Many content producers, such as blogger and online publishers, are familiar with social news and bookmarking sites such as Digg.com, Reddit.com, and Slashdot.org. To have your blog or article listed on the front page of these sites will garner a lot of attention and hits, so much so that sites often go down with the extra traffic that this event is known as ‘digg effect’ or ‘slashdot effect.’ In the case of Digg and Reddit, users can submit links to news breaking blog posts or interesting articles online and other users vote up and down, add comments, and share the link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Buzz while an algorithm selects which articles to promote to the front page. In the case of Slashdot, users submit articles and human editors weed out the interesting articles to publish on the front page. Hacker News is a social news site much like Digg or Reddit but for startup news, entrepreneur resources, and technology tutorials.
Hacker News was founded by Paul Graham through his startup funding firm Y Combinator. Paul Graham is a angel investor, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, hacker, and writer. Back in the Web 1.0 era, Paul founded and later sold one of the first online stores to Yahoo! His startup later was branded as Yahoo! Store. His background and startup experience led to writing essay on startup and business, which led to Y Combinator, which in turn led to Hacker News.
Like many other sites, such as Digg and Reddit, the true value lies within the community and Hacker News is no different. What make Hacker News different is the calibre of user and contributors which leads to quality of resources for those starting a online business. One of the reason why Hacker News has so much traction amongst the entrepreneurs is that many of the founding team members of the startups that Y Combinator funds end up contributing to it. As of February 2010, Y Combinator has founded over 170 startups. Contributors to Hacker News includes the likes of Paul Graham himself, Alexis Ohanian founder of Reddit, Andrew Warner founder of Mixergy, amongst others.
Hacker news is more that just a social news sites, it’s also a forum for startup founders. One of the most value aspect is the pool of entrepreneurs and like minded individuals on the site. A common request from users that post on Hacker News is to ask fellow users to rate and provide constructive feedback on their web application, iPhone app, or startup. You will also see, questions and polls being asked of the Hacker News community that are relevant to startup founders, such as questions about certain technology, surveys about the Hacker News users, and sign-up for folks looking for a co-founder.