If you're like most, you're probably saying to yourself, "Huh? Hoco-what?"
Think "Who could have known?", with palms upraised, shoulders shrugging, and innocent, blameless eyes. The question was famously anticipated in 2006 by Calculated Risk's sadly departed coblogger Tanta as a likely response from the financial community following the inevitable crash of the housing market. When the CR commenting community got our own digs in 2009, it seemed a fitting tribute; not only because Tanta was a treasure, but also because the phrase excellently captures the rampant disease of corporate NotMyProblemism we face in the twenty first century.
So that's what the place is called. But what is it, and more importantly, why do you want to be here?
CR's blog is a testament to the value of carefully following data to discern reality through the fog of financial war. He and the commentariat chorus here at HCN have been actively pursuing this approach since late 2005, and it has yielded excellent results. You'll often find current events being discussed here before they hit the mainstream media, with pithy analysis and debate distilling the likely outcome. Don't expect organization - this is a collegial, free-flowing, chaotic atmosphere, where "off topic" is hard to say with a straight face.
As for the tone, you will find some doomsterism and snark here, but it is tempered by humor and pathos. It's not a nihlistic, scorch-the-planet kind of place - most here are reality refugees, and truly want a better world. And there are all kinds of folk here, from various socio-economic backgrounds, political affiliations, religious faiths, occupations, ages, etc. We're mostly Americans, but we do have members in other parts of the world.
It is recommended that you read for a bit before joining the fray. There is a mature multilayered culture here, and many topics have been hashed over frequently. We welcome new information sources and perspectives however, so please, don't be shy once you get the rhythm. To get a sense of who you're talking to, you can click on a member's name to see their profile - it'll tell you how long they've been posting here, and possibly some personal information they wanted to share.
A final note: HCN is not exactly a 'for profit' website. Light ads and member donations support the infrastructure and stock your host's beer locker. If you end up spending some time on the site, feel free to contribute! There are several ways to do so here.
There are lots of terms generated or referenced here on the site. Here you'll find descriptions of things like that pink pig you keep seeing.
The Icon Glossary
What started as simple smilies have evolved here to a ridiculous degree. To understand them, you can look here. Also, you can click on many of them to read their background.
The host here is a techie geek who enjoys inflicting new features on his guests. As a result, there are several of them, some less discoverable than others. Reading through this list of announcements will help you understand how they work. As you get more involved, you may want to check out
- the search box, which for our site is probably considerably more effective than Google
- tagging, which allows you to filter comments by user contributed tags
- user rating, which allows you ignore users you find annoying, or show just your absolute favorites when you're in a hurry
- recommendations, where you can browse the media interests of members, or contribute your own
If you have questions or suggestions about the site, bug reports, or just want to say hi, click here to send a message to kcoop.