Indie Hacker Etiquette: No Post Left Behind

While there are some general rules to this forum, I assume the upvote system tends to be what drives the community in deciding which posts are good, which comments are good, and which are spam or don't belong. Most people are generally nice and kind to each other here. We all have at least one thing in common: we're all struggling to make our lives and the lives of others better.

But I do feel that this is a powerful enough community and could be even stronger in terms of our support system. I have noticed that there are times when people post things -- like asking for feedback on their products -- or just trying to get an idea about something, and those posts might go unanswered.

So I am proposing this:

As a supportive community, if you see absolutely no response to a post, that you drop the mentality, "someone else will answer it" and do your best to reply to that person, even if its the only response, it's better than leaving it empty. Also, if you happen to read a post and you generally like it, give it an upvote. Help a fellow Indie out.

So I ask two things of you right now for your commitment: 1) if you agree and acknowledge this, you upvote this post so that it makes people aware. 2) you start doing it immediately.

Update: Thank you for the incredible responses -- I have also made efforts to reply to 0 comment threads IF I understand what the person is asking and I can carry on a conversation about it. I have definitely seen some improvement in regards to not leaving people in the dark and treating Indie Hackers as a supportive community here to guide and give advice to others. Very much appreciated.

  1. 19

    While I generally agree with this concept, I find that there are a lot of posts that I do not have the correct knowledge to be able to give useful feedback/advice. Id rather not comment than leave a comment that is not useful or at least worth reading. Usually I just upvote the questions that are complete and could be answered by someone with the proper experience.

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      Haha.. I just noticed there are definitely a few posts where if I were to comment, I'd only look like a fool acting like I knew something about it.

      I think I was more referencing to the people who are asking, "Hey can you check out my website and give me feedback?" While not everyone of us is a professional, it takes less than 5 minutes to let someone know whether you understood the product, if the website was easy to navigate, what you would like to see, or what would convince you to actually find this product useful, etc.

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        Even in some cases where I may not have the correct expertise to leave a comment about exactly what the person is asking, I may leave a comment about some other aspect of what they are doing that I am experienced with, or even just a comment with positive feedback. But I think that if everyone were to start leaving a bunch of comments that didnt offer any value to the original poster, IH would lose a lot of the value it provides (or at least have some of it buried under comments like "that feature is really cool").

        Also I see posts where people post extremely general questions that make it appear that they have done nothing of their own to try to solve their problem. This makes me feel that they aren't putting effort into their work and I do not feel motivated to take the time to respond. Almost like they are taking advantage of the community in some way so I choose not to participate in conversation with them. Maybe I'm just mean?

        Edit: It appears we may be referring to completely different types of IH posts

        1. 1

          Agreed. Wouldn't want people to just type any comment just because, so I do know there are posts that will go unanswered, simply because the community is not very familiar with the question. I am just saying, if someone asking for feedback on something.. they see a community that can help them and hopefully will get at least a reply.

    2. 3

      Very good point. I find that the quality of the question (or the general ask) determines what kind of answers people give.

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    I feel so sorry for people who have spent months working hard on a landing page or product launch and all they ask for is a little feedback yet get absolutely nothing 😞

    1. 4

      Yep, been there. It's absolutely soul crushing.

    2. 3

      I just get a little fatigued of seeing the same thing over and over and so personally I tend to ignore them and only have enough bandwidth to comment every once in a while. TBH I think those are the economics that are playing out. I love that the community is very passionate about helping one another out, but I'm not gonna force it.

  3. 5

    The good solution for this would be to have an option to see posts without comments - a search feature or separate section.

  4. 5

    Agreed with this. I've also noticed that upvotes seem to be given very conservatively on IndieHackers. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but it is confusing when I see someone comment very positively, even appreciatively, but don't bother giving their parent an upvote.

  5. 4

    I usually comment on what's on the front page - it would be cool to get incentive to help out on posts tha don't get traffic!

  6. 4

    Good call Matt. I am guilty of passing posts by, perhaps reading them and not answering...telling myself I'm too busy right now and I'll do it later - then don't!

    1. 3

      This comment was deleted a year ago.

  7. 4

    🙌 Count me in.

  8. 3

    Sometime I want to comment and give my opinion. But when I think that I have no successful story to based my opinion on I just discard it. I don't want to be "The blind leading the blind".

    1. 3

      Sometimes all the hackers are looking for.. is some brainstorming, some ideas, and maybe even a little philosophy argument.

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        Or even just a pat on the back ;-)

  9. 3

    I think it makes sense to be collaborative. If you only lurk, then that's ok because you might be working on something and planning to contribute at a later time, but if you do ask for help or assistance then you should spend the time helping others and contributing where you can :)

  10. 2

    As the community gets bigger, more small fellas shall be ignored and left behind. That's the "dark side" of growth = community become less closed knitted, less helpful, and more people get disappointed. In a certain way, IH is slowly walking the path of HN.

    I wish there is a good solution for this problem.

  11. 2

    🙌 I am in too :)

  12. 2

    This. I've abandoned my suburban home office this morning and am currently making a long commute into my local metropolis to try and make connections with a local startup community. Why? Because I don't think the IH community will give me enough feedback to develop my business - so now I must seek out that collective experience elsewhere.

    Don't get me wrong, I think this forum has huge potential, but we need to deliver on our promise of being an actual community.

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      I think this line of thinking is somewhat misguided. Until going to microconf I thought along similar lines but going there really opened my eyes and changed my perspective. A lot of people here think that the members of this community can validate their idea for them. It's extremely unlikely that that's the case. We are most likely not in the target market and if we are we are not a statistically significant sample. As a founder and an entrepreneur it's up to you to validate your idea and the best way to do that is by talking to your potential customers en masse. In general we are a pretty helpful community when it comes to things we believe we can help with, be it tactical, strategic, product specific, but there are some things it's better to look other places for. It's not how well your "Show IH" post did on Indie Hackers that determines whether or not your product is valid and could be a real success, it's the depth of your customer discovery and emailing 1000 people in order to figure out how to build what will serve their needs well. So, please don't anyone be soul crushed if your Show IH post got a Luke warm reception. Be soul crushed after you talked with 10,000 people and still couldn't figure out what they wanted. That's where the bar should really be at.

  13. 2

    Completely agree with the sentiment here, @mgates. @LumberChop you bring up a valid point. When I see a post that I can't directly help with sometimes I try and loop in someone else from the IH community that I think may be able to assist the OP by mentioning them in a comment on the post. Hopefully, that method helps the OP get good feedback from an IHer with the right background knowledge.

  14. 1

    Hi Matt,

    Wanted to let you know that I built https://indietriage.com to help solve this issue.


  15. 1

    I'm new here and i'm in. This post and the introduce yourself post really make it feel like a community.

  16. 1

    Matt, I generally try to do this when I spot a post. I think IH is multiple orders of magnitude more friendly than HN. If I can help to keep it that way, I will

  17. 1

    I've found Indie Hackers to be a very friendly and helpful community.

    Will continue asking and giving out as much help as I can with other like-minded entrepreneurs!

  18. 1

    Thanks Matt. That's a good initiative. I am in.