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Ask HN: Do you think HN should notify us when someone replies to our thread?
24 points by anandnair 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments
And an unseen counter on the orange menu bar? So that we don't have to dig through all our posts to see if there are new replies.

What do you think?

(When I first started using HN, I thought the count next to my name in the orange bar was unread count. Lol. Later I realized that it was Karma)

I really like that HN doesn't tell you about replies outright.

That means only people who care enough to check the comments get into long threads.

Other sites I feel like the notices just feed long threads of low effort arguing and mud slinging.

It also means that when people reply to me here beyond one reply, they put some effort into finding out if I responded again.... that's a nice feeling.

You have a point. But I'd like to think a bit differently. It's all about convenience, right? If HN had an unseen counter, I think that would be the most used component here.

> It's all about convenience, right?

I think quite a few people (myself included) would disagree with that. I think optimizing for convenience is exactly what we shouldn't do in many cases.

No. I don't even have my mail program notify me of new email anymore, unless it's from one of three crucial senders.

Notifications are bad for you--especially for pointless trivial stuff like HN comment threads.

Consider the difficulty of checking on old HN threads a feature, which aids in Letting Things Go.

Just my own opinion, of course.

I turned off email notifications a while back, mostly because my two year old may have deleted some emails while playing a game.... but anyway I had no idea how annoying those email notifications were, after I turned off email notifications it was such a new and nice experience.

I had been very careful about email notifications unsubscribing and avoiding giving out my email address so it hadn't been a problem .... then I was laid off and decided to change careers and my email just exploded (sadly not with job offers yet). Turning off email notifications was really stress relieving.

I agree. 'Push' Notifications can be annoying if not relevant. But what do you think about an unread counter in HN? I can just click that to see if I missed some replies. Reddit has this.

I think the “unread” counter still creates that somewhat intrusive and addicting feeling. If I post on HN I don’t really sit here refreshing to see if anyone replied. I just kind of come back at the end of my day and see what happened. It also takes a few more clicks to get to comments, threads, etc., especially for older posts and comments so it adds a barrier to that instant dopamine rush.

When I previously used Reddit it felt like I would just sit there refreshing all day waiting until that envelope turned orange...

> especially for pointless trivial stuff like HN comment threads.

Since you never enter into a conversation you ensure all your replies are pointless and trivial.....

...except you will never know this. ;-)

Use the 'threads' link in the header.

You can also get email notifications here: http://www.hnreplies.com

never noticed that shortcut!

Please no. Notifications are just there to increase the addictive factor for social media. HN doesn't need to increase MAU or time on site. There's no need for rapid response or a response at all usually. If you feel the need to navel gaze you can easily view the replies through your profile page. This is the last site on the internet that's not trying to hack my brain.

Yes! please! At worst it's an option.

Without this all conversations also die as soon as they are off the front page. I read HN through RSS at my leisure, so I come in late. It's generally already too late for me to participate, since no one know I have replied to them or made a comment.

These are amazing conversations! let's give them a chance / choice. to live on more in time

I use http://www.hnreplies.com - but only just was lucky enough to find out about it.

PS - the the people who think inconvenience is a feature. Consider - this way only the first comments actually get conversations, because no one can read / check farther down.

UX through hurdles is generally a very bad approach.

I don’t check for replies often. So I don’t miss not being notified of any either. As others have pointed out, it could make one’s time management, distraction management and stress levels worse.

I’d actually request for a better UI to navigate threaded comments instead. I personally can’t handle multiple levels of replies on HN like many others seem to be doing here. The interface is terrible to figure out who’s replying to what when one reads several comments, comment replies and scrolls down. Add to that the almost microscopic buttons and links to vote and collapse. These are good features to keep me from going deeper into the rabbit hole.

I don't want a technical system designed to drag my attention to a website. (so no push notifications, to be clear)

That being said, it would be nice to see "new comments since last login" on my profile page... or something similar.

Edit: There may be a psychological reason not to do this though, because there are certain posts I don't want to think about anymore, and it's nice not knowing anything about them.

So if maybe there is a filter "only show comments on posts made in the past 2 days" or something, then I wouldn't get dragged into old discussions I am happy to leave well enough alone.

I already have to turn off most notifications from various apps and sites as it is. I'll pass on that idea.

It's meant to be a minimalist kind of site and it does that well. I'd leave it as it is.

Maybe (as a matter of fact surely) a notifier is "too much".

But if an user (voluntarily/actively) can go to a page and in it there is info on:

1) replies on own thread

2) replies to own comments

3) total number of replies on threads user posted a comment to

It would IMHO not be anymore a nuisance/interruption (like notifications are) but rather a resource.


The last thing this forum needs is more back-and-forth bickering. Sometimes gotta let other people into the conversation and take the stage.

Forgetting to check to see if someone responded to you is a critical part of HN. I just don’t think every response needs a retort from OP.

Hmm...Yes. But every time a reply is made? No! Only when there are new unreads since the last time I read the replies.

And make sure this can be turned off in settings.

Yes. Exactly.

I like the idea of an unseen counter for messages that are direct replies to my comments.


Sounds like a SaaS someone can create as an add on.

Yup. We're creating one :)

Yes absolutely


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