Not having notifications causes abrupt ends of discussions because the author didn't realize a reply was posted.
Reply notifications furthers the goal of HN as a discussion forum.
I care mostly about the general conversation here than that one comment I made yesterday afternoon
The heart of discussion can be found in the details, not the surface.
I wish more of the internet was like this.
I bet if someone were to build a tool that showed me all of these threads that I didn't reply or upvote/downvote to a response to one of my comments, I would discover a few gems I missed because I was AFK.
The theory being: if someone took the time to reply to a comment of mine, the least I can do is upvote/downvote their comment.
I didn’t release it because it kind of seems counter HN tbh.
This is a complete rewrite of the previous service I built for this. I had started this rewrite over a year ago, but due to family troubles I had to put it on hold.
I wrote the original HNNotify.xyz to once an hour crawl the API for your replies and email you if it found any. This was a terrible approach and led to a lot of issues. But that is how it has been running for well, ever.
This rewrite uses a database I feed with my API crawler. It's a lot more stable, and the query to find replies takes milliseconds instead of minutes.
The only difference is that hnnotify.xyz notifies you on comments to your submissions too.
Thanks! I especially like the new email formatting.
“Q. Could you make a feature where I check a box that says “email me if somebody replies to my post?”
A. This one feature, so easy to implement and thus so tempting to programmers, is the best way to kill dead any young forum. Implement this feature and you may never get to critical mass. Philip Greenspun’s LUSENET has this feature and you can watch it sapping the life out of young discussion groups.”
“If you offer the “notify me” checkbox, these people will post their question, check the box, and never come back. They’ll just read the replies in their mailbox. The end. If you eliminate the checkbox, people are left with no choice but to check back every once in a while. And while they’re checking back, they might read another post which looks interesting. And they might have something to contribute to that post.”
Yet the website that implemented a similar feature (albeit not even opt-in) became the largest community yet history. It's annoying for sure, but the FB notifications system is surely one of the cornerstones of their success in terms of numbers.
I guess they never read Spolsky ...
My API crawler is an C# console app that just increments the last crawled item until it gets a 404 then sleeps for 60 seconds. I currently have just over 3GB of data from the API.
AFAIK I should need to have a checkbox for that (IANAL). Is there a working "Unsubscribe" button in the emails? I'm very interested on this, but more interested in keeping my inbox clean-ish
I will email the old users for the first time later today once I migrate their accounts to the new platform.
> We collect every new submission and comment from Hacker News, and once every 5 minutes or so (assuming I don't break something).
nit - you should decide if your tone is "we" or "I".
edit: another idea would be to add notifications for upvote/downvote you get. it's harder to implement so maybe just when your score changes...
edit2: why downvote? ️