A New Home Page

June 1st 2012

TL;DR: I felt I was missing out on HN’s awesome content. So I made a home page that automatically opens the top link, forcing me to see it. You can use it too; URL at the bottom of the post.

I love Hacker News. If someone were to look at my history, it is probably my most visited site. The quality of the content is just amazing; I can’t find anything else like it. The insightful comments and discussions just sweeten the deal. That’s why, for the past year, it has been my home page. Every time, I open my browser, I see it.

But that’s often not enough.

Of late, I have been noticing that I barely even look at the news. I just go straight to the search bar and get on with whatever it is that I opened my browser to do. So really, HN often becomes just a background for my seach-suggestions drop-down. And honestly, unless I’m actively reading, the news on the HN front page doesn’t really jump out at me. Perhaps something like Huff Post, with those huge headlines, but not understated HN. So I wondered what gems I could be missing.

So I sat down today and made myself a new home page. It’s really simple (took me ~20 minutes to throw together, and that was mostly to understand the APIs/tools); all it does is, instead of showing me HN, load the first link on the HN front page. Yes, that is not necessarily the best link. Yes, it could be something I don’t care about. But it’s better to get some content than none. Besides, I trust my fellow hackers. So for a while (at least), every time I open my browser, I will see what’s hot on HN. We’ll see how this goes.

Anyway, if you think this might be interesting, just set the link at the bottom of this post as your home page. Try it; you might be exposed to something new, that you would never click on, and love it. If anyone else actually uses this, I have a few additions I might add. For example, I would like to be able to provide some other websites, like proggit. Also, it might be cool to open, say, the first 3 items in different tabs/windows. We’ll see.

Lastly, this would have been a lot harder without some awesome work from others: Zepto.js, hndroid API, and JSONPjitsu

Here’s the link: http://vishnumenon.com/first-link-home-page.html

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