in Flipboard I read daily, it is the Hacker News one.

    2. john

      i’d go even further. the drivel that often winds up getting sucked into the aggregators doesn’t even rise to the (low) level of wire copy. it’s often chimp-like typing hidden behind a 5 star bulletin headline the author slapped up there, trolling for clicks. awful, really. the thing is that they can get away with that nonsense once or twice. but that’s it. when i see these clowns bylines nowadays, i simply ignore them

    3. ShanaC

      Good to know. However, doesn’t the fact that Techmeme drives traffic cause the echo chamber – and how do you change that?

      1. Alexis Madrigal

        You know, I’d say that it isn’t Techmeme’s traffic that drives the echo chamber. A lot of it is competition and this strange sense people have that they “have to cover” the day’s big news because that’s what people want to read about on one’s site. I think it has to do with people thinking of their websites as separate from the rest of the web. If the iPad 2 comes out, you better say something on the iPad 2 even if many other people said it better, or your readers will say, “Why don’t they have something on the iPad 2?!” Of course, no reader says that about most sites (exceptions: Gizmodo/Engadget/Wired etc). They want variety from non-category leaders, not rehashes, but we haven’t fully internalized that reader desire, I don’t think. Plus, doing the same shit as everyone else is easier.

        1. ShanaC

          Ok, so this leads to another question: What do readers really want to read in terms of variety? And how do you all find that stuff

      2. Peter Renshaw

        “… doesn’t the fact that Techmeme drives traffic cause the echo chamber – and how do you change that? …”Spin in any article is like spraying “Cheez Whiz®” on a plate load of “Water Crackers” then claiming the discovery of the “new” Brie. [0][1] To the cheese connoisseur, you know something is wrong straight away. Instead of the soft white gooey cheese melting out the sides of the light chewy rind, we get an orange blob expertly sprayed on a cracker.Shana, the echo chamber effect is dampened by the HN readers who are connoisseur’s of hacker related information. [2] Spin is detected at both submission and reader level. A pre-spun article might escape submission, but the average HN taste is attuned to poor substitutes.[0] Cheez Whiz® ~… [1] Carr’s Crackers ~…[2] Submarine ~

    4. cayley v

      Techmeme is great for learning about new technology, HN is great to see how to real people have found success in creating special projects.

  17. paramendra

    I think now I am going to drop by Hacker News more regularly.

  18. Oli Lalonde

    iPad 2 was news yesterday on HN

  19. Guest

    TM *is* an echo chamber, by definition. That’s how it works.On the flip side, the commenters on HN leave a lot to be desired. With a room full of geeks, you pretty much get what you’d expect — some insights, but a lot of pedantry.

  20. baba12

    Most of the stuff is regurgitated crap. So many times I feel that people have money and time to have SEO firms write up articles and present their infomercials as news. Also I find that there is a very incestuous whirlpool of the same few folks being mentioned or talked about in many of the so called news stories.In the end everyone walks around with half baked information that has been fed to them through these sites. I would also think that someone like Mr.Wilson has some other sources that gives him exclusive access to real information and not infomercials. I think by the time information becomes an infomercial the Fred Wilson’s of the world are already ten steps ahead.I tend to get more of my information from reading blog posts of research labs of many academic departments in some schools.I think of techmeme/HN etc as being similar to the checkout counter magazines like Star and National Enquirer, where a lot of it is sensational or stroking someones ego. It is a necessary to get ones fix of Techmeme/HN as it is one of those addictions…

    1. Alexis Madrigal

      That’s just not true. The idea that the two types of news sources in the world and they are Research Labs Blogs and Tabloids is ridiculous. You have to pick and choose but journalists do valuable work translating, contextualizing, reporting, and writing (which is both information design and art). And yes I’m a journalist. Of course I’d defend my industry. On the other hand, I actually know what the good ones among us do to separate ourselves from the hacks.

      1. baba12

        Fair enough.But there is a big difference between a journalist who writes for a tabloid and one who writes for a newspaper like the NY Times. There is a difference between blogs from research labs (and they are not trying to become the most visited sites, just interested in sharing their information. Then there many that get created solely for SEO purposes. The techmeme’s of the world tend to have a lot of the latter kind of blogs listed on them. Many of the blogs are just infomercials with little original information. Most regurgitate the same stuff and the goal/agenda is to get to the top of the heap using any and all means. In the end if the quality of the content is not there it doesn’t hold value for me.

  21. Elia Freedman

    I have really fallen in love with HackerNews lately, finding its eclectic mix of articles fascinating. I have been participating a lot there because it doesn’t just pull in the same old standard fair I find everywhere else. I also often find, multiple perspectives, whether in stories or in the comments. While it has its problems — long standing participants get their stories to the top of the list instantly and there are a lot of interesting news stories that just get buried for no particular reason except the person who posted it is newer — I can’t help but wonder if there could be the same for sports and politics, especially politics. It would be wonderful to have a place not left or right, but where people go to have a discourse about important issues and share both sides of the stories.(Okay, maybe I am dreaming.)

  22. Siminoff

    I read both as well. But the place that I get the best most relevant news and info is my Tumblr dashboard.

    1. fredwilson

      yup, and its getting better and better

  23. Douglas Crets

    All these aggregators need is “breaking analysis” like what tries to create for its readership, and then there will be no more need for

  24. Peeta

    Sorry but isn’t the “meme” part of Techmeme pretty clearly stated? Isn’t a meme, by definition, somewhat of a echochamber? I understand why you might like Hacker News better but, using a similar logic, you could put it up next to and say that ESPN has too many stories about Arod.

    1. fredwilson

      if apple, facebook, google and twitter are memes, i must not have gotten the memo

  25. harryh

    For a good counterpoint on the quality of hacker news see Alex Payne’s recent blog post:…I don’t 100% agree, but it’s a fairly widely held point of view within the technical community.-harryh

    1. Harry Parker

      You’ve heard of ‘Eternal September’, right?

    2. fredwilson

      i read alex’ posti suspect that it works better for the hacker wanabees like me than the true hackers

  26. Douglas Crets

    it seems like when I comment on this blog, the comment disappears, but I am still linked to the thread through email. Is this a bug, or am I getting caught in some kind of spam filter?

    1. fredwilson

      i see your comments

  27. Larry M

    Techmeme is a popularity contestHackerNews is curationCuration in my experience wins easily.

  28. Rick

    Love them both but you are right, Techmeme has become dominated by a few companies, specifically the ones you mentioned. I like Hacker News because it mostly avoids that, but also because it has an interesting collection of readers (I find the comments more interesting sometimes than the actual article that is being linked to). Even if it’s a regular news story, like about Libya or whatever, you will get an interesting, thought provoking collection of comments from what appears to be a fairly intelligent group of people.

  29. Kyle Pearson

    Fred, you’ve mentioned a few investments USV has made abroad and I’ve seen other VCs do so as well. have you ever written a post on making investments outside of US soil in private companies? maybe an MBA monday topic?I’m interested to hear how the corporate structure works, where the company is incorporated, etc.

  30. jzawodn

    A “bit” like an echo chamber?You’re too kind, Fred.

  31. Andy

    Good comparison. Won’t even check Techmeme then. It used to be in the back of my mind to check Techmeme at some point.

  32. Eric

    Here’s what Jeff Bates, co-founder (@hemos) recently said on the topic: “If Reddit and Hacker News are social news 2.0, XYDO is clearly 3.0 and beyond.”I’m the CEO/co-founder of XYDO, and we’ve been living/breathing this space for some time. With XYDO, our focus is taking the social news foundation laid by the likes of Digg/Reddit/HN and even Techmeme, giving users total control (à la Quora), and mixing in a heavy dose of social graph.I don’t intend this to be spam, but it is just so relevant to Fred’s post that I wanted to pop this out. We released XYDO into private beta a few weeks back and currently have over 450K people contributing content via Twitter and other channels into over 1.7K user created subjects.Head on over to to check it out. We’d love to hear your feedback.

    1. Nik Cubrilovic

      Have to create an account?really?thats so 2009

      1. Eric

        Hey Nik,It will be opening up fully in about 3 weeks. Just trying to control the experience while we dial it up. We agree with you completely.

        1. Geoff Wright

          Inviteee pleasseeeeeeeee

          1. Eric

            Hey Geoff,No problem, head over the and leave your email in the “Request your invitation”; I’ll get one out within a few mins.

          2. jon

            One more pleeeeeeeeeeease? I just left my email …

          3. Eric

            Jon, no prob, just follow instructions given Geoff below. Please do share some feedback. We are working hard to refine a pretty big offering.”Head over the and leave your email in the “Request your invitation”; I’ll get one out within a few mins.”

          4. Geoff Wright

            Just applied. is me. Thanks Eric!

          5. Important Media Umbrella Acct

            if fred’s interested that publicly/quickly, i’m lemming enough to say me too please. is me. thanks!

          6. Dave W Baldwin

            Sent a request also.

        2. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Good work, Eric.Love to hear what you think of our own ‘baby’ – – love your ramping-up approach. Well done!

          1. Eric Roach

            Thanks Carl, I’ll check it out.

          2. Eric

            Hey Carl,Checked it out. Nice. How goes adoption?

          3. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Thanks, Eric! Drop me an email so we can chat 1:1 sometime – carl -at- or – cheers!Carl

    2. fredwilson

      whoa. i gotta get with XYDO. i am late to a party that I need to be at!

      1. Scott Magdalein

        Now that’s saying something.

      2. Eric

        Fred,I would be delighted. Shoot me a line eroach at Party is just getting started.Eric

      3. Chad Catacchio

        Fred Wilson must have made Eric’s/XYDO’s day today 🙂 Invite request sent too. Great use of a comment.

        1. Eric

          Hey Chad, obviously pleased. In the end, it’s about user engagement, that’s where we are very focused and looking to roll out some pretty cool stuff.

    3. fredwilson

      Eric – can i get an invite to XYDO?

    4. awaldstein

      I want in!

    5. David E. Weekly

      There was a great TED talk today about why what you’re trying to do is a horrible idea for humanity. Short version: showing people news that only conforms to their existing mindset / worldview is a great way to ensure a dull and close-minded species.

      1. Eric Roach

        Hey David,Try it out and I think you’ll quickly see it is almost the exact opposite of what you are expecting out of it. Specifically, that is why article content can be made to flow from who you follow and know, and also by subject, thus exposing you to new people, ideas and thougths on something we thought we knew.I’m far from saying we have it nailed, but In my own personal use experience, the discovery is exactly what keeps me coming back. In the end, the more diverse the community, the better the discovery process becomes. One of our core design objectives was to make XYDO ever increasing in its ability to expose that which is in fact new and creative, whether people, subject or specific content. The intersection of reputation, knowledge and content is for us, the holy grail.Appreciate the feedback.E

      2. fredwilson

        i have just tried XYDO for the first time so i’m not going to make any judgementsbut i agree with your statement in general. one of the reasons i don’t use an rss reader is i prefer the serendipity of the web, twitter, and tumblr. it’s random what gets pushed to me and i like that

        1. Eric Roach

          Thanks Fred,Glad you made it in. This is very early days with a totally self funded team. I too agree with David and the power of unique discovery.Somehow our circles never crossed, but I was the founder and CEO of Lombard Brokergage, which pioneered online trading, and later sold to Morgan Stanley. Lombard won Barrons best online 4 yrs in a row — total invested capital — 13K.At XYDO we have created a fairly massive real time hadoop data store, which thus puts our own creativity as the limiting factor of what we can do. From feedback we are receiving, I’m thinking we should consider seriously a surprise me tab in addition to the ones shown.Because of our use of Twitter handles and RSS matching our most popular subjects, XYDO also works across Flipboard, Pulse and tons of other mobile / handheld devices.As I’m sure you know, we could easily introduce other web views like “line” view, for heavy density, and a full blown tumblr view, which steps through the content a page at a time. Bottom line: best content via the way “you” prefer to receive it, a true social layer of news.Please know your feedback and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for giving it a go. Eric

        2. Eric Roach

          Check out xydoapp mentions to see what is going down. Probably old hat for you, but we’re in full scramble mode. Love it!!!

        3. Rob Wuebker

          XYDO on the iPad is easy to configure, extremely compelling, and instantly valuable. A couple of weeks ago I had the XYDO team down for an application walk-through with 180 of my closest friends at the David Eccles School of Business – the participants were impressed, but also extremely vocal about the importance of discovery, serendipity and magic for any application focused on news and the social graph. So your comments carry water.You need a diverse community for a rich discovery process – this will be a challenge for the team. I am confident that the XYDO team can crack this nut – I drop by every couple of weeks and see the application get richer and the entire team is trending toward a deeper understanding of its current and future users. The comments on this post suggest that users want (value) a number of things when consuming news – time savings, relevance, sharing, discovery being a few of those. Any solution of merit is going to have to decompose and resolve challenges for each.

    6. apfwebs

      I’m trying it out. The UI’s a little rough at the moment, but I’ll give it a week before I gripe. (Maybe it’s just me.) Thanks for the quick invite, Eric.

      1. Eric Roach

        Thanks, your feedback is very welcome and appreciated. We too are aware of a number of needed changes, many of which are in active dev. If something really sticks out, pls hit me up via the xydo email system from within app, and I’ll make sure it gets addressed ASAPEric

    7. Dale Allyn

      Eric, I requested an invite as well. I’d like to see what you’re up to. It sound like you’re on to something good.

      1. Eric Roach

        Thanks Dale,Give it a go. If you see things we could improve, pls do advise. You may contact me directly in app using the inbox/mail system.

    8. ShanaC

      That looks really cool.

      1. Eric Roach

        Thanks Shana.We are just starting and have a full plate of cool stuff coming soon. Your feedback is much appreciated.

        1. ShanaC

          Well I just put myself on the waitlist. If you want a two page fisk of all sorts of issues, feel free to ask

    9. harmonyjones .

      eric – what’s the fair use / copyright issue with using the full data including images from the source site? HN / DIGG / TM are only using snippets with links back to the source, whereas it looks like you are reproducing the content in full… is that going to be an issue or how does it work for the publisher?

      1. Eric Roach

        Hello Harmony,We are only using what is made public via the RSS fead. In the case of the others, they do not have article parsing. That is why ours looks to be in full vs the others.In either case, we do it to add context to the comment / discussion aspects of app. Each piece of content has direct source descriptions of site, author and a direct link out.

    10. Dave W Baldwin

      If I understand via your description, you are on the money and as many folks need to back you. I was hoping h+ would be able to expand, crossing the social boundries…Providing a platform that shares knowledge, including random interaction is the only way to truly connect the accomplished lab opinion with a bigger pool of mature funding sources. That pushes progress to the next level and will help eliminate wasted funding on arcane, helping expand the pool of knowledgeable money.

  33. Sara Chipps

    User aggregated content wins every time.

    1. fredwilson


  34. Nik Cubrilovic

    Almost every tech blogger is obsessed with TM. they use it to keep score (some blogs pay bonuses based on TM headlines obtained)this means that there is an incentive to attach yourself to the current meme/trend, which inevitably leads to a narrowing focus of content, rather than the diversity of ‘tech’ that you see on HN. TM is more ‘tech blogger tech’

    1. john

      obsessed? really? how `bout we calibrate that conclusion. YOU’RE obsessed, perhaps. but that doesn’t mean the rest of the blogging universe agrees

      1. Nik Cubrilovic

        John I was an almost fulltime tech blogger for over 4 years, and have known a lot of these guys for up to 10. When I say “almost”, it means maybe only one or two who are on the TM leaderboard – but generally it is the case. At any tech press event, tech conference etc. take a look at the blogger/media section and you will see that 90%+ of them have TM open in a tab or they are refreshing it waiting for their latest story to hit.

    2. fredwilson

      i was at one timethankfully i stopped getting picked up frequently and i stopped being obsessed

      1. Nik Cubrilovic

        Fred I remember you were in the 40’s-50’s on the leaderboard and seemed to hang there – no idea what happen, since your site seems a lot bussier today than then. you were def in the top solo bloggersyour is only one of the few blogs that I subscribe to separately because of stories either not getting picked up or HN churning them too quickly.and interesting angle here, which I was reminded of when looking at the leaderboard history, is that I feel for anybody trying to break into tech blogging today, especially as an individual. the blogs that are popular today were all discovered at a time when we would RSS subscribe to 50+ blog, whereas today readers are more likely to check the aggregators – so if they (HN, reddit, TM) don’t pick you up, and you aren’t good on twitter, it’s like you don’t exist

  35. Ldfkdfsjgs

    Techmeme was good some year ago but ever since the iPad rumors started it seems like half of the stories there are apple-rumor related. Same thing as most tech-sites nowadays, like engadget, gizmondo and techcrunch.Hackernews actually has variety.

  36. Geoff Wright

    Problem with Hacker News is that the people there think very highly of themselves. “Pseudo-intellectualism” is the best way I’ve heard it described.

    1. CJ

      Better than people who think lowly of themselves! Can you imagine the links on that site? All self-help and Tim Ferris, no thanks. 😀

  37. Douglas Crets

    What I wanted to say earlier is that the next layer to this is user control and ‘breaking analysis’ and that will be the kind of stuff that will eliminate a company like

  38. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    It’s an interesting academic question whether content producers respond to readers or the other way around.Or put differently: do tech sites write about Apple and Google because they’re stuck in an echo chamber or because that’s what readers want to read? My experience makes me lean toward the latter.

    1. fredwilson

      count me in the former

      1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        If you saw how the clicks move in real time on a well-trafficked site youmight change your mind.(Note these comments are me speaking personally, not for anyone else.)

  39. melissatran

    The Ycombinator site encourages applicants to interact with Hacker News: “The first thing I notice when I look at an application is the username it was submitted under. If it’s one I recognize for making thoughtful comments on Hacker News, I give the application extra attention. I don’t do this in a systematic way; there’s no software that ranks applications by karma or anything like that; it’s more that I can’t help noticing names I know.”

  40. john

    that’s because it IS an echo chamber on TM, unfortunately. it was good site but it’s going down

  41. Mockup Tiger

    HN is my favorite

  42. Nathan Jones

    I genrally only spend 20 mins a day looking for Tech News. Usually, it’s part of my morning ritual, after coffee, email, and the NY Times.I used to hit Techmeme first, then Hacker. Now, I’m going solely to XYDO. It takes the best parts of the human-curated content, up to the minute feeds from the web, and allows me to organize what I read around subjects. The best of both worlds.Since I only spend 20 mins a day, I don’t want my time. Minute-for-minute—compared to Digg, Reddit, Technews, Hacker—I’m getting much more value from XYDO.

  43. Andy

    Hackernews is now in my daily todo list, thanks Fred.

  44. JeffW

    I’ve never heard Techmeme. But based on the screenshot you posted… Really? One story fits on the front page and the rest of the stories you see are ‘related’? Call me lazy, but no thanks.I’m fond of Slashdot and Hacker News personally, though HN has more stories and I find is generally less sensationalist with titles.

  45. ErikSchwartz

    I’ve discovered I get much more work done if I check them each once in the morning and once in the evening and pay no attention to them during the day.Focus is good, distraction is bad. Obsessing about tech news is a time sink.There are very few things that happen in tech that I can’t ignore for 8 hours. If it’s really important, someone will email it to me.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. i tend to agree although i try to visit once during the day as well.

    2. ShanaC

      The constant pinging effect of online news drives me crazy. I can’t decide if I know enough.At least with hacker news I get the feeling the news is passing slower

  46. Jeff Widman

    You can filter some of the clutter out of HN by only showing stories with more than 50 points:

  47. bobfet1

    They both can feel like echo chambers at times – they are just different echo chambers because of who goes to each site.

  48. Emil Sotirov

    I follow HN religiously (in G Reader)… never liked or used Techmeme.

  49. bfeld

    Try checking instead of It’s the headlines of the main stories in reverse chron order. No community voting, but at least you can do a quick scan and see if there are any specific news items that you want to dip into without having to scroll around and try to find the new stuff.

    1. fredwilson

      i do that sometimesi should do that more

    2. Dave W Baldwin

      You’re right and thanks for the tip.

  50. Sean

    “We might as well call Techmeme many days”No kidding. On any given day, I’d estimate 30-50% of the techmeme headlines are about Apple. It’s extremely annoying and uninteresting. I wish they’d setup some kind of filtering system, at least for extremely popular companies like “apple” or “google”, and let you disable those. Seriously, if I could disable all news about Apple and Twitter, and it replaced that with other stories that had been pushed off because of the 30 Apple stories today, the site would be 1000x better.It’s still a good way to get a pulse on “what’s happening”, but the obsession over a few large companies really makes it way less useful than it could be otherwise.

  51. Nicole Simon (Berlin, Germany)

    Techmeme is not really about going exploring, it is about what is relevant currently and talked about in a very specific sector. If you want to see the other sides to it, you can have a look at the sister sites for example for gossip on http://wesmirch.comJust going to that site helps you quickly establish what is talked about and linked to, it is more like getting to the news stand and manually scanning the headlines. If they all talk in big letters, there is something relevant happening.Hacker news on the other side is for discovering stuff. It is better if not yet many people know about it. Different models, different reasons – pick what you like.

  52. duniyadnd

    these days?? I realized this back when @gaberivera announced the Top 50 stories from 2010. It was all Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google, which unfortunately shows the site has became quite one-dimensional.

  53. Mark Halvorson

    Of the 190 feeds I subscribe to for my job, these two are actually in position 1 and 2 in my “A-List Feeds” NetNewsWire folder.They compliment each other. That’s great.The problem with Hacker News is that it’s more like a firehose, and it requires a ton of effort to pick through it for the stuff I don’t want to miss. I’m ALWAYS falling behind. It could use some filtering. I turn around and suddenly I am 250 posts behind.

  54. Guest

    Half the sources in that HN screenshot are crap. Plus ugh, the reddit-like lack of design confirms it: a site only engineery types could love.

    1. fredwilson

      if you look at the reddit demographis on any of the third party tracking services, it’s pretty clear that reddit has moved way beyond programmers

  55. ShanaC

    honestly, I wish both were a bit more forward looking. Where do outlook in order to find new information on the really cutting edge (like real use cases of controlling your pointer on the screen via thinking).

  56. Joe Lazarus

    I go to Techmeme for the headlines and Hacker News for the articles. Techmeme is the go-to source if you need to know what’s going on in tech news. Hacker News is more niche & nerdy, but also deeper content. Can’t trash Techmeme, though. It’s maintained a spot on my many-visit-per-day short list of bookmarks for longer than any site around.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree totally joe

  57. Nicholas Got

    I personally like HN, way more diversity. Some techmeme do posts appear on HN so I read them occasionally.

  58. Peter Iliev

    HackerNews needs a little better design. Maybe that’s the way hackers like it, but still, it’s tooo ugly and unusable. Anyways, content is great.

  59. Myrne Stol

    Fred, are you familiar with TweetedTimes? It aggregates stories linked to by both your first and second degree network on Twitter. In particular because of its utilization of your second degree network, which casts a wide – but still very personal – net, you get a great view of what people around you find important. Using the second degree network also means it dodges an incredibility tough AI problem: figuring out what you or your friends are actually interested in. I’m personally amazed about the results of TweetedTimes relatively blunt heuristic. It has surfaced many stories that are very relevant for me that I wouldn’t have found otherwise (or not at the time they were posted at least).'d say the more your interests diverge from the interests of a community like Hacker News, or a small group of editors on Techmeme, the more valuable a personal view on the news gets.My TweetedTimes is at… . As you can see, a very interesting feature of TweetedTimes is that it lets you read the personal newspaper of other registered users too. You can add them to your favorites for convenient access later.Please note that I’m not affiliated with TweetedTimes. I just really like their service. Since I started using it, it’s replacing Techmeme for me very fast as my homebase for news. I still visit Techmeme, but it’s more to complement my personal news.You may be familiar with the competing, because many people spam their Twitter feed mentioning each day that their new newspaper is out. I think TweetedTimes, despite the lower popularity has a much better product. Really worth checking out. It’ll only takes a few minutes to set it up anyway.

  60. Nithin

    I follow I really don’t care about the popularity contest that goes on, on Techmeme’s homepage.

  61. Dave W Baldwin

    Just had the chance to scan XYDO…. looks great Eric!

    1. Eric

      Thanks Dave

  62. andyidsinga

    The screenshots reminded me to go read hacker news and also reminded me why I’ve never really found techmeme very interesting or useful.FWIW – the #4 ( http://www.joelonsoftware.c… ) on theHN screenshot is a very interesting read 🙂

    1. vruz

      error 404

      1. andyidsinga

        ok i fixed it – the url converter in disqus added a trailing ‘)’ char to the link . Adding a trailing space fixed it #tmi 😉

        1. vruz

          it’s a good one. most of what Joel used to write was great, I used tobe a devoted reader.I wish he hadn’t quit blogging.

          1. andyidsinga

            yeah – another neat quality of HN – older stuff appears there regularly.

  63. Jasonmorey


  64. firstadopter

    FA Notes on the homepage of my site is also a nice aggregation of daily links/articles on the web. 😉

  65. vruz

    Many days I think hacker news is the echo chamber of a very specific subset of nerdspace.(and one of my hats is a nerd hat, so I think I’m entitled to an opinion at least)Hacker news is often populated with lots of buzzwords which only make sense when you want to impress corporate types, but they don’t really cut it in the server farm.(look at me, I’ve got AJAX! was the thing in 2004, what’s it now? I’ve got “gamification”?)I have the feeling that hacker news has become more of a venue for nerds trying to impress Paul Graham.Of course, every disruptive technology was in a embryonic stage of development at some point. Or didn’t make much sense until a useful application was found, much later, and often by a different company than the one which created the novel technology.I guess my point is that you never saw Zuckerberg, Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Larry Page or Sergey Brin doing the rounds in HN (of course, it didn’t exist back then) but they also didn’t do it in Slashdot nor many of the other nerdy blogs/forums that predated it.Of course this proves nothing, but it’s the impression I get, bunch of hackers trying to get in Paul Graham’s or someone else’s noodles and matress-on-the-floor funding scheme.See all those posts with dollar signs on them in that screenshot? I don’t think they are bad, I think they have an audience, but I also think they’re not hacker news, and they are not about the future of technology they’re something else.

  66. h22 turbo

    I like them both as well

  67. Mrinal

    fwiw Fred, wrote a speculative (they are expected to announce something tomorrow) guest post on TechCrunch on how LinkedIn can be a strong news aggregator (Disclaimer: I am an early LinkedIn employee) .. more of a WSJ for social news. I refer to this post of yours and how it might be different from Twitter (and other sources) in terms of types of curation:

  68. Mordy Kaplinsky

    HackerNews is great but there is simply too many articles coming through with no filtering means. I wish they had a quick abstract beyond just the subject line so I can do a quick scan for perosonal relevance and interest.

  69. fredwilson

    i think compete is way off these days. i know it is way off for AVC. i don’t trust it at all.

  70. Eric

    I don’t know why Compete is so off, but one I just came across is google adplanner. Seems as accurate as any I’ve seen.