HN is a community of people who build things. When you bring something you've built to them, you're looking for their opinions on it. Not just advertising to them.
Edit, as an example here's my own Show HN: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4053786
I'm not looking for people to use it. How many HNers are really my target market? Very few. I'm looking for opinions on the design, the feature set I've chosen, my implementation of them and advice on how I could build its community.
I suspect it's already been flagged by someone, since I can't seem to comment on it though. :/
Make a project -> launch it on hn with a Show HN (a free way to get traffic, as this post has proven) -> if the app/website is good people from HN will share it and it'll make it to blogs.
"Show HN" is absolutely an easy way to launch a product, HN has millions of users, this isn't a quaint little community any more. Yes "Show HN" should be about sharing creations and getting feedback and it does provide that, but it also provides a great launch. I'm not ashamed to admit that my personal launch plan for any "cool" website/app I launched is a "Show HN".
"someone took a risk and put themselves out there for judgement"
People don't build things to never see the light of day. People build things that they hope other people will use. Bringing it to HN is basically a huge show and tell/brag fest.
Show HN: I used (x language) to build this in (random time)
For example, I had my own "Show HN" time for nyan-mode for Emacs , and while I was thinking about playing around with Elisp anyway, I don't think I would have motivation to finish it, if it was not for the thought that I can do a "Show HN" with it.
I don't want to say that this was HN-targeted. It's more that when you know there is an audience that could a) appreciate, b) comment and c) actually use what you are building, it gives a lot more of a drive to actually finish the project.
 - http://nyan-mode.buildsomethingamazing.com/
my rationalizing behind that:
a) I'm sad that i didn't get any feedback on my latest weekend project. (That's the emotional part)
b) But also i believe that the timing was just bad. 5 to 10 minutes isn't much of a window.
deleting gives the opportunity to resubmit it.
said that: i know that this is kinda "gaming HN" and should probably not be possible. (@pg)
my vote/like/+1 for a http://news.ycombinator.com/show view.
p.s.: shameless self promotion: here is my latest "Show HN" submission https://news.ycombinator.com/edit?id=4053553
Voting systems which are based on momentum are inherently fickle. Whether or not people see the story at all comes down to whether or not it gets votes in the first few minutes after being posted.
If you really think your thing is worth attention, I say go ahead and try again later. We can flag spam; you're not hurting anyone.
I've previously said that there should be some kind of algorithm for that page other than "here are the latest entries", such as "here are the randomized latest entries over the past few hours without enough upvotes to reach the front page, removing the entries that are on the front page, removing most-likely-spam entries that have at least one flag and were submitted by a new account, and (maybe) giving weight to submitters with higher account ages or karma scores."
I submitted my app couple of times but never made it. It seems like my website is flagged. It is a great tool for startups and small businesses.
Do you see anything wrong with the web app that it deserved to be flagged?
"Extract key insights from your business with an online dashboard".
The primary button that you want people to click says "warning", which tells me not to click it. There are instructions on how to click a button. The next section is why you built the business, not why I need this product.
My advice would be to read up on the basics of marketing, and then study the marketing copy on every successful SaaS business you know about.
I got 50/50 feedback on being greatest "demonstrable" and sales page comment and "what does it do?" kind of questions.
I agree the "warning" bell is stopper but again I would not have gathered interesting stats. And why does every web app have to follow each other. I like to be different and experiments new stuff. If i fail, i will make adjustments to it.
Even today, in this atmosphere of upvoting Show HN posts, it fell right off the new page.
Then you should also join this HN Facebook group and post your project there as well:
More likely to get seen by other HNers if your HN post drops off too fast.
I often find I'll read a post, enjoy it, but feel my upvote is not really necessary. In that way, I feel innovation and "putting yourself out there" should be rewarded more by myself anyway.
One of the most useful things in the community is the wide range of talent and expertise. Reading through comments on the Show HN posts is a great way to learn a lot very quickly.
They also tend to spark off interesting discussions.
So I'm joining the 'Upvote Show HN posts' club.
Guessed that was worth an answer, and not just a +1.
So we have:
Hacker News new | threads | comments | ask | jobs | submit
Why not just add a Show HN bit?
Additionally, votes cast there would be meaningful in terms of seeing which projects the community approves of - as opposed to on the front page, where the level of randomness in vote allocation is pretty huge.
People shouldn't have to wake up at 6am to post their cool weekend project for vote-optimization reasons if they just want some smart people's feedback.
1. If you built it, you should get to show it to other makers.
2. You should get blunt, honest feedback that allows you to improve.
Perhaps we could have a category? Like /ask, but /show?
A well thought out post detailing why you failed and why you don't think you will next time is a different story, though.
The only way to improve is to get some criticism and work on fixing identified problems.
I'm just saying blindly upvoting everyone who tries undermines the whole point of having a karma system in the first place.
I would also add, don't be too harsh when criticizing someone's new project. It seems to happen way too often. Bringing up problems is great, but do it in a way that will help the creator.
Show HN ought to be a top level tab, for a site labelled "Hacker News"! Think of it like a KickStarter, but just for kicks (mostly) :)
I wonder if everyone was like oh a post to make everyone feel guilty about letting Show HN's slide, let me show HN something and reap the benefits. Good thinking.
If not, I think that'd be quite nice to have.
I think the title was all wrong. Not sure what the policy is for resubmitting?
Here is our post
Up votes are nice but would really like some feedback
It's time for a fresh new look.
Let me know if you like it so I can post it in "Show HN"
* better seen in modern browsers like safari, chrome and firefox
* nothing works, this is just a mockup, stop clicking on links
But anyway, could somebody explain this:
Is this a result of this thread?
These numbers are obviously just guesses, but there should probably be several Show HNs on the front page at all times.
I submitted my project yesteday (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4048636) to get some feedback and got zero comments and 1 upvote. Not sure what i did wrong, but I think you really need some friends for immediate upvotes to get some serious exposure.
Whats interesting is that I posted the same project on reddit/startups and reddit/entreperneurs and got over 30 really useful comments and 30 upvotes.
It seems that the backlash of this was too heavy handed - there are no ShowHN posts on the front page now.
disclaimer: i build the site and appreciate any feedbacks.
Personally, I don't think people would sustain upvoting things they don't like.