A hackernoon "Starter Kit"

#1

Let’s say that one was wending their way through the thicket of tangled tree branches of a forest that is the mass of information of emerging technology on the internet when they stumble upon a clearing; the oasis of rich information and thousands of skilled and relevant authors that is hackernoon.

Let’s also say that this person (who shall remain nameless…) has a pretty decent, albeit topical, understanding of the potential seismic activity that is AI, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, etc.

Where would one begin if they wanted to take a stratified approach to deepening the knowledge, awareness, and understanding that could be gleaned from hackernoon?

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#2

First off, your metaphors in that first paragraph are :ok_hand:spot on. It drew me in, captured my attention. You should write more. :slight_smile:

Maybe we should have “best of” collections? Starter guides for various classes of developer or crypto enthusiast? I like the idea of guiding a first-time reader through some of our best articles of all time (hand-picked, of course). Maybe there are different “tracks”. I’m honestly just thinking aloud here, spitballing as I type, but this is definitely something we should discuss further. I’m curious to hear @Dane’s opinion here as well.

Right now, someone could start on the “tagged” pages, to view content relevant to them – we could improve the UI/UX there in 2.0 to encourage exploration. That’s something I’d like to do regardless: encourage exploration. I think there’s a lot we could do with so-called “collective intelligence” as well, e.g. when a reader gets to the end of a story, we show other stories they would be interested in. We can blow the old system out of the water there, eventually, as we gather more data.

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#3

Nice. Thanks!

I love the “best of” collection idea. Best of according to whom? To what? I’ve been reading some pretty epic level writers (Jeffries, Levenson, Kozyrkov) whose ideas are relevant, well thought out, and equally well written, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them “starter level”, which begs the question.

I really like the different tracks idea, like, a lot. I’m wondering if there’s a way to “rank” articles in terms of “difficulty”. That would give the site some visibility of stratification. But are there articles that would be deemed less/more difficult depending upon what the reader is bringing to the table? Maybe add a feature that allows the reader to select level of difficulty after they finish reading?

The challenge with following tagged pages is that there is just so much content to sift through. How to decide what to pick/who to read when number of minutes in the day is a serious consideration?

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#4

Thanks! What if the community was able to curate collections, and decide what the best content is?

If we were to do this, I would not only gather feedback from readers regarding difficulty, but I would also try to learn which “groups” our readers belong to. For example, maybe Alice, Bob, and Charlie are beginners relative to the rest of the HN community, and Dave and Eve are experts (again, relative to everyone else).

This could get messy, because some people will troll us and say everything is easy or everything is hard. I’ve dealt with that before – you could simply exclude the outliers when you’re aggregating. In other words, if they want all “easy” content, you show them “easy” content, but you don’t count them in the overall relative scale so it doesn’t affect other readers.

On the other hand, you don’t want to exclude a legitimate newbie who just wants to learn…I guess you’d have to find the distribution of difficulty across the entire reader base for each article, and exclude any extreme outliers compared to that distribution. So if most people are ranking a story a 6-7 out of 10, and that’s the peak in a bell curve, a 1 could be considered an extreme outlier…but then, what if there’s a peak of total beginners that throw off the distribution?

Statistics is hard, and I need to learn more about the subject (maybe an HN contributor could put together a learning track for me?).

You can also look for signals like time spent reading, but again, that gets messy. Let’s say you’re giving me random articles to gauge my ideal difficulty level. If I see “Async Functions in Javascript for Noobs”, I’m likely to skim it and score it, not read it in-depth.

This is turning into a wall of text, but in an ideal world, I’d like to set up a community curation system and let the people decide which content is the best for them. The community could create their own learning tracks, and we could promote the really high-quality stuff (and let users flag spammy posts). What do you think?

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#5

Curating collections sounds cool. Like a sort of “playlist”. I’m beginning to see the beginning of my own curation that connects together different authors who touch on the same topics, but have quasi-interrelated ideas that serve the greater story. A meta-story, if you will. We’ll see how that all develops…

(Quoted the last bit, but referencing the whole). What if we captured level of difficulty at the hackernoon editor level. Maybe it would be helpful for hackernoon to establish the baseline difficulty; the backdrop upon which all other ratings would be measured (for trolling).

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#6

Would be cool if there were a pre-set list of categories you could “tag” an article with, and if you could view all the articles in a category - maybe sort by “Most Clapped of All Time”, “Last Month”, etc.

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