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Ask HN: Will Hacker News Get An Official "Show HN" Section?
96 points by tronium on June 6, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 34 comments
I've just recently joined Hacker News and I think it is a great community, however there is one flaw. While browsing through the "Ask HN" section, I find nearing half of the entries to be "Show HN". I think there are so many people who are now "showing" things to HN, it deserves its own section up top. Does anyone else share this opinion?

Yep, it definitely will! This has been on our list for a long time and I'm hopeful we'll get to it soon.

I'm going to bury this thread now. Questions like this are better sent to hn@ycombinator.com.

According to dang, the short answer is Yes. This is dang's response to a similar question, approximately 23 days ago:


In the same thread, I wrote up some "in the mean-time" search examples that can help surface "Show HN" submissions:


The root of the problem is that with the current setup, theres a huge 'luck factor' into whether or not your Show HN post most makes it off of 'New' and onto the first page. Its often 1 or 2 votes that can mean the difference between a post reaching the front page where it can then go on to recieve double/triple digit upvotes, versus remaining on 'New' and only getting 2-3 votes (in which case someone searching 'Show HN' thinks to themself 'well that post must not be very good, since it has so few votes'.

Of course the same could be said about news articles, however people dont spend hundreds of hours writing a news article (in fact it's rarely even the poster's work at all). While it would certainly be unwise to rely on a Show HN post as the sole means to launch your project, it certainly one of the top 5 traffic generators when you are just getting off the ground, and it sucks when your thread falls into obscurity because you didnt get that one extra vote to move you off of 'New' onto the first page.

That's why the "smart" thing for someone to do is to game the system, either through ring voting, asking friends to upvote on twitter. I can't blame them, thigh it's technically a bit borderline. I guess it's more legit for show hn than blogspam though.

That is why HN has a voting ring detector. :p

I really think that if you have a group of friends who are regular participants of HN, the ringvoting detector doesnt come into play. (not that I've tried)

But maybe it's "okay" if the people are actually regulars? Hard to say since I'm not a mod here.

In my experience, it doesn't work well.

I would love that. I've been working on my startup for over two years, and my "Show HN" post last week didn't get a single upvote. I was really disappointed. I think the Show HN section would provide more visibility.

Don't take this the wrong way but I think I understand why :).

Don't get me wrong I am sure you spend a lot of work on your startup but the question I would ask myself is. Did you do a good job with how you market it. In other words did you actually create a product for me to buy?

Your claim:

"Easy predictive modeling in minutes Answer the questions that matter most to your business:"

is kind of vague and your examples

"What will sell best?"

"How much will it pay?"

Etc. simply sounds too good to be true.

Furthermore your visual style works against your claim. Using old b&w pictures confuses however visits the site.

You then follow up with an excel like sheet which means nothing.

So in other words people have no idea what you are actually doing. I don't get a sense of what this product is. Only vague generic claims.

So I would probably spend some more time on making the site more about how your product is solving predictive analysis (whats your claim to fame compared to others using those terms) and re-design the visual side of things (I rarely say this but in your situation it really do need to look quite different)

Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback. I'll redo the landing page to make my value proposition much clearer. And I'll get rid of my retro pictures, even though I do kind of like them.

In regards to the OP, that's just the kind of feedback I was hoping to get from my Show HN post. I think I only had 3-4 arrivals from that page before it dropped of the "New" page into oblivion. Maybe I was just unlucky.

Try producthunt.com. It doesn't quite have the popularity of HN but the flip-side is there's a higher chance of visibility.

I joined up, but submitting seems to be invite only at the moment.

What's your startup?

He posted a show HN[1]. You can check peoples submissions from their profile.

[1] https://www.predictobot.com/

Maybe your timing was a bit unlucky but from what I observed over time it's better to submit a direct link and then add the description as a comment. Don't make people search for the link in the description and copy paste that into their browser url bar (Even if you commented with the direct links).

I know how you feel...

This thread:


is for feature requests. There is a link to it at the bottom of most pages on HN.

I personally like the non-forced feel of how it works now, though I agree luck is a factor. If it were "official," gaming will start instantly and the value of the meme drops (as with most things). People start fights like "I'm tired of seeing ____ in the Show HN section"; it takes the natural flexibility out of the whole thing. Once you introduce incentives for gaming (the 1.0 probability that many people, including people with money, will see your link) and create a sectioned-off social space, it becomes a whole different social dynamic.

Maybe just have a link at the top bar/somewhere else to one of the websites other commentors have mentioned that feature all ShowHN projects.

For the duration and focus of my average HN interaction, more compartmentalization of the content here will mean I read less. Or maybe I'll only read default compartments. Be careful what you ask for.

FWIW, I think there should be. Always seemed a bit odd seeing Ask and Show posts merged together like that.

In case anyone's interested, I've put together a project [1] that generates a "Show HN" RSS feed here: http://hnrss.org/feeds/showhn.xml

[1] https://github.com/edavis/hnrss

there are a couple of community run webpages that filter Show HN posts. Ie. http://showinghn.com/ Or on twitter: https://twitter.com/ShowHNDaily

This very thread turned up on ShowHNDaily because of the "Show HN" in the title.

...thinks like that hold back unofficial filters.

I think that a Show HN section is a good idea.

However, I'd strongly suggest it is more like a subreddit than just a filter to only show 'Show HN' posts if possible. It would encourage people to use it but keeping it separate might keep it from overwhelming the more relevant content.

I remember when there was at least one Show HN post a day, sometimes 3 or 4 on the front page... Those were the days when products and projects were the relevant content. I don't know what anyone in this community works on anymore. I miss seeing people do things.

And you'd have entire page of Show HN posts one click away. :)

You're not alone!

In fact, it's so tricky to sort through the Show/Ask HN archives that I don't often use HN when I want to browse new projects, I use producthunt.com

And, will it get a never time out and eat my long form essay i painstakingly wrote on the bus... section?

The "ask HN" section is usually very informative and useful, ie. dealing with problems, finding work, recommending products etc.

I'm not sure a "show HN" section would have the same overall value for the community.

> I'm not sure a "show HN" section would have the same overall value for the community.

Last I heard HN was a community of people who build things. A separate "Show HN" section would allow you know... people to show what they are building. Extend this further, the homepage should be defaulted to "Show HN" and all the rest put onto "other" pages!

I think a third party can aggregate these and that would be enough. Personally, I like that HN is a single page to visit (more or less) with occasional ShowHN items appearing, I like seeing them, but would be less likely to visit a separate section......if they appeared in both I guess that would be ok.

Agree and disagree. The Show HN posts rank very high on my personal scale of "interesting stuff".

I'm not sure I would agree with them being the only thing on the front page, though. There's a lot of other interesting stuff here as well.

I agree, especially that the "Ask HN" section is more valuable. However, the people who post "Show HN" posts will appear in Ask HN, making it cluttered. I'm essentially asking for a bit more organization.

It would be very valuable to newly launching companies to get feedback

+1 on this. It would be like Product Hunt for the HN community.

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