Community Building July 29, 2020

What is Indie Hackers *NOT* helping you with...

Jamal Mashal @jamalx31

This is not a criticism post! joining IH is one of the best things I did this year.
Most of us joined this community seeking help or guidance.

I'm wondering if other IHers are facing challenges this community can do more to help with. So what do you think Indie Hackers is NOT helping you with? (I guess, @rosiesherry will also appreciate the feedback)

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    NOT helping me get more work done when I'm distracted reading so many threads 😂

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      lol, I built a chrome extension to solve this problem for me. maybe you should use it too

      https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/reflex-blocker/liadgdammolmojfoikhflaecchkalgmn

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        I've never felt so called out before LMFAO. Good job on the extension!

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        Awesome tool! I have that same problem with IH 😂

    2. 1

      I was the same, and launched a little bootcamp to try and battle this. We are a bunch of indie hackers joining together in groups of 5-10 to get stuff done! xoxo.vc

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    I love IH but sometimes I feel like every post has an agenda. Like people come here to post just to sell, which is fine but same as on other communities and social media - disclosure or filter would help. Such as "Promote your product" thread or "Feedback" thread which I think partially exist. Just sometimes it annoys me that people use it as a distribution channel, rather than a community, but the question is it posed to be this way?

    1. 1

      That's my major frustration as well. It seems that for any possible question people ask here, "buy my product" will be one of the answers.

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    I don't remember how I discovered IH but I stick for the 'stripe verified revenue' at first. By checking those projects I thought I could find myself a niche already verified somehow, already profitable and if the product has weak points I could improve. If I persist I could be build a few from there.

    Anyways then milestones keep me interested, seeing other's making a thing daily. That should keep me motivated but nope. Didn't happen.

    Now I'm into communities just to share what I have and learn sth. But it seems it's not built for that.

    Coming to your question, IH could help in many ways if you want to dig. Looking for an idea, looking for a quick boost on PH launch 😉, looking for a community building. looking for social media boost.

    But here is no collaboration, no healthy debates, no mentoring (experienced people) in different fields but community building.

  4. 2

    This is a good question @jamalx31. I think for me Indiehackers isn't helping me because:

    I don't have an easy way to reach out to someone

    @rosiesherry, @csallen, and @channingallen, I heard that you were working on a DM feature for IH. That's a great idea because a sometimes I've really wanted to reach out to someone on IH and I couldn't because they didn't have an email or Twitter.

    I know you're busy but just saying, that would be pretty cool if you could work that into the next update of IH soon 😄

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      is it for marketing or other reasons?

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        Mainly just if I find a lead for one of my potential sales for buildfaster.co

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          got you.. maybe a "poke" feature would be easier to implement. Just send them a notification to let them know that user X is trying to reach out to them. what do you think?

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            That's actually a neat idea.

            It reminds of me Facebook back in the days.

            A poke war

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            Actually that’s a pretty good idea. I’m assuming it would be much easier to implement. +1 for that 😄

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      Maybe if they don't have contact info then they just don't want to be contacted.

      1. 1

        Very true, but a DM feature wouldn't hurt. It's not like it would be giving any personal information away. And then if they want to talk on email, they would say so.

    3. 1

      i agree with the sentiment, but, you kinda do have options to reach out... their email (sometimes) and twitter (sometimes)... depending on if they add it to their profile.

      that's been good... enough. right?

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        Yeah it has but I feel like I’m “missing out” on an opportunity to get a another customers. That has annoyed me.

        Then again, just my thoughts ;)

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          ah. got it. yeah, i feel that. this is something i'm trying to solve. :P

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      I heard that you were working on a DM feature for IH. … that would be pretty cool if you could work that into the next update of IH soon 😄

      Agreed. ;)

    5. 1

      Why not just dm them on twitter? That's usually what I do.

      1. 1

        Yeah, but sometimes they don't have their email or twitter linked.

        1. 4

          Then maybe they don't want to be contacted?

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            Yeah probably. Anyway, just an idea. I also liked @jamalx31's idea:

            maybe a "poke" feature would be easier to implement. Just send them a notification to let them know that user X is trying to reach out to them.

  5. 2

    It will be interesting to see what people say. 🤔

  6. 1

    It doesn't provide me more leads :)

    And yeah, I agree with @lucarenga, there is no high quality criticism

    1. 3

      how would you suggest to solve the criticism quality problem?

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    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

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    This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

    1. 3

      i provide some alternative thoughts to folks... it's not always taken well, but, i try!

    2. 3

      There's definitely truth in what you say.
      I think the challenge is to find a sweet spot between giving constructive feedback and being nice without offending others.

      I personally prefer brutal honesty but not everyone is the same.
      Could anonymity be the solution?

      1. 1

        I think the challenge is to find a sweet spot between giving constructive feedback and being nice without offending others.

        It's like a well wrapped christmas gift, which shouldn't be expected from random internet people. Person who asks for a feedback should get any kind of critisim and turn it into something positive. Even a "your landing page sucks" should be something. You either need to take a look at your landing page, or acknowledge that you can't make everyone happy. And it could be a good thing if you don't change a thing, it would keep away "your landing page sucks" guys from your product. Just saying.

        On the other hand, many times you don't get a response to your feedback which you spend like 15 minutes or so. Because whoever asked for a feedback just wanted a few more click, a bit more visibility. They don't even care what others think about it or have no intention to improve.

        As I saw on another comment, "Everyone here trying to sell something". < This forces them to be nice and active but not sincere.

        1. 1

          Not pointing fingers, here are two recent posts from my history;

          https://www.indiehackers.com/post/should-i-sell-my-project-e95ba8dcc4
          It's a straight up a question. Three answers from internet, no response from OP. Now I believe he just tried to pitch it, and have a proposal for his project.

          https://www.indiehackers.com/post/prelaunch-landing-page-for-art-community-and-marketplace-01e323294b
          OP agreed with not so strong parts, is there any changes? Nope. 🤷‍♂️

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            yes agree that ghost OPs are annoying but that exists everywhere.
            I find some subreddits very effective to reduce this. e.g you need X karma to post or whatever.

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        This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

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          agreed,
          The questions is, is there any online community with healthy climate? if not, is it even possible?

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            This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

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              Great point! But are there any online forums or sites like IH etc. who fulfil all three of the conditions you listed out? If not, What would building something like that entail?

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                This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

    3. 2

      It depends on which part of Indie Hackers you're looking at.

      If you're on a milestone post, then of course there isn't going to be any constructive criticism. It's a milestone post. People want to be congratulated for their successes, not told that they could "do better."

      In contrast, I've personally gotten a lot of great feedback on "share your landing page" type posts. People are generally willing to tell you what they think about something, as long as you ask.

      You have to be careful not to confuse "friendly + welcoming" with "low-quality." Maybe you're familiar with the Hacker News type of criticism which can be brutally direct. It might seem like this is higher quality, but that's not necessarily true -- they have their own biases too, as evidenced by the famous Dropbox thread where someone says that this is a trivial piece of software. And in my opinion, feedback is more likely to be better received if you don't feel personally attacked by it.

      That's not to say that Indie Hackers doesn't have its flaws or that it doesn't have people who just follow the crowd. It does, as with any other community. But if you can't find original thinkers or high-quality criticism in a community of 16,000+ independent-minded people running their own businesses, then you're not looking hard enough.

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        This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

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          Fair points. I distinctly remembered seeing a criticism post on the Super Bowl post, but I just looked back and saw that it was you. So kudos for practicing what you preach.

          I do agree with you that there should probably be more criticism. But as with anything, there needs to be a balance. Part of what makes Indie Hackers a great community is its friendliness -- building a business is hard enough, and getting that extra boost of motivation from friendly posts encouraging you to "keep up the good work" can be a differentiating factor for many people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

          And I think most people wouldn't want to get criticized every time they post something here. It's like you telling your partner about what a fantastic day you had because you just got promoted at work. You don't want to be told that you actually could have gotten promoted faster if you worked harder and didn't make so-and-so mistakes, or that your promotion isn't really something to be congratulated at all because the amount of money you're making hasn't changed. Sometimes encouragement is more helpful than criticism, and you just want to feel supported so that you can fight another day. That's how I view the milestones section.

          For posts where someone is peddling advice, however, offering up alternative viewpoints can help people think critically and form their own opinions. But you have to be careful to strike a balance. Value criticism too much, and you'll start to get toxic people who "criticize" -- not to help you, but to bring you down. It's really easy for a friendly community to turn toxic, but nearly impossible to turn a toxic community friendly.

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            This comment was deleted 9 days ago.

    4. 2

      Great comment! Just kidding 😀

      As for the contrarians, I've given it a shot.

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