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I'd pay $20/year if you build a reliable HN <-> e-mail comment gateway. I'd pay double if you convinced PG to let your app sync people's comment history. Use e.g. Gmail OAuth IMAP authentication, sync to a label, optionally sync bidirectionally (i.e. comment replies from Gmail), but that's only marginally more useful than getting e-mail archives of comments here.

Hell, if you write it in Python then I'll even donate the comments page parser I already have written (including a comment's original marked up plain text recovered from the HTML).

One of many tiny projects that just need a few concentrated days that I've never gotten around to. I suspect you might find quite a few here willing to pay that same $20/year.




Be careful about putting dollar figures on things like this and estimating demand. What if this guy spends a few hundred hours on this and then no-one buys it? Sure, it's his risk to take, and you carefully qualified your last statement, but overestimating demand is a deadly thing. So let me as - why do you think people will be willing to pay for this service, and what kind of numbers are you talking about? 100? 1000? 10000?


It's just an alternative for someone already offering to work for free – I'm certainly not about to write a business plan around it.

My use case is simply that I like my own comments/SMS/tweets/etc. archived and searchable, as it's an easy way of keeping track of stuff with zero effort. In the case of HN it would also serve to avoid the common situation where I miss a reply until hours after the replyer's lunch break ended.


My goal is to make $0 from this - maybe beer money, but thats all. No hosted SaaS - just an open source Github repo. Still, interesting idea.


Have you seen HN Notify? http://hnnotify.com/


http://notifo.com/hackernews looks like another option


Creepily, it claims someone is already signed up for my username.


They should allow multiple followers ... hello twitter for HN!


I had a crude but working version of that written in Go. One goroutine for the scraper, another for the email sender, it's pretty easy. Writing the website and billing is probably more time consuming than the gateway itself.


So, you want replies to your comments sent to you via email? or something more?


Literally just poll this single page: http://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=forgotusername once every 30 minutes, extract the thread structure, generate some message IDs, and keep a database of which message IDs have already been e-mailed.

The ability to reply is more complicated and probably less useful.




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