Engaging with Hacker News comments


#1

Continuing the discussion from Github on oss sustainability:

I’ve noticed that FLOSS funding has been something of a hot topic on Hacker News recently. Articles about it regularly make the front page… and usually have the same misguided[1] discussion in the comments. I often feel like I’d like to chime in and mention Snowdrift.coop, but usually don’t, for two reasons:

  1. We haven’t been ready for visibility yet — no longer applicable!
  2. I’m often not prepared to spend the time and effort to write a comment and follow up with replies (which I’d feel obligated to do, since I’d be representing Snowdrift.coop).
    • It’s also extra work to follow up on HN, since there’s limited quoting/formatting options and no reply notifications.

I feel like this is a significant missed opportunity to raise awareness about Snowdrift.coop and I’d like to figure out a way to make it less work for me to engage.

Right now, I’m thinking of just writing a template. Obviously each comment should be an actual reply, not just a generic copy-paste, but there’s a lot that would be the same in any comment I write, especially the first in a given thread:

  • Introduce Snowdrift.coop (“nonprofit cooperative for crowdfunding FLO works”)
  • Mention our research
    • Link to the relevant wiki pages.
  • Disclaimer: I’m part of the (fully volunteer) team
  • Briefly describe Crowdmatching (1-2 sentences)
    • Link to learn more (to crowdmatching page or to info about us?)
  • I’ll try to follow up with replies, but sometimes that’s hard on HN
    • Link to this forum?

Alternatively, I could make a generic post here (or blog post) that says similar things, and just link it. And/or a maintained post, “Common HN Misconceptions about FLOSS funding” that I could add to, etc. Or just post a link to the HN discussion here so other people can see it and chime in :slight_smile:

Open to feedback and ideas!


  1. This isn't a dig against the commenters, just that they're drawing on their thoughts/experiences, without research like ours, so they end up proposing solutions like bounties, that we know don't work. ↩︎


#2

I think this should definitely be a blog post!


#4

Yes, blog post is a great idea. It’s critical to have materials that can be reused / linked etc at large scale. Crafting one off replies is horrible :slight_smile: especially for first contact.

Now if it’s someone who is generally interested , able to be educated etc , then you could move along the generic to specific spectrum. I’ve done that with TSYS often. Usually it’s in person , but I run the conversation on auto pilot as I re answer the same questions over and over :slight_smile: