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Remind HN: If you want feedback, add an email to your profile
99 points by ekpyrotic on May 27, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments
Afternoon guys, I know this recurs biannually, but some users forget (or are unaware):

The email address in your profile's 'email' field is not publicly viewable. If you welcome contact, add an email address to your profile's 'About' field.

I've had a lot of valuable contact through HN, and not having the ability to contact users who want/need feedback is detrimental to both correspondents.

For example, I was scrolling through a user's submissions today, and found an old request to review his writing style. Unfortunately, the submission made little traction at the time. Nonetheless, I wanted to dole out some quick grammar and style advice, but couldn't. In particular, adding a new comment to the old thread would have gone ignored, and there was little in the way of information on his profile.

Also, people are always free to contact me.




If I didn't know the problem existed, I would have read the title and thought "ok, I'm pretty sure I did specify the email in my profile" and moved on without opening and reading the submission.

You should have specified it right in the title that the email needs to be put into the 'about' field (or that it is not visible by default).


I just did exactly that. Luckily I came back to read the comments.


Couldn't this be clarified greatly with just a few more words of explanation on the profile page itself? There are a few pages and blog posts scattered around HN which explain most of the fields on the profile but there's nothing like explaining frequently misunderstood settings on the page people are changing those settings.

Even "email: (not displayed)" would be a big step forward.


Actually it would be cool to add a check box 'allow this to be displayed' which would solve both issues. I always assume that if folks don't put an email there then they don't care to be contacted and leave it at that.


If that was the case then anyone who used it would show a plain x@y.com, whereas some people prefer x (at) y (dot) com. By adding the check box some people would have it in the about section and some would have it in an email section and it would be inconsistent. And inconsistency is just ugly.

Edit: A nice way round this would be being able to specify how your email is displayed.


What, you want developers to waste valuable time on mere documentation? :-)


Please remember that Twitter is also not a replacement for email. I cannot contact you privately through Twitter. Its OK if you include your Twitter handle, but please include your email too. This also goes for your blog.


> I cannot contact you privately through Twitter.

Direct messages aren't private? I mean, sure, Twitter employees could see it, but Google employees could look at my email.


In order to dm someone, they must be following you.


Yes, I find it very valuable to attach my email and Twitter to my HN profile, definitely worthwhile. Having a way to contact you is important and you can get a lot of great feedback on a community like Hacker News.


Can someone explain what these fields are? - notifo - showdead - noprocrast - maxvisit - minaway - delay


notifo is a notification service that you can link your account to.

showdead gives you the option to see posts of hellbanned users (which are usually invisible).

noprocrast and the following two are a neat feature to lock yourself out of hn after maxvisit minutes for minaway minutes (to stop procrastination, as the name says).


I think showdead may also allow you to see manually flagged posts.


thank you so much!

lol @ noprocrast :D


noprocrast works very well. As someone how has a HN 'problem' I would not be able to come here if it was not for noprocrast.

noprocrast must have been a technical feat. It will enforce the limit even if you are logged out and on an entire different network and switch browsers. I have not investigated how it works (I do not want to know how to avoid it) but it works better than cookies would.


If curious programmers end up spending several hours trying to beat noprocrast, wouldn't that, like, defeat the purpose of noprocrast? ;)


Unfortunately all too easy to beat in Chrome: ⌘-Shift-N + news.ycombinator.com. Relying on StayFocusd instead.


But you wouldn't be able to vote/comment, which is not fun (sometimes you might be bursting with a desire to contradict someone!).


Sorry, if I add an e-mail address to my profile 'about:' field it can be seen by everyone. Also even if I have my e-mail address in the "email:" and "notifo:" fields I don't receive any notification.


> Sorry, if I add an e-mail address to my profile 'about:' field it can be seen by everyone.

That's the point.


Ok, was confused by the post. Thanks for the downvote!


You can subscribe to HN Notify to get email notifications of replies. No, I don't have the link. No, I cannot look for it right this minute as I have an appointment.



This IS useful!


how cool!


It would be even cooler if I could tell it to ignore replies to relatively recent comments (say, less than 24 hours old). I don't want to get flooded with notifications about threads that I still have open in a tab somewhere.


Why don't you add some form of obvious notification system to show when one of your comments have been replied to?



That's not obvious or useful (and neither is notifo). Really it should email you about replies if you enter your email address in the 'email address' field.

To be honest HN is sucky in many ways (very buggy with crappy UX). Kind of ironic really.


This thread is from three days ago. That's ancient history on this forum. It is page 2 of my own comments. So I only know you replied to me because of the service you are dissing.

I had left another remark elsewhere in this discussion then deleted it because I didn't feel well and decided the less said by me, the better. I still don't feel well and for that reason was simply going to not reply.

My deleted remark was to the effect that HN has a business purpose for Y Combinator in that it is used as part of their applicant screening process. However, it is not something drectly monetized and is a side project and free service. A lot of the issues here are known issues and have been known a long time. But fixing them is not a high priority for the people who run the site, thus the community copes as bet it can. This thread is an example of one of the coping mechanisms employed by the community.

Paul Graham has better things to do than worry about your ungrateful critisms. Frankly, so do I. I am getting well from a deadly medical condition which has left me deeply in debt and homeless. I need to be trying to figure out how to get traffic and monetize my websites, not coddling some spoiled hypercritical noob (dwj's account is currently 21 hours old and this is their second comment).


Actually I've been coming to HN on and off for years...I eventually get put off by the bugs. I just chose to register a different username yesterday. I also wouldn't say I'm hypercritical in pointing out serious flaws that have been there for years. I like to keep my products at zero known bugs and it irks me when I have to use a buggy product. Sorry to hear about your health problems...


Have an upvote (for civility). But you still sound kind of spoiled to me. I have insanely high standards as well, which have allowed me to get well when doctors say it cannot be done. Yet, doing so has prevented me from being as accomplished as I would like in other areas (like financially). If you can pull off zero bugs, you probably have more supportive circumstances than most folks. And I still see no reason to apply that standard to this forum, given its purpose, constraints, etc.


No, I can assure you I do not have more supportive circumstances than most folks (certainly less than HN). Having zero known bugs is just a decision that anyone can make (but few choose to). Large companies like google and facebook (with the most resources) tend to be the worst offenders.

I also have suffered from chronic illness in the past, so I understand a little bit about what you are going through.


In other words: Companies that actually make good money don't bother to pursue that standard. That detail fits with my theory that my financial problems grow in part out of being too perfectionistic. Unfortunately, my survival depends upon my perfectionism. Thus I cannot actually afford to give it up.

I remain at an impasse.


As a new user of HN who wants to do everything he can to abide by the rules + culture norms, I thank you.


Thanks for the reminder.




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