|I thought I'd share my story about the link I posted the other day, Free VMs of Windows to test older versions of IE (microsoft.com). I never realized this link would be worth 300+ Hacker News points, but I thought the story around it might be interesting enough to share.|
I was working on a client site that required the use of IE 7 to test a particular bug. I had installed VirtualBox in the past, but after doing a fresh install of OS X I was trying to avoid that whole process. In fact I was even considering installing the old, old version of IE 5.5 that was actually released for the Mac platform back in the stone age. So I went to Google and searched for "ie os x" and found this:
http://samvermette.com/256. This was the first I heard of Microsoft releasing free VMs so I thought, "Hey cool, I'll share this on Twitter". I posted the link, @stroughtonsmith retweeted it and before I knew it I had retweets and stars coming in at a consistent clip.
Through the retweets came a single mention pointing me over to https://github.com/xdissent/ievms which was quite useful for my case. Knowing the original article was published in June of 2011 I knew this wasn't new information, but I figured I'd post the link to HN anyway. I figured somebody had to have posted it in the past, so I might get a duplicate link error or something.
Well that didn't happen and immediately it started to get points and comments, very helpful comments at that. I chimed in a few times in the beginning and got bonus points for a couple of my early comments.
So a few things I learned from this: HN doesn't necessarily reward new, cutting edge information, chiming in early to a trending topic is worth a fair number of comment points, and you learn a lot more about a topic than you do posting a link to Twitter. Finally I found HN points aren't worth anything toward my profile. I got absolutely zero visitors to my website and I doubt anybody even clicked over to my profile to see who I am.