Hacker News Data Analysis: 2014 Edition

Last week, I noticed that my Hacker News account had turned five years old. Wow. This got me wondering about the HN community in general and raised a concerning question: am I a typical user… or the creepy old guy in the room?

A few years back, I crunched some numbers from the HNSearch API to learn more about the Hacker News community. I figured this data set was overdue for a revisit. I pulled a fresh sweep of data from the API, loaded it into RJMetrics, and had my answers in just a few minutes.

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Here’s what I found:

  • Aaron Swartz and the NSA were the big topics in 2013, taking the place of 2012 leaders like SOPA and Hurricane Sandy
  • AngularJS gained serious momentum in 2013 as mentions of Backbone.js cut in half
  • With over 5 million upvotes cast in 2013, Hacker News activity grew by about 25% for a record year
  • The balance of comments, submissions, and upvotes has stayed remarkably stable as the community has grown
  • Users who engage early on stick around for years to come– in fact, more than half of the site’s activity in 2013 was from users who had joined more than a year before

For the full details behind these and other findings, read on.

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