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Why are people following me on Dev.to?

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Every day, 3-5 people follow me on Dev.to. I have posted only a single article so far, and that too was non-technical. I don't have a famous blog, I'm not an expert at anything, and am generally not visible anywhere. Which makes me wonder: why do they do it? To my introvert self, it's pretty unsettling to find new followers very day, and I'm beginning to wonder these are either fake profiles (a few of them are definitely not) or there's an "engagement" algorithm at work here.

Does this happen to you, too? What are your thoughts on it?

I wish I could approve who follows me, but I don't think we'll ever get this feature. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

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Making our follow-recommendation system more effective is a big TODO.

I can say because I wrote our naive system, you get consistent followers because:

You have written at at least an article, filled out your profile, and consistently made comments, especially lately.

We should probably at least have a mention somewhere in the notice that they did so during onboarding.

Things have been moving fast and some things that work "good enough" haven't gotten enough new attention.

 

Thank you for chiming in, Ben. I'm not arguing that nobody should be able to follow anyone else, but that what we have currently is bordering on spam.

 

Following someone does not mean the same in the network as it does in other social media networks such as Facebook. People following you is a good thing, albeit it can seem random at times.
I don't particularly like getting followed by people that literally just joined, have no comments or tags followed. But I can't tell whether or not they are following just for following's sake, or because they are genuinely interested in what I am saying in this community.

 

Exactly. And that's the point of my article; for someone who posts nothing and maintains nothing, why am I being followed by so many folks every day. ๐Ÿ˜ง

 

The opportunity to be an example for so many is nothing to be afraid of ;)

I'd say that's a fair argument, but imagine this: the next day you get up, there are a few people smiling and eagerly waiting for you outside your house. When you go out, they keep smiling and waiting, but don't talk to you. I doubt this would make you feel enthusiastic. ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

I'm a fake profile and will follow you shortly.
Please stand by...

 
 
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Came here because I was searching how to find out who I follow, but stayed here for amazing ascii art. Thumbs up! ๐Ÿ‘

 

Dev automatically recommends a bunch of random people to follow when you sign up. Most people go along with it, unless it's something they obviously aren't interested in.

I wish I could approve who follows me, but I don't think we'll ever get this feature. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Dev is not that kind of social network. I recommend either Mastadon or Discourse if you want private communities or just to link up with friends.

 

I'm not sure what "not that kind of social network" is supposed to mean. Do you mean a social network where new features are added? Or a social network where a person has can have approve followers?

 

I guess Michael means that it's not the kind of community where you can approve followers.

From the other side, the ability to approve followers means that somebody has the ability to prevent me from following them. The question is, if they are generating open content for this community, why would they ever want to prevent me from following them? It really doesn't make sense.

I get that it might be unsettling to receive followers daily when you aren't creating new content, especially if you don't know how the system works, but at the end of the day, the only thing you get by following someone is that you get a notification every time they post a new article, if you never post, they won't get notifications.

 

The kind of social network where you mostly talk to people you have a pre-existing connection with. The assumption is that everything you write on Dev is public and intended for strangers to read, so Twitter-esque "private accounts" make no sense.

I'm not sure which part of my post gave you the idea that I was talking about private accounts. Not being able to follow me doesn't make my account private; my content is still public. Anyway, I of course know what "kind of" network dev.to, which is why I've mentioned that it's a feature I don't ever hope to see here.

 

It happens to me as well. Wonder if most of them are fake since I received nearly no feedback, but just follows.
It also happen to get a few โ™กโ™กโ™ก right after posting a new article.
There must be lot of automated stuff behind this, I guess this is to make the platform more appealing, to engage people more. But if so, it's really something I dislike about Dev.To.
Ok.. this happens everywhere when it comes to show numbers or stars, but please not here, because I liked this platform so far =)

 

I've noticed a handful of admin accounts automatically like every post shortly after it goes up. It seems to serve a couple of purposes: ensuring no post goes entirely unloved and helping keep the implicit value of likes as social capital down (along with the lack of aggregate rep counts and leaderboards like older webfora used to have), both good things imo.

 

Likewise. If this was a forum for non-devs or non-superusers, this trick could have been pulled off. As devs, we have to wonder what is going on. I enjoy the welcoming feeling and freedom to post just about anything that dev.to brings, and it'd a shame if the powers that be keep nudging it towards the ideals of Facebook.

 

I have posted zero articles and I just hit 50 followers, if only getting Youtube subscribers was this easy!

 
 
Classic DEV Post from Jun 15 '19

Know Not Only Your Weaknesses, But Strengths as Well

Most people want to develop self-awareness. Whether we are managers, entrepreneurs, or aspiring software engineers, the more knowledge we have of our strength and weaknesses, the easier life becomes.

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Whimsical INTP programmer. Code PHP and JS for a living. On friendly terms with many other languages. Easily angered; easily consoled. ๐Ÿ˜›

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