What makes a website interesting? For me, it’s some combination of:

  1. Well-written, accurate, engaging content; and
  2. A sense of novelty, exploring things that most sites don’t look at.

From Sturgeon’s Law, we can predict that 90% of websites fail #1. But even after filtering those out, many popular sites with professional editors still fail #2. The front page of the New York Times is all too predictable.

To find more interesting sites, I downloaded the Hacker News archives, ranked all of the domains by score, and then filtered out “mainstream” sites that already get lots of traffic (the New York Times, Reuters, Wikipedia, etc.). I then picked out the top 50,000. Since a list of domain names is kind of opaque, I then also picked a random story from each site, and added its title and a link.

Since I used Hacker News as a source, many of the sites are about software, but a fair number are not. Here are a few random links that go into other fields:

Here is the full list as a PDF:


Here is the data in Google Sheets: