I don't. I say my piece, and let it lie. Sometimes it is taken well, other times it invokes healthy discussions, sometimes it is ignored, taken poorly, or I am corrected and downvoted. None of those reactions require me to keep constant tabs on it. I do check my history on occasion to see what gets positive vs. negative responses, and try to use that as critique to become a better member of the community.
Just guessing here, but I don't think HN was designed for engaged prolonged discussion. If it were, they probably would have implemented such features as can be found in other platforms. That could transform it into something never intended.
Personally, I think people put too much focus on comments. Many are trying to persuade others of a view (and hence are impervious to true discussion). Comments are useful to the extent they provide new information or links directing people to other similar content. I think the limitations on HN comments put the emphasis on the latter purpose and away from the former.
I look at it this way: it's designed for engaged, prolonged discussion if and only if people continue to be interested enough in it to remember. If they aren't, activation energy falls below a certain threshold and attention naturally moves on to something else. That seems healthy for curious conversation, which fits the prime directive of HN (https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&sor...).
What we don't do is resort to technical tricks to keep that energy buzzed up. We're optimizing for curiosity, not engagement.
The high level on insight I have gained from HN comments is the reason that I spend 90% of my internet time on HN. There's plenty I don't agree with, but I think it's healthy to be exposed to all points of view. For me, HN hits the sweet-spot with it's commenting system, and I hope it never changes.
Thing is , I respect, like, and read HN for the exceptional comments. The links themselves I might find on Reddit, but I don't read those comments. The value add of HN is the comments and I want to stay Informed of those, especially if I comment to the discussion, or awaiting answer/feedback.
I do too. I'm just more turned off when there's too much back and forth argument that is not useful to anyone else. It's not to hard to scroll away, but with too much of it, it becomes an annoying distraction.
I disagree. Make your point and then let others enjoy the show and share their own opinions.
One of the most obnoxious HNisms is when someone makes a comment and then monopolizes every downstream response to defend their position and ego. If you have a good point, then give others a chance to defend the point for you.
Frankly I wouldn’t mind a feature that only lets you post one comment downstream of your other comment.
>Leaving a comment is a commitment to a conversation
This depends on the content of the comment. Some are more obviously asking for a back-and-forth and some are not. Just because you replied to a comment of the latter type doesn't mean the author is obligated to notice and take the time to give an opinion on what you wrote.
>it's rude to just shout something and then leave
Sure, but how do you define "shout something" and "leave" in this context? Most comments are not tantamount to just "shouting something", and surely there is some threshold of time passing and/or the quality of content where neglecting a reply no longer counts as "leaving".
It is rude, but it's necessary. Despite its pretensions of civility, Hacker News is not a truly civil place. It has it's fair share of trolls, cranks and sociopaths who will gladly spend hours stonewalling, derailing and sea-lioning you, just to piss you off, or score an endorphine hit from you. Many people aren't here to talk to you, so much as talk at you.
You have to learn when you're talking to one of the rare people who are interested in anyone but themselves or anything but their own point of view. As soon as you realize the other party is acting in bad faith, or you feel like there's little chance of further conversation not becoming hostile or just going in pointless circles, just leave.
That is the only way to stay sane here and avoid futile attempts at conversation degenerating into flamewars.
I mostly use the "threads" link at the top to keep track of any replies to my own comments. As far as tracking other people's comments, if you know the user's ID you can also use their link. For example mine is: https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=freedomben
There's a neat RSS feed service that I sometimes use also, although my power just went out so I can't dig it up right now. Will try to report back.
For push, set up https://hnreplies.com/ or a similar site. Will only give you replies and not updated karma counts. (edit: and be aware of linking your email and hacker news username if relevant for you)
It provides me with a command-line utility for fetching all of the comments in a particular thread into a SQLite database, for example:
hacker-news-to-sqlite trees hacker-news.db 27897211
For threads that I'm actively involved in (probably no more than a few times a year) I will run this script about once an hour - then I can use "select * from items order by time desc" (usually in Datasette) to see the most recent comments.
(The initial goal of the tool was to archive my own comments, which can be done with "hacker-news-to-sqlite user hacker-news.db your-username" - I run that on a cron)
The ‘Hacker News Enhancement Suite’ browser extension highlights new replies on the comment pages, including the ‘threads’/‘your comments’ page. Still a ‘polling’ workflow, but better than nothing. Also adds a few useful links in the header, and makes the front page a bit better-looking.
(There's a downside that it breaks the ‘more’ links on paginated comment pages.)
Weirdly it seems that third-party Android apps for HN haven't bothered with doing anything similar, checking for replies in the background and popping up notifications. That would be pretty much perfect, and isn't really too complicated.
I pay people less than they're worth to do that for me and then bask in all the karma. When they get demotivated I hint there might be a new position opening up soon or say something nice about one of their comments.
Seriously though, you get karma by posting stories, balancing what really interests you with what HN looks for in a good story. The more interesting stories you post, the more likely people are to engage with you in comments. Surprising news sometimes makes for a good story, but the most engagement comes from those that either provide an unusually clear illustration of a problem, or would have significant long-term implications if the technology or issue described were to become a norm.
As for keeping track, I just use the Threads link or look at my submissions manually. There is little correlation between how passionately I feel about something at the time of posting and how HN will value it.