Meta August 21, 2020

How to get your post on the top of IH (a theory)

Hide Shidara @catsarebetter98

I'm pretty sure I figured it out, the high-level view is basically any content that generates conversation is marked higher. Usually this is measured by comments in a given period of time. I don't know exactly how long this period of time is, but I think it's around 6-12 hours, with additional time extended based on "rate of good conversation".

There are some parameters for it, such as the quality of conversations. Quality, is measured by the intersection of number of comments, likes given to comments, and each top-level comment is given a higher score if there are nested comments underneath, as well as likes given to nested comments. There's also accounting for length of text in each comment. @csallen how did I do?

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    Some stuff right, some stuff wrong, some stuff missing.

    Also, it's not something worth "hacking" since we tend to watch the front page pretty closely and often remove things that don't belong, regardless of any other facts. We'll also sometimes put stuff on the homepage that we think people will find valuable, regardless of how well the post has done on its own.

    So your best bet for getting on the homepage is doing something unique, interesting, helpful, and/or broadly-appealing to IHers, and that generates discussion.

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      This is a great reason I love IH. I know there are real humans behind the website trying to do the best for the community.

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          I didn't mean to throw shade at you at all. Apologies if it reads that way. I personally found your post really interesting.

          It was just praise directed towards @csallen.

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            Nah ur good, guess I'm still a little sensitive to being mislabelled, probably in the back of my head I'm still worried about how ppl perceive me online

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      Manually putting stuff on the front page seems reaaally unethical

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        I disagree, this is a community with practiced and experienced community leaders. If the leaders want to show us something then I trust that it's valuable content. I mean, if I said that a person that sold a company to Stripe and a person that ran a million dollar company wants you to see something, then we can probably agree that's valuable content, right? Well that's who @csallen and @rosiesherry are. Actually my bad Rosie I think that's multi million dollar company

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          Leaving everything to an algorithm is unethical, especially in community style situations, imho.

          Building a community has so much to do with studying and growing the people. That's the angle I take. And with IH my focus is on how can I help create better and more indie hackers.

          Some of that means surfacing content that I believe people need and want to see.

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            I mean, I have no problem with that obv. I just kind of see it as you recommending us stuff and I usually end up cold-calling people I look up to and ask what sorts of books and things they are looking at in the last month anyway.

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      Is it possible that there is an issue with time? Like, if a post is submitted at 23:00 system time of a day before, it has pretty much no chance to appear on the top page the next day?

      That's a very strong impression I have.

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        With milestones yes, that works on San Francisco time and refreshes every day at midnight.

        It's not the same with forum discussions.

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        I think this is bc a lot of ppl are probably asleep so the likelihood of seeing the post and getting engaging conversation started is a lot lower. Like if I called you or texted you at 23:00 then the probability of you answering and getting into a long conversation with me is a lot lower than if I texted you at 11:00, right?

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      It's really more reverse-engineering than hacking, it's not like I'm suggesting a multi-spam bot attack like other ppl have been doing (btw @csallen if you're reading this, you have a spambot problem, ppl are starting to catch on that IH has great SEO for certain keywords). I'm not trying to disrespect the community, I just want to know how the code works. But the top page of IH is rather appealing to my eyes and I have a natural inclination for digging into stuff. Every engineer does, right?

      I'm not gonna post bad material and then hack around it to get views, that doesn't help me or brand me in any positive way. But I admit there were certain posts that I didn't think were that helpful or interesting, but got to the top b/c some ppl had a strong brand across the internet. So I think some of my theory does explain why that is. B/c ppl value familiarity and influencers heavily on the internet.

      Patio11 said write about something resonant, tractable, and underserved. But on the internet, that's really difficult to find if you don't put parameters up and follow them, b/c the search space is way too big. Esp. if you're just starting out like me. So I'm using formulas like this, resonant (roughly) equals amount of quality conversation. Tractable needs are needs that can be served through short written pieces. Underserved... not sure about this one but I'll try to figure it out.

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        I agree with you, some content in front page sometimes not helpful or interesting, as long time IH member, I can saw the differences.

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    Hey Hide, this is brilliant! I came across your post on IndieLog and wanted to comment here because it's clear some people (maybe even including Courtland) are misinterpreting your intent here.

    Thanks for sharing. I think this would benefit anyone who is trying to find ways to encourage conversation in your content. This is not only brilliant for ranking on other websites, but also for generating inbound traffic and shares from content aggregators.

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      Im just a nicer person on Indielog😁

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      I appreciate that lol thanks

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    I think this is the first post I want to ask for a downvote. @csallen

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      Hi, I can appreciate the perspective, but commenting on this post and the comments actually makes it stay up longer, please see the above formula for reference.

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      lol thanks for sharing, one of the reasons I left long comments in the post from the start was to test the virality mechanisms and in the first 30 min I left 3 comments and it shot to number 1 in the Popular row in Ideas and Validation, which was where I initially tagged it. Ofc, that's probably not gonna happen again as I'm pretty sure some personal account data is taken into account and certain things ppl do cause demerits to posts. This post, for example lol, is probably giving me demerits. But I don't give af, I really enjoy figuring out how the internet works and this gave me clarity on a few other things I was curious about.

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        Nah. Don't worry about it, it's not that evolved. Only it could be cherry-picked to hide it from top.

        It's possible to upvote my every post/comment 10 or 1000 times with a script. There is no point of being in the top list with this tricks, especially when you can't get genuine feedbacks at all.

        A few smart(!) one gonna downvote it without a reply because they are unable to construct a meaningful sentence. And it's going to be their success for the whole day.

        a : Honey how was your day?
        b : It's been great, I downvoted a hater! Yeah.

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      Here is another comment to downvote,

      I love(!) this hypocrisy, everyone dreams about not monitored, decentralized networks for free-speech, when facebook blocks your threads they are bad, when x throttles your spam they suck, but when you are able to discuss it with the people behind it. That's awesome, that's just OMG, such a feature!. :)

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          I'm joking about the anarchist part btw

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            lol, you got me right at that part.

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