When you were first working on DDG who did you show it to before you "launched" on here? What kind of early feedback did you get?
I blogged all of them on Hacker News (you can search the archives to see), and then started blogging ideas that would become the book and got feedback from those on my blog and on HN.
This was all before really writing. Once we actually started writing we recruited "early readers" periodically to read and give feedback up until we had a full draft more ready to go, in which case we hit up our whole list and got another round of fresh-eyes feedback.
I would go around to local meetup groups here in Philly and continually show it to people, as well as friends and family.