Last Saturday, I saw on ADN a post by @ca asking for betatester for a project of him for 'Avid Hacker News Readers'. I love Hacker News, but I never remember to check the website, but I wanted to betatest it.
The following morning I had an invite in my inbox and 5 minutes later I was surfing The List. The first thing I thought was: 'Man, this is clean'. And it sure is. The UI is super simple and it's been well thought.
The List, as they say, is: 'a social knowledge board for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs. We place a focus on long form articles, and incentivise high quality posts'. You could think of it as a 'great content Hacker News'.
The most surprising thing about the website it is that it requires a user inviting you in order to sign up. This could be a problem at the beggining, the stage of getting users to use the service, but thinking long-term, I think it will prevent the site from getting silly content and it'll make users who generate or find great content to want to post in The List because they know users will appreciate it.
Another great point the developers made, is that posting isn't free. You, as a user, have an amount of karma that you have to spend to post. You need to provide at least the 2% of your karma or 4 karma in order to post. When your posts get points (voted by users) this points will be added to your karma. Another thing related with karma is that you can pay more karma for a post if you want it to be in a higher position from the beggining.
This two differential points make The List always having great and curated content. I enjoy very much browsing it and I check it everyday. This is my profile on The List.
But, for me, the coolest thing about The List is that it is open source. Their code is open to everyone and you can read it or contribute. The backend is written in Ruby on Rails and the position algorithms are pretty interesting. It's totally worth having a look at it. Here you can find the github repo.
I liked it all so much that I decided to develop an iOS client on top of their API. The app is 'Waiting for Review' at the moment of writing this post and it'll be available soon. I haven't spend a lot of time building it yet, but I will as the API keeps improving. My app is also open source and I'd appreciate you contributing and helping me build it. It is a dead simple app, but we can build something really cool together. You can check the iOS repository here
If you want to try The List out, you can shoot me an email or apply for an invite here.