A Hacker News Parody Thread

I spent some free time over the last few days putting together a parody comment thread for the news/link aggregator Hacker News (HN). (This parody isn't officially affiliated with Hacker News whatsoever.) As with any community, HN has its quirks and predictable comments. It has an interesting mix of young entrepreneurs, highly skilled senior engineers, web developers, managers, etc, which can make for an interesting mix of discussion.

For fun, I wrote a mock comment thread for a hypothetical link to a tech guru blog post. The parody comments attempt to humorously encapsulate the quirks that stand out to me when I read such a comment thread. Such quirks include things like differences in attention to detail, which posts garner the most replies, knowledge grand-standing, which comments end up at the bottom, and popular off-topic tangents. Some of it isn't unique to HN, but it was fun to include anyway.

Ignoring the rule of not explaining your jokes, here is some of the effort I put into the parody. (Don't read this before you read the actual page.)

  • Some of the comments are meant to be taken verbatim, others are just meta-commentary on their content. The two styles are interspersed without any markings to distinguish them. I was afraid that giving the two types different formatting would detract from the formatting parody so hopefully it will be obvious which way they should be taken.
  • All the URLs are mini-jokes. (The "reply" URLs are meta-jokes about potential replies that didn't work as well as actual comments, usually because they're the type of thought or comment that we I consider briefly before moving on. The links to HN resources are commentary about those resources.)
  • The timing of the posts isn't arbitrary, and some of the positions of comments with their time ordering are mini-jokes too.
  • Some of the usernames are commentary on the type of person who I think of when reading such a comment, some of them are just gibberish, and some are just juxtaposition jokes.
  • All of the numbers in the page source are mini-jokes themselves.
  • I kept the downvote arrows for those who crave, but have not earned, the ability to downvote comments. (Voting does nothing, obviously.)
  • I used the actual HN page markup, although I now hate myself for doing so.

I hope I covered my bases for parody work. I tweaked the main logo and site title, none of the page's resources are being pulled from the original website, and there's a big "parody" banner at the top.

It's worth noting this is not the first Hacker News parody: HN front page parody.

It was fun to make, and I hope HN readers enjoy it. Here's my account on HN and the parody's submission to HN.

[Edit, 1.5 hours later]: The response on HN was fantastic - thanks guys! The comment thread is at least as funny as the parody itself, one should definitely read it after reading the parody.