About

Hipppo is a hiphop community centered around link aggregation and discussion for both avid listeners and musicians alike, launched on April 22nd, 2020, and based on the computing-focused Lobste.rs. The administrator is Jake ("piz"), message him with any support issues or send him an email. This website would not be possible without the incredible support given by Lobsters administrator Peter Bhat Harkins, who gave invaluable guidance and advice while I fumbled countless times attempting to launch this website. Lobsters was created by Joshua Stein with some specific design goals in mind to avoid problems faced by other link aggregation sites:

Tagging

When links/stories are submitted, they must be tagged by the submitter from a list of predefined tags. Users can choose to filter out or subscribe to all submissions with particular tags (example: fresh.rss) or combinations of tags (example: fresh,discussion.rss). All users see all stories by default. The tagging system works this way for three reasons:

  • It keeps the site on-topic by only allowing a predefined list of tags. These tags represent what most of the users of the site want to read, so content that does not fit into any of those categories should not be submitted. It also keeps stories organized and more easily searchable.

  • It promotes discussion. Certain tags carry heavier weight than others, such as the discussion and fresh tags. All hotness modifiers can be viewed on the filter page, which also allows users to completely hide tags they don't want to see.

  • It keeps the conversation centralized. Often stories contain discussion about more than one topic, yet on other sites they are confined to a single category/forum, limiting the exposure. The link could be submitted to more than one forum, but then each conversation would remain separate and users would rarely interact with users from other forums. On this site, the story would simply be tagged with multiple tags and all users would see all discussion about the story in a single location.

Creating new tags and retiring old tags is done by the community by submitting, discussing, and voting on meta-tagged requests about them, and these events are logged. To propose a tag, post a meta thread with the name and description. Explain the scope, list existing stories that should have been tagged, make a case for why people would want to specifically filter it out, and justify the increased complexity for submitters and mods.

Invitation Tree

Signups are open for everyone, but only temporarily. In the future, new users must be invited by a current user of the site. Invitations are used as a mechanism for spam-control, while also preventing new users from registering just to ask a question better suited for Google. To aide in this, new users are unable to post stories until they have at least 1 karma, which can be achieved by commenting on other posts. This is only temporary, but soon new users will be unable to submit stories until their account is 7 days old. The quickest way to receive an invitation is to talk to someone you recognize from the site or request one publicly.

The full user tree is made public and each user's profile shows who invited them. This provides some degree of accountability and helps identify voting rings.

There's no limit on how many invitations a user can send, though that is subject to change in the future. When accounts are banned for spam, abuse, or illegal activity, moderators will look up the invitation tree to consider disabling their inviter's ability to send invitations or, in some cases, banning them outright.

Downvote Explanations

Often on other sites, a user would have their comment downvoted without explanation and then edit their comment to ask why they were downvoted. On this site, voters must choose a reason before downvoting comments and those votes are tallied and shown to the original commenter. Users may downvote stories and comments after their account has 25 karma.

For submitted stories, downvoting is done through flagging (also requiring a valid reason) and these flag summaries are shown to all users.

Transparency Policy

All moderator actions on this site are visible to everyone and the identities of those moderators are made public. While the individual actions of a moderator may cause debate, there should be no question about if an action happened or who is responsible.

All user voting and story ranking on this site uses a universal algorithm and does not penalize or prioritize specific users or domains. Per-tag hotness modifiers do affect all stories with those tags, but these modifiers (and changes to them) are made public. Domains used for tracking are banned and tracking parameters are removed from links.

If users are disruptive enough to warrant banning, they will be banned at the discretion, given notice of their banning, and their disabled user profile will indicate which moderator banned them and why. There will be no shadow banning or other secret moderation actions.

The source code to Lobste.rs and its provisioning and deployment are made available under a 3-clause BSD license for viewing, auditing, forking, or contributing to. Please note that in its current state, none of the code for Hipppo was written from scratch, and only some slight modifications have been made to the original code. This site does not take credit for any of the features listed on this page.

If you dislike the content or moderation policies here, you may prefer r/hiphopheads or KTT2

Other Technical Features

  • Private messaging enables users to communicate privately without having to publicly disclose an e-mail address, and users can receive e-mail and Pushover notifications of new private messages.

  • Responsive design enhances functionality on smaller screens such as phones and tablets without having to use a separate URL, 3rd party (often read-only) websites, or proprietary mobile applications.

  • Integrated search engine covers all submitted stories and comments, including full-text caches of all submitted story contents. Searching for a keyword will often bring up relevant stories that don't even mention that keyword in the URL or title.

  • Story merging collects comments on a topic that would otherwise fragment across multiple stories. This keeps the front page from being overwhelmed by a single topic and the discussion together for those interested (or so disinterested they'd prefer to hide it). Moderators merge stories on the same topic submitted within a week.

  • Fuzzy-matching of submitted story URLs to avoid duplicate submissions of similar URLs that differ only in http vs. https, trailing slashes, useless analytics parameters, etc. When using the story submission bookmarklet, story URLs are automatically converted to use the page's canonical URL (if available) to present the best URL to represent the story, as defined by the story's author or publisher.

  • User-suggested titles and tags can be automatically applied to a story when a quorum of users agrees on a new title (such as removing a site's name, or appending the story's year of publication) or set of tags, without any moderator action required. (Log)

  • Hats are a more formal process of allowing users to post comments while "wearing such and such hat" to give their words more authority (such as an administrator, moderator, or musician).

  • Per-tag, multi-tag and site-wide RSS feeds are available to the public and logged-in users have private RSS feeds that filter out each user's filtered tags.

Trivia

  • Hipppo is hosted on DigitalOcean and paid for by piz. Our domain name is registered with Namecheap, also paid for by piz. If you would like to support this site, please contact him about possibly donating to help with hosting costs and future domain name renewal.

Contact

If you would like to contact the site administrator for any reason, feel free to send an email to contact at hipppo.fm.

Briefly describe your reason for contacting in the subject of the email and provide any information that might be useful to your issue, such as your current username and any other important details.

Please allow up to 48 hours for a response. This website is entirely managed by one person, and while emails are checked multiple times daily, sometimes things unrelated to the site may arise and cause delay. If support inquiries increase and get backed up, this time frame may be subject to change. All contact requests are addressed in the order they are submitted.

Do not use this to follow up on requests for new tags or hats. Tags must be proposed by submitting a new discussion post with a meta tag, and hats must be requested through the Hats page below. Do not send an email requesting to become a site moderator; these requests will almost certainly be ignored and deleted.