Those discussions mention some legitimate concerns about a service like this that you might want to consider.
It has also gone down before:
No idea if the current outage is permanent - did you ask them?
Are you offering any long-term guarantees of existence?
Can I sign up to watch other people's usernames?
What happens if two people sign up each to watch username "X" - is that detected?
Can I sign up person X to watch person Y? (This won't happen if a confirmation email is send)
What happens if every second I sign up person X to watch person Y - does person X get a confirmation request every time?
I'm sure there are other questions, and I'm sure you've thought of them all and have answers - you might want to create a FAQ to cover them.
And kudos for producing something and making it available!
Edit: Now registered and gone through the process - am I supposed to get a blank screen when I "verify" my registration?
Edit 2: A forced reload gave me the "success" message, but I see no way to unsubscribe.
Edit 3: <fx: Cue laughter /> - this comment is being downvoted. Thanks HN, I needed the dose of reality.
Just went from coding all day long to managing an organization and having a family... my side projects were completely starved for attention .
No. That is the white screen of death meaning there was an error pulling your user account from HN. I went in and clicked it for you, and it worked. HN API issues are pretty rare.
I was aware tangentially of HNNotify.com, and tried to buy the domain, but they wanted $1,000. I never used the service, because until about a year ago, I didn't really use HN all that often.
> Are you offering any long-term guarantees of existence?
My guarantee of HNNotify.xyz existing for no into infinity is that it costs my company < $20/mo to run, so it will take more time to shut it down than it costs to run. We get $450/mo of free azure hosting for the next two years, then after that the all in cost is $80/mo.
> Can I sign up to watch other people's usernames?
This is planned in the short-term. The user (if registered on HNNotify) will get notified they are being followed.
> What happens if two people sign up each to watch username "X" - is that detected?
You have to verify ownership of the account, so it isn't prevented. It is useful if you change emails, etc.
> you might want to create a FAQ to cover them.
That's a good idea. I'll try and type some of these things up.
Email in my profile, in case you're interested.
The problem with these services (there also used to be one called hnnotify.com, which didn't last long) is that they're developed by HN users, who don't seem to care enough to keep the services working 100%.
YC seems to prefer a development model where the community fills in the gaps of missing functionality, but this also means you can't expect much from the resulting services. I would much rather have this built into HN.
I would prefer the best of both worlds - let users write plugins that consume a more robust version of the API and add that functionality themselves. They could even be posted publicly and integrated by other users with some arbitrary amount of karma, and plugins would necessarily be restricted in their capabilities and maybe even rate limited.
Heck, add an endpoint for a WASM compiler and an option to use multiple languages.
It will never happen, though.
I guess one of these HN-comment-e-mailing websites needs to apply to YC to actually have a chance of getting integrated into the site.
Same, I can see all sorts of nefarious uses for this service (not necessarily by the guy who built it, more so by trolls who can use it to target HN users). If I really need something like this, I'm competent enough to build and host it privately for my own use. Given I'm not even a programmer by trade, I'm sure that last statement is even more true for the majority of users here.
But until a feature like that exists, I'll stick with mine.
I have no intention on using the emails for anything but notifications from HNNotify. Included in that are: new features, account notifications, reply notifications, follower notifications (future).
Your email will never be used to solicit/sell anything 3rd party.
Yes, a blank page is also very clean and minimalist. And useless.
P.S. I know that plenty of text-only websites load themselves with tons of useless media and needless JS. And yes that should be fixed. But the internet is more than just blogs.
Compare the speed and fury of flamewars on reddit when people are tossing orangereds back and forth.
Yes, it's annoying to me to have to dig back through my profile (whichever it may be at the time) - but I find I will only do so when a topic is truly worth following up on - not simply to spite another stranger on the internet, which seemingly still goes on here to some extent regardless of the "feature".
But comparisons need to be between peers. Praising HN's minimalism and clean look while comparing it with webapps is facile.
The information is out there for the public anyway, I don't see an issue with following someone else's username if that is the reason. And if the reason is to prevent other people from signing up random people to get spammed with notifications, or because the service will only handle one email per username, why not use email verification instead of username verification?
Following a user and them being notified requires a hacker news username to be verified, so we aren't sending out 40 emails that "tw1010 is being followed by jermaustin1" when the only person who cares would be the real tw1010.
And they are useful when one has made a personal offer to another user. The acceptance of that offer could easily be missed, especially if it occurs days later.
Even so, I'm not going to argue against anyone else being more vested in the ongoing conversations, and this would be useful for them.
Please don't use XYZ.
It's 99.9% full of crap (SEO spam, malware, etc.)
It's just a tld, there's a million of those. If somebody likes it, why shouldn't they use it? The .cx domain was ruined by one rogue website and the attitude you encourage.
I know the MOOC is coming (?) but there are lots of things you could do with the social graph or even providing an Oauth API where you can have applications that access the interactions you have on here.
- Michael from fman
I haven't seen it first hand but what you and a couple others are see sounds like it might be the case. I'll keep an eye out.